Teferi Gets Three-peat At Mastercard New York Mini 10K
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved NEW YORK (08-Jun) -- Like the conductor of a world class symphony, Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia controlled today's 52nd edition of the Mastercard New York Mini 10K simply by swinging her arms.  The 29 year-old Olympian, who represents adidas, pushed to the lead early, stayed at the front through all of Central Park's ups and downs, then flattened the competition by running a 4:32 sixth mile to put the race away.  With the finish line bathed in sunshine, she clocked 30:47 to win her third consecutive Mini title and vowed to come back to try to win again next year. "God willing, I would love to come back," the smiling Teferi told Race Results Weekly through a translator.  "It's a great race, the organizers are great, and the fans are great.  So, I would love to always be able to come back." Two Kenyan women, Sharon Lokedi (Under Armour) and Sheila Chepkirui (adidas), kept today's race honest.  Both women ran close behind Teferi through the halfway point (15:38), and were right on her heels through the four-mile mark (20:01).  Lokedi, the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon champion, was determined to keep up the pressure on her Ethiopian rival. "I knew this was like 2022 back again," said Lokedi, referring to the 50th edition of this race where she finished second to Teferi.  "I felt so strong, but I just didn't have the speed in me.  So, I just wanted to fight as much as I can and stay there as long as I could." As the race crossed over from the east to the west side of the Central Park during the fifth mile, Teferi picked up her pace slightly.  That was enough for Chepkirui to fall back and she had to settle for third in 31:09.  Lokedi held on as long as she could, but with the clock showing 26 minutes and 27 seconds Teferi put in a powerful surge.  In just a few strides, Lokedi was dropped. "We went up that hill and all of a sudden she took off, and I just couldn't cover it," lamented Lokedi, who finished second in 31:04. Teferi wasn't looking at her watch.  Running on feel and using her experience with the course, she knew Lokedi was a strong athlete and only a truly savage move would assure victory. "I could sense from the way she was breathing that she was falling back," Teferi said of Lokedi.  "At that point I just kicked." A little farther back, American Amanda Vestri (ZAP Endurance) was having the race of her life.  The 24 year-old, who ran a personal best 31:10.53 for 10,000m exactly three weeks ago in London, used the trio of Africans to gauge her pace right from the start.  Through 5 km she was only two seconds behind them, and about four seconds back at 4 miles.  She faced a critical decision. "Not like I was getting nervous, but there are a lot of Americans still here right now," Vestri said, describing the situation before halfway when Jessica McClain (Brooks), Dakotah Lindwurm (Puma/Minnesota Distance Elite), and Emily Durgin (adidas) were still near the front.  She continued: "My goal was to be top American in the race, so there was a moment in time when it was either stay back with the chunk of the Americans or go ahead with the faster women at the front." Vestri ended up running the second half alone, but she was ready for that.  She finished fourth in a personal best 31:17, comfortably ahead of McClain in fifth (31:22) and Durgin in sixth (31:49).  Vestri clocked the fourth-fastest Mini ever by an American, although times are not completely comparable because the race has used several courses, "It was like at 16 minutes when I was like, geez Amanda, you either have to pay the price and go with them and suffer a little bit... or stay back, stay comfortable and see what happens, I guess," Vestri continued.  "Honestly, I'd rather rely on me suffering than me kicking at the end of the race.  So, I decided to suffer." While Teferi earned the largest check ($10,000 for the win), Vestri also had a good day for her bank account.  She earned $2,500 for fourth place plus another $5,000 for being the top American. For the two Americans who will run the 2024 Olympic Marathon who raced here today, Lindwurm and Emily Sisson (New Balance), their results were solid.  Lindwurm, who was running just her first Mini, finished eighth in 31:58, a personal best.  Sisson, who was running her third Mini, finished ninth in 32:08.  Lindwurm loved her race experience. "Oh my gosh, it was like nothing else," said Lindwurm.  "It was a fun race.  I PR'd in the 5K (15:45) in the middle of a 10K.  I'll be back for sure; this was electric." While official results were not available as of this writing, the race likely had a record number of finishers.  The previous record was 8,885 from 2019, but with over 12,500 entries this year the record was likely broken. PHOTO: Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia wins her third consecutive Mastercard Mini 10K in 30:47; the tapeholder is 2024 USA Olympic Trials Women's Marathon champion Fiona O'Keeffe (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
