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Kogo Wins 2nd B2B, Kastor Sets 40+ Record

KOGO, CHEPKIRUI WIN TD BEACH TO BEACON 10-K TITLES
By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with permission)
 
PHOTO: Micah Kogo (far
right) leads Silas Kipruto (10), Meb Keflezighi (partially obscured)
and Stephen Kipkosgei Kibet (8) on his way to victory at the 16th TD
Beach to Beacon 10-K in Cape Elizabeth, Me.,

CAPE
ELIZABETH, MAINE (03-Aug)
— Kenyans swept the top spots here at the
16th TD Beach to Beacon 10-K, as Micah Kogo and Joyce Chepkirui broke
the tape first in Fort Williams Park. Kogo’s victory is his second in
three years, while Chepkirui earned her first road race win on American
soil.

“I feel very good, a fabulous and fantastic moment for me
to win for the second time at the Beach to Beacon race,” said a smiling
Kogo, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000m.

Seconds
after ceremonial starter Karen Rand –a victim of the 2013 Boston
Marathon bombings– began the race, a lead pack of ten men found
themselves in front of the 6,000-plus field. Doing the leading duties
was American Meb Keflezighi.

Running aggressively like he had
at last week’s Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race in Iowa, Keflezighi
pushed the pace with all the pre-race contenders in his slipstream.
Among them were Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai, Kogo, Silas Kipruto and Stephen
Kipkosgei-Kibet. Americans Ryan Hall and Elliot Krause tucked in behind
towards the back of the group.

Shortly after reaching two miles
in 9:14, the pack had dwindled down to six, as both Hall and the
Wisconsin alum Krause were among those to have fallen off the back.
Getting antsy behind Keflezighi, the East Africans took turns coming up
on his shoulder, then fading back a step or two. Eventually, about a
minute and 30 seconds after passing five kilometers in 14:13, a move
was made by Kogo.

“Before 5-K we were still with a big group.
After five kilometers I wanted to see if I could push the pace a little
bit higher. When I see some hills down the road I tried to push more,”
he said.

Winding their way through the rolling course, the
Kenyan contingent of four began to break apart. First it was Mutai
fading, then Kipkosgei Kibet. Eventually the lone American remaining,
Keflezighi, fell victim to Kogo’s surge. The only one to match the
27-year-old wound up being Kipruto.

With rain beginning to
fall, Kogo and Kipruto passed the five mile mark, then approached the
entrance to Fort Williams Park for the twisting and narrow finish.
That’s when Kogo began to separate from his compatriot, breaking the
tape in 28:03.3. Kogo became the third athlete in race history to earn
multiple event titles, joining compatriots Edward Muge (2) and Gilbert
Okari (3).

“I was just hoping to win because due to my last
race at the Boston Marathon [where he finished second], I wasn’t
thinking I still have speed,” admitted Kogo. “It surprised me because I
see I can do 10-K, half-marathon, and still have more speed.”

Though his time was slower than his 2011 winning mark of 27:46.9, Kogo was just as happy.

“I
love this course,” he said. “I know the course, I know where I can put
more here, I like this course and the crowd and the family who supports
me when I stay here.”

In the race’s 16-year history, Kenyan men have been victorious 13 times.

Kipruto
finished just over five seconds behind in second, timing 28:08.5. Mutai
came back from fifth in the race’s latter stages to take third
(28:22.0) ahead of Kipkosgei Kibet (28:27.1), while the top American,
Keflezighi, rounded out the top five in 28:37.2.

“I feel strong
and the best way for me to get back and better is to push it,” said
Keflezighi, noting that he has only recently run 65 to 75 miles a week,
all in single sessions. “I said I’d run 28:00 to 28:30. I missed it by
six seconds… I’m very realistic, but I’m happy that I was competitive
for a bit.”

The surprise of the day came from American Krause,
who picked off athletes one by one after reaching five kilometers.
Among those who fell victim to Krause were Ryan Hall and Ethiopian Dino
Sefir, the latter of whom was in the front pack early on.

Hall
had a disappointing showing, taking tenth in 29:43.6. He told Race
Results Weekly that his legs simply were tired from the early miles.

