Four men are all within 5 seconds of taking home the $100,000 prize
By Chris Lotsbom
There is a four wide sprint to the finish at the top of the men’s leaderboard for the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley title, where the winner will be crowned after October 7’s B.A.A. Half Marathon. A mere five seconds differentiates places one through four at the moment, something that makes October’s race for $100,000 even more exciting.
After Sunday’s B.A.A. 10K, the second event in the three race series that combines times from April’s B.A.A. 5K, June’s B.A.A. 10K, and October’s B.A.A. Half Marathon, awarding $100,000 to the male and female with the lowest cumulative time, the men’s standings shuffled and a new leader emerged.
Heading into the B.A.A. 10K, Kenya’s Sam Chelanga was ahead of Kenya’s Lani Rutto by three seconds. After his runner-up finish at the B.A.A. 5K, Chelenga was excited to return to Boston.
“I think the Distance Medley is a special event,” said Chelanga on Friday. The Oregon Track Club member said it has been his dream to run in Boston for many years, and that the series - and holding the lead especially - has been extra special for him.
Coming into the B.A.A. 10K in front, Chelanga had a target on his back. Not only Rutto, but Allan Kiprono and Ali Abdosh wanted to overtake the 27-year-old atop the standings and head into the B.A.A. Half Marathon with the lead. Kiprono was five seconds behind, and Abdosh fifteen seconds behind Chelanga before the gun sounded on Sunday morning.
Ultimately, following a 28:21 finish, Abdosh would catch Chelanga after the B.A.A. 10K. Gaining sixteen seconds in the standings, Abdosh was happy following his stellar run.
“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."
Next to cross the line was Kiprono in 28:37, followed a second later by Chelanga. Rutto, who came into the race second in the standings, placed fourth among Distance Medley competitors in 28:40.
After calculating the cumulative B.A.A. 5K and B.A.A. 10K scores, Abdosh is now in a two-way tie with Chelanga; both men with 42:21 overall. Kiprono, who has notched a pair of fifth place finishes, leads in third (42:25) and Rutto, the B.A.A. 5K third place finisher, is fourth in 42:26.
“I will train and work hard for the Half Marathon to win,” said Abdosh.
With four men so close to one another in the standings, October’s B.A.A. Half Marathon will really come down to the wire. Will Chelanga, who has the best half marathon personal best of the crew, step up and cruise away? Or can Abdosh, the reigning B.A.A. Half Marathon winner, extend his streak and hold on for the win? Don’t count out the steady Kiprono; his consistency may pay off in the end.
We will see on October 7, when the action continues and the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley comes to a close.