On a picture perfect summer day, Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan cruised to an American record at the sixth annual B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Preparing for the Olympic Marathon later this summer, Flanagan motored her way to a time of 30:52, shattering both the national and event records. For the men, Daniel Chebii of Kenya won his American road racing debut in 27:55. In total, 7,805 participants finished this year's B.A.A. 10K, the largest in event history. The B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women's Hospital, is an IAAF Bronze Label road race.
"There's just nothing better than hearing the chants of 'Go USA!'" said Flanagan, describing what it meant to set an American record in her home city. "There's just nothing better than running at home before we go and represent our country in Rio.
"Doing it here, on my own streets, my town, my home, today is a day for sure I will remember for a really long time," she continued. "I've had a lot of great highlights in my career, but today will be certainly one of them."
Flanagan, hailing from nearby Marblehead, Mass., was poised to become the first American ever to win the B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Training with Olympic teammate Amy Cragg, the pair took off from the start determined to finish on the podium.
The men's race was a battle all the way until the final turn, when Kenya's Daniel Chebii took off from countrymen Philip Langat and Daniel Salel. A very large pack raced through the heart of downtown Boston, with American Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein mixing it up alongside reigning champion Salel, Chebii, Langat, and Kenyan Silas Kipruto.
After passing three miles in 13:39, the hammer would be thrown down with a 4:27 fourth mile. However, the pack remained tight with all five still in contention.
Leading into the race, Chebii said he wanted to make his move after halfway. Ultimately, the deciding move would come much later, as he was side-by-side with Langat through 8 kilometers in 22:25. Salel kept pace two seconds back, followed by Ritzenhein.
"My tactics were successful, because I was able to go with the guys until 5K, and after 5K we were running down a pace that was comfortable to me," he said. "When I was in something like 8K, I knew totally that I was going to win. When I reached 9K, I started to push it."