“I
went out too hard, went out like an idiot,” said Hall, who wound up as
the fourth American behind Keflezighi, Krause, and Gabe Proctor
(Proctor, the NCAA Division II 5000m and 10,000m champion on the track
this year, was ninth in 29:27.4.) “It’s fun to be up there with those
guys for a bit but it wasn’t the best way to run.

“I was slowly dying, like a two-mile time trial and a four-mile –I don’t know what you’d call it– a jog.”

CHEPKIRUI PULLS AWAY TO WIN WOMEN’S RACE

Unlike
the men’s contest, which broke up mile by mile, the women’s race was a
pack affair from the start. Passing the mile in about five minutes, a
clear group had formed that would stay together for the most part
through four miles (6.44 km).

Not until the five mile mark (8
km) would things really develop. By that point, Briton Gemma Steel was
mixing it up with the African contingent, featuring Kenya’s Chepkirui
and Linet Masai, as well as Ethiopian’s Sule Utura, Yebrugal Melese,
and Buzunesh Deba.

With a mile to go, Chepkirui had one thing
on her mind: surge. The 24-year-old noted that in order to break the
group, she had to make an unyielding and aggressive move.

“At
five miles I started to move,” she said in a soft voice. “I was in the
lead and I see my competitors, about five ladies, so I decided to move.”

Spurred
on by the thought of not being chosen to represent Kenya at the IAAF
World Championships 10,000m, the 24-year-old wanted to prove she had
what it took to win on the world stage.

“I don’t know the
problem. They refused so I didn’t run, but I was supposed to run the
10,000m,” she said. “I knew I was in good shape.”

Entering Fort
Williams Park with a comfortable lead, Chepkirui crossed the line in
31:23.2, becoming the race’s 12th Kenyan champion in 16 years. Hers was
the second-fastest winning time in race history.

“I feel very happy because this year, I have not run good cause I was having an injury. But now I am OK,” she said.

Twelve
seconds behind was Steel, who made a gutsy move of her own. After
sticking with the African group, the blonde Brit asked herself ‘why not
go for more?’

“At a mile to go it was five of us and I was like
‘I’m in the top five, that’s good,'” she described. “I said I might as
well go for it and try to win it. I’ve come this far and am not going
to give up now.”

The decision paid off, as the 27-year-old
earned $5000 and set a new personal best of 31:35.3. Steel’s placing is
her second podium finish in as many American road races this year. In
June, she was third at the Oakley New York Mini 10-K.

“It
brings out the best in me I think,” she said, explaining how the
American atmosphere is something special. “I’ve come over all the way
from the UK so I want to make it worthwhile.”

Having finished third in New York and second here, Steel is looking for more next week at the Falmouth Road Race.

“I’m
looking forward to the Falmouth Road Race now. I’ve got one step to go,
you never know really, cause I’ve been third, now second, and I’ll just
try to get the win now. To be in that company today was really amazing
for me, overwhelming really,” she said.

Sule Utura (31:37.7),
Yebrugal Melese (31:39.5), and Linet Masai (32:03.6) rounded out the
top five. Missing among the leaders was course record holder Lineth
Chepkurui; TD Beach to Beacon 10-K Elite Athlete Coordinator Larry
Barthlow told Race Results Weekly that the Kenyan had a hamstring
problem that flared up during the race. She finished well outside of
the top-10 in 36 minutes.

Deena Kastor, 40, was the top
American in seventh, timing 32:28.2, a mark well inside of Colleen De
Reuck’s USA masters record of 32:50*. The mother of one said her
performance bodes well considering she has been in marathon training in
preparation for next weekend’s IAAF World Championships marathon in
Moscow. She will leave for Russia tomorrow.

“I feel happy with
my race. I think in marathon training, a 5:03 first mile is a little
fast for me, but I feel happy with my race and I feel like I pushed the
whole time. I kept engaged with the group in front of me, fighting for
every step,” she said.

Former Oregon Duck Alexi Pappas finished 10th in a solid 32:55.2 in her road racing debut.

_____________
*The
Beach to Beacon course has a 65% start/finish separation, and an
elevation loss of .82m/kilometer. USATF and IAAF standards for
record-setting require start/finish separation no greater than 50% of
the race distance, while the more conservative Association of Road
Racing Statisticians (ARRS) requires 30%. Nonetheless, the elevation
change is within the record-setting limit of 1m/km, so Kastor’s
performance is statistically valid for all-time lists, even if it
cannot be ratified as a record.

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