B.A.A. 5K Women's Race Preview

Today Is: February 10th 2016
15 APR 2011
Prize Money at Stake in the Third-Annual 5K

Story by Barbara Huebner

The BAA 5K and Invitational Mile began just two years ago, but some of the top female athletes in the country – and world – have obviously embraced the new tradition. The top road racer in the world is favored in this year’s 5K, which for the first time will offer a prize-money purse totaling $30,000 for the top finishers.

Lineth Chepkurui, the 23-year-old Kenyan road sensation, arrives here as the favorite after dominating the U.S. road-racing circuit last summer, with seven victories in nine races. And they weren’t merely wins, either: her triumphs included two 12K world bests and a time of 30:45 in the Crescent City Classic that held up as the fastest 10K in the world last year.

Coming off an eighth-place finish at the World Cross Country Championships last month, Chepkurui will likely see some familiar faces in Boston on race weekend: it’s a homecoming of sorts for her, after winning the 2010 TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and the inaugural Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race on Cape Ann, just north of Boston. Reportedly slowed by a head cold, she finished a close second in the 7-mile Falmouth Road Race to round out her tour of New England.

Challenging her will be late entry Amy Hastings. A 10-time All-American while competing for Arizona State, the 27-year-old made her marathon debut a successful one last month when she finished second in the Honda LA Marathon in 2:27:03. The 2005 NCAA indoor 5000-meter champion, she brings a 5K personal best of 16:11.

The field will also feature several other intriguing Americans.

• Stephanie Pezzullo, 28, was a member of the 2006 U.S. Chiba Ekiden squad, and ran a 5K personal best of 16:11 in finishing sixth in the highly competitive Carlsbad 5000 on April 3. She is a former soccer star, both during high school in Rhode Island and for Penn State University.

• Teresa McWalters, 26, finished as high as fourth at 5000 meters in the NCAA championships, in 2008, and helped lead Stanford University to several national cross country titles as a six-time All-American. She is now a student in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Her personal best for 5K is 16:12.
• Toni Salucci, 25, ran a personal best 15:45.65 to finish second at 5000 meters in the 2010 Penn Relays Olympic Development race. While competing for the University of Michigan as a graduate student, she won the 4x1500-meter relay title at the same meet, in 2008. As an undergraduate, she ran for Cornell University.

B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.