Results and Commentary: Smith leading Distance Medley

After two races, she has a 16 second lead going into last race

By Chris Lotsbom

New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith came into the B.A.A. 10K trailing by five seconds in the B.A.A. Distance Medley standings. After her 31:36 performance on the roads of Back Bay yesterday, the 30-year-old now finds herself in front by a whopping sixteen seconds.

“I’m surprised I ran as well as I did today,” said Smith, who resides and trains in Providence, R.I.

In April, Smith finished third at the B.A.A. 5K, the first leg of the B.A.A. Distance Medley. The three race B.A.A. Distance Medley series combines times from April’s B.A.A. 5K, June’s B.A.A. 10K, and October’s B.A.A. Half Marathon to award $100,000 to the male and female with the lowest cumulative time.

Coming into the B.A.A. 10K five seconds behind leader Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia, Smith thought the upcoming 10-K and Half Marathon distances would work in her favor.

“It's definitely going to be to my advantage. I just definitely feel more comfortable over the longer distances," said Smith on Friday.

Smith’s statement rang true, as the Kiwi broke away from Kiros and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop before hitting the five mile mark. Ultimately crossing the finish 21 seconds ahead of Kiros (who finished second), Smith now leads the B.A.A. Distance Medley by 16 seconds.

But she isn’t done. Smith noted that she feels most confident going into October’s B.A.A. Half Marathon, and that the distance could prove to extend her lead even more.

“I think as the distance goes up, I probably have a little advantage on her [Kiros]. Definitely my favorite distance is the half marathon,” said Smith, who holds New Zealand’s national record in the half marathon.

Before October’s conclusion of the B.A.A. Distance Medley, though, Smith will tackle the marathon distance at the Olympic Games in London. Hoping to come out of that marathon with a medal, Smith will then transition to the half marathon and her chances at claiming the $100,000 first place Distance Medley check.

If she wins, the prize money would be extra special for Smith, who is set to get married soon after the Olympics conclude.

“I’ve got a wedding to pay for, so that would definitely help with that,” said the bride-to-be.

When her fiancé, Pat Tarpy, got wind of what she would spend the winnings on, he approved.

“It’d be nice if she won, not just for the money,” he said with a smile. In between laughs, Tarpy jokingly added, “though I want to buy a new bike. I’ve been helping her in workouts, so I think I deserve most of the credit. Maybe she can repay me with a bike.”

B.A.A. Moment 9

2010 - The Hoyts

When many think of the Boston Marathon, they think of Team Hoyt, the father/son team of Dick and Rick who have participated in their unique way 28 times. Dick was 69 at the 2010 Boston Marathon.