MEN'S RACE RECAP
By James O'Brien
Boston Marathon weekend used to be all about a single 26.2 mile race on Patriots’ Day. That event, of course, remains the focal point for all who flock to Beantown in mid-April. But, these days there are other events to also attract the world’s attention and stoke the competitive fires on Boston Marathon Weekend. The B.A.A. Invitational Mile attracts middle, high school, and professional athletes from around the globe. That's just the way it is.
Twelve months ago, Scotland's Chris O'Hare – the European Championships indoor and outdoor 1500m bronze medalist-- had fallen victim to the withering turn of pace of Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel. This year, the latter had returned to his premier event - winning the B.A.A. 5K earlier in the morning - leaving the way open for O'Hare to move up a step on the podium.
Nothing was pre-determined, though. Certainly O'Hare had the wheels and the course experience, but a perusal of the field made it evident that so did just about everybody else. Frezer Legesse had placed third here in 2015 and was a renowned front runner. Julian Matthews represented New Zealand in the 1500m at last year's World Outdoor Championships in Beijing. Duncan Phillips was a five-time All-American. Certainly, O'Hare's 3:52.01 personal best was enough to send a shiver up the spine of the most battle-worn miler.
WOMEN'S RACE RECAP
By Barbara Huebner
After finishing as runner-up the past two years, Heather Kampf came into the 2016 B.A.A. Invitational Mile as the heavy favorite to win the Professional Women’s division. Kampf, 28, is known as the “Queen of the Road Mile,” and for good reason—she’s a three-time USA 1-Mile Road Champion.
Brook Handler, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 after an All-American career at 1500 meters, may be angling for the crown.
Handler, 23, earned the biggest win of her young pro career when she shot in front of Kampf as they catapulted around the final turn of the three-lap course in Boston’s Back Bay, hitting the tape in 4:49.6 to Kampf’s 4:49.8. Emily Lipari of the B.A.A. High Performance Team was third in 4:50.8.
“I got lucky that I was able to keep doing a few road miles last summer because they have so many in Michigan,” said an elated Handler, who earned $3,000 for the win. “It was nice that this wasn't my first one.”