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Molly Huddle Wins 3rd Consecutive BAA 5K

 

BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION  
185 Dartmouth Street, 6th Floor   Boston, Massachusetts 02116   617-236-1652  
www.baa.org

 


Huddle Wins Third-Consecutive B.A.A. 5K Title

 

By Barbara Huebner

 

For
the first five years of the B.A.A. 5K, which was run for the first time
in 2009, the women‰Ûªs race saw five different champions. But for the
past three, the top step of the podium has been the sole province of
Molly Huddle.

 

Although
any chance of breaking the American record she set here last year was,
literally, gone with the wind on a gusty, sunny spring morning in
Boston, the 31-year-old Huddle easily captured her third-consecutive
B.A.A. 5K win when she crossed the finish line in 15 minutes and 14
seconds, 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Buze Diriba (15:28) of Ethiopia.
Finishing third was Caroline Chepkoech of Kenya (15:35).

 

‰ÛÏIt was definitely a lot breezier and chillier this year,‰Û said Huddle,
who took home $7,500 for the victory. ‰ÛÏI think people wanted to stay closer together.‰Û

 

‰ÛÏThat‰Ûªs what makes racing so much fun,‰Û declared Diane Nukuri of Burundi,
who finished fourth (15:43). ‰ÛÏYou get to deal with everything.‰Û

 

The
B.A.A. 5K course, considered one of the fastest in the country if not
the world, begins and ends on Charles Street between the historic
Boston Common and Public Garden, running up Commonwealth Avenue before
making a U-turn and passing the Boston Marathon finish line as the
final mile runs down Boylston Street.

 

In
2015, the torrid early pace of the leaders dragged Huddle to a 4:42
first mile, despite being in sixth place. This year, she led a pack of
seven through the mile in 4:52, and soon thereafter began pulling away.
That did not, however, mean that she had any desire to brave the wind
alone.

 

‰ÛÏI
was just trying to chase a few of the men from here,‰Û said the 21-time
national champion and 2012 Olympian at 5000 meters. ‰ÛÏBut the guys in
front of me were just a little too far ahead, so I was trying to reel
them in and use them as a target.‰Û She went through two miles in 9:45.

 

Huddle said that she felt a little bad about tucking behind ‰ÛÏa tall guy‰Û
on Boylston Street to escape the wind, but described him blowing her away in the last 200 meters.

 

‰ÛÏHe beat me,‰Û she said, ‰ÛÏso it‰Ûªs OK.‰Û

 

Next
month, Huddle will head to Flagstaff, AZ, for a stint of altitude
training before her next race, a 5000 meters at the Prefontaine Classic
on May 27 where, she acknowledged, she has an eye on chasing her
5000-meter American record.

 

Finishing
sixth was the last woman not named Huddle to win this race: Kim Smith,
a three-time New Zealand Olympian who trains with Huddle under coach
Ray Treacy in Providence, RI. Smith, 34, was competing for just the
second time after missing most of the last two years after foot
surgery, childbirth, and pulmonary emboli that landed her in intensive
care weeks after the birth of Violet, now 10 months old.

 

Smith is also a two-time winner of the B.A.A. Distance Medley.

 

‰ÛÏI had to come and put myself out there and run hard,‰Û she said. ‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs
good to test yourself.‰Û

 

In a magnificent comeback of her own, Adrianne Haslet-Davis finished the
race in 54:28. A dancer, Haslet-Davis, 35, lost part of her left leg in the 2013 bombings at the finish line.

 

But
it‰Ûªs not the only race she has on her immediate agenda. When she
encountered the Marathon finish line yesterday in the final mile, the
winner of the 2016 Boston Athletic Association‰Ûªs Patriots‰Ûª Award asked
a running companion to carry her over it, preserving the emotional
moment of crossing it under her own power for when she finishes the
Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.

 

 

ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)

Established
in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization
with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports,
especially running. The B.A.A.‰Ûªs Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest
annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and
supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs.
Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John
Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World
Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London,
Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will
participate in B.A.A. events in 2016. The 120th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit
www.baa.org.

 

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