$100,000 will be awarded to male and female champion of unique, road race series
BOSTON – The 12th B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, will be run on Sunday, October 7th and will culminate the B.A.A. Distance Medley.
The three-race series, which combines the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Half Marathon, will award $100,000 each to the male and female champion. The winner will be determined by cumulative gun time across all three races. The B.A.A. Half Marathon starts and finishes at Boston’s Franklin Park. The course encompasses much of Boston and Brookline’s Emerald Necklace park system.
The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) hosted a press conference today featuring the top contenders.
Kim Smith, NZL, leads Aheza Kiros, ETH, by 16 seconds in the women’s race. A two-time Olympian, Smith resides in Providence, Rhode Island:
Smith on focusing on the B.A.A. Distance Medley during an Olympic year:
“It [participating in the series] all seemed to work out pretty well. The 5K [in April] was early enough in the marathon training where I wasn’t feeling too bad. That’s definitely always going to be the hardest event for me. The 10K [in June] fit in well as it was six weeks out from the Olympics … The half marathon [is the distance with which I] feel most comfortable. It’s my favorite distance. [I] definitely had to come back a little quicker after the [Olympic] marathon, and just kind of balance between recovering from the marathon and getting ready for this race, as well as the New York City Marathon. It all was just balancing recovery and training for this race. Everything’s gone really well and everything’s gone smoothly. Training is going well, so it ended up working out pretty well in the end.”
Smith on racing half marathons:
“It is definitely the distance I feel most comfortable with of any distance that I run. I feel pretty confident in that. That pace feels really comfortable for me to run. When I’m doing workouts, if I’m doing half marathon pace, rather than shorter, faster stuff or the longer marathon pace, the half marathon workouts are definitely the ones I feel most comfortable with. I don’t know what it is about that pace, but it just is something that I can do well. I wish it was [my] marathon pace! But right now it is the half marathon that seems to be my best event.”
Smith on racing during training for the ING New York City Marathon on November 4:
“I’ve run my best half marathons when I’m preparing for marathons anyway, so it seems to work out for me. It doesn’t really matter if I’m in the middle of a 100 mile week or I taper off. My coach definitely prefers me not to do a half marathon a month out from a marathon, but for this one he completely understands.”
Kiros, of Ethiopia, who trails Smith by 16 seconds, discussed her expectations for Sunday. Kiros said, “My training is going good. I hope I will do well. I train very good, so God knows.” When asked about her 16-second deficit, Kiros added, “Whatever energy I have left over, I will use it.”
On the men’s side, five seconds separate four men competing for the B.A.A. Distance Medley crown. Ali Abdosh, ETH, and Sam Chelanga, KEN, are the co-leaders going into the final event. Abdosh, who won the 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon, summed up the competition concisely: “The fastest person wins,” he said with a smile:
Abdosh on race strategy:
The competition is very hard, not very easy. I have not spent a very long time in the half marathon. I come [from] 5K and 10K on the track. Now I get into the road races. Maybe God say that I am very prepared for this competition.
Abdosh on a potential sprint finish:
I am very fast. I feel confident over the last lap [on the track]. I know Chelanga is faster than me. He almost beat me. The fastest person wins.
Abdosh on knowing the course:
Last year, I was the winner. Half marathon, like for me, [is like a] full marathon. It’s very long and very hard, [but] I think I’m ready for this competition.
Chelanga, the Distance Medley co-leader, was runner-up at 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon, and he also offered comments on his preparation:
Chelanga on the B.A.A. Distance Medley:
I’m very delighted to be back in Boston and welcome guys from Kenya and Ethiopia. And also, I want to thank the B.A.A. This was a very awesome event because, if you didn’t go to the Olympics and the season is winding [down], and you’re not a marathoner, what would you do? You’d go to a road race or something to wind up the season. We actually are very lucky because we get to have the B.A.A. Medley. It’s as big as Chicago … and it’s not even a marathon. I really want to thank you guys for thinking about that. I think it’s good for the sport.
On the $100,000 prize:
Obviously, there’s a lot of things that I want to do because I’m a newly married guy and I’m expecting a child. I have an extended family in Kenya, and we all know Kenya is still tough. I got family and friends and neighbors who really need a lot of help in many ways. I think 100 [thousand dollars] is good. We could all share it, and save some of it.
Allan Kiprono, KEN, is currently in third place on the men’s Distance Medley leader board. He is the 2012 Bolder Boulder 10K and Cherry Blossom 10M champion:
Kiprono on race strategy:
The race is not easy at all. We have to be there [in contention among the lead pack during the half marathon]. We have to see what is going on after 10K or 15K and then see who is strong still. Change the speed, see how guys react. If it is four or three guys, then you have to use your tactics … Two years ago, I raced here my first half marathon. So it was difficult for me.
Lani Rutto, KEN, is the training partner of Allan Kiprono and is currently in fourth place on the men’s Distance Medley leader board. Rutto finished third at the 2012 B.A.A. 5K:
Rutto on race strategy:
I know, right now, I am well-prepared for the half marathon. It is not far [of a deficit that I am behind in the Distance Medley] – for six seconds or five seconds – so it depends on tactics. Let’s see, depending on the weather.
Rutto on his half marathon debut:
For me, it’s my first [half marathon]. Maybe tomorrow I will see the course. I am ready, in [for] any course…. It is rolling, and I like rolling.
About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, and now in its 125th year, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s 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 World Marathon Majors along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Nearly 50,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2012.
B.A.A. Media Contact:
Marc Davis (617-778-1633; mobile: 703-439-0751; firstname.lastname@example.org)