WORLD LEAD FOR MUTAI, DEFENDS B.A.A. 10K TITLE IN 27:29
By Chris Lotsbom
Geoffrey Mutai successfully defended his crown here at the 2012 B.A.A. 10K, running away from a stellar field here on the streets of Boston. Crossing the finish in 27:29, the fastest 10K run thus far in 2012.
"I am happy again. I don't know if you know all my happiness when I am in Boston. It is not like other races," said the champion.
After pushing the pace through two miles in 8:51, Mutai and fellow Kenyan Philip Langat broke away from the rest of the eight-man lead pack. Turning down Bay State Road and running through the picturesque campus of Boston University, Mutai and Langat were pushing together.
"I was very happy when I was running with Geoffrey because I knew we were on course record [pace]," said Langat. "I was trying his pace, and I follow him. When I saw the people cheering outside, I caught the morale to follow him and run a good time."
As the pair approached 5k, Mutai began to seperate ever so slightly from the 22-year-old Langat. While competing, Mutai said he had one thing on his mind: to win the race for his daughter, Marieke, whose birthday is this week.
"Last year when I was running here, my baby was born. So when I came back to this race I told my family I am going to try to win in the name of my child," he said this morning.
Rounding the halfway turnaround point in 13:51, Langat had returned to Mutai's shoulder. But that would only last for a brief second.
Before the pair hit four miles, Mutai was alone once again. Running down Commonwealth Avenue, the father of two pushed on, gaining strength from the many competitors running in the opposite direction who offered cheers along the way.
"I hear a lot because they are shouting at me so I push it again," he said. "They remind me of the Boston Marathon."
Through Kenmore Square with a seven second lead on Langat, Mutai still was within range of his 27:19 course record.
"For me, the last kilometer was slow because I lost the motion because I didn't have anyone to pull or anyone to see that I am fighting against," he said. "For me, I was trying to push it. I won only, but I didn't have the time like last year."
With a mixture of a grimace and a smile across his face, Mutai continued down Commonwealth Avenue before passing the Public Garden. Turning onto the finishing straight on Charles Street, no one was in sight.
Crossing the finish line in 27:29, the fastest 10K run on the roads this year, Mutai was very happy.
"What is in my mind is this is my home. All of the course records are mine, in the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. 10K. All of my best times are here in Boston. I am here in Boston! This is my home," said Mutai, who picks up $5000 for his win. Behind, Philip Langat and Ali Abdosh of Ethiopia would round out the top three in 27:53 and 28:21, respectively. Fourth was Ahmed Baday (28:30) and fifth was Allan Kiprono, 28:37. B.A.A. 5K runner-up Sam Chelanga finished one second behind in sixth.
With the B.A.A. 10K serving as the second leg of the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley, many were looking to see who would come out of the race atop the leaderboard. At the end of the series -- which includes April's B.A.A. 5K, today's B.A.A. 10K, and October's B.A.A. Half Marathon -- $100,000 will be awarded to the male and female with the lowest cumulative time from the three races.
Entering the B.A.A. 10K, Chelanga held a three second lead over Lani Rutto and a five second margin on Kiprono. Ethiopia's Abdosh was 16 seconds behind coming into today's race.
By the time all had finished and results were calculated, Abdosh leaves Boston with a one second lead over Chelanga, something that the 24-year-old is quite happy about.
"I am very happy and excited for the Half Marathon," said Abdosh, who won last year's B.A.A. Half Marathon. "I won last year and I hope to win again. If I win [the Distance Medley] I would be very happy. Very happy."
In October 7th's B.A.A. Half Marathon, both will surely be dueling for the top prize, just like the tandem did in 2011.
4,560 competitors finished today's race, which was run in near perfect weather: 74 degrees at the start, blue skies, and 42% humidity.