Fifty-Two Years Later, the Mini Remains Mighty
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved NEW YORK (07-Jun) -- Through 10 different presidential administrations, six generations of the Corvette, and --more recently-- 23 editions of the iPhone, the Mastercard New York Mini 10K has endured as the most important all-women's road race in the world.  Held 51 times since the event's inception in 1972 when just 72 women participated, the Mini's various finish lines in Central Park have seen about 235,000 women complete the race, from casual walkers to Olympic and World champions like Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands, Linet Masai of Kenya, and Grete Waitz of Norway. "The race became an emblem of women's equality, and feistiness, and freedom," race co-founder Kathrine Switzer told CBS News in 2022.  "And now we have our very own race." For New York Road Runners, the event's founders and organizers who will stage the 52nd edition tomorrow, the Mini is part of their DNA.  It was the world's first road race for women, run just three weeks before the landmark Title IX legislation became law which protected "people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance," according to the Federal Department of Education.  The Mini started a movement in women's running which ultimately led to the inclusion of the women's marathon in the 1984 Olympics. "Fifty-two years later the organization is still running the Mini 10K, now the Mastercard 10K," said Christine Burke, NYRR's senior vice-president.  "It's a real moment for women runners to feel that sense of togetherness and empowerment.  We have continued to run it with professional women leading the way.  Tomorrow, there will be 9,000 women behind those professionals." Burke, and her professional athletes chief Sam Grotewold, have continued to emphasize that the Mini is a high-level athletics competition, not just a mass-participation event.  The elite field has a total of 39 athletes including four past champions, five Paris 2024 Olympians, and seven of the top 10 finishers from the 2024 USA Olympic Team Trials Women's Marathon.  Thirteen women have previously run sub-32:00 in a road 10K. "New York Road Runners really believes in women," explained Burke, who pointed out that half of the not-for-profit's senior executive team are women.  She continued: "It is an investment that pays dividends over time.  We still have professional runners who ran with us back in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's coming back to be part of our race weekend, whether that's at the marathon or here at the Mini." Grotewold, who recruits and manages elite athletes for all of NYRR's events, signed the entire USA Olympic Marathon squad of Fiona O'Keeffe, Emily Sisson and Dakotah Lindwurm for the Mini, although O'Keeffe said today that she won't start due to a tight calf (see below).  The last time the entire Olympic Marathon squad were contracted for the Mini was in 2008 when Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and Blake Russell ran the race. Sisson has run the Mini twice before, taking fourth in 2023 in 31:16 and seventh in 2022 in 31:29.  The Tokyo 2020 Olympian in the 10,000m loves the race, but this year it feels different because it comes in the middle of a marathon build-up.  She's looking forward to the jolt that racing normally gives her. "This is my first time going in during marathon training," Sisson told Race Results Weekly.  "Usually I race 10K's all the time during marathon training and don't really think much of it.  I usually like racing in builds; it's a fun way to break things up.  And, often when I go into a race feeling flat I come out of that race feeling a lot better in training." Sisson said that she felt like her current fitness was similar to last year, despite all of the hilly miles she's been putting in getting ready for the Olympics. "I still think I can hold my own tomorrow," she said.  "I'm excited to race everyone." Lindwurm, who took third place at the USA Olympic Trials Women's Marathon, has never run the Mini before.  A true marathon specialist, she rarely races at 10K. "It's pretty intimidating for me," said a smiling Lindwurm.  "I really don't race 10K's very often.  I think that I've raced, like, two in my professional career.  So, it's a short sprint for me, really.  I'm just trying to stay strong and race the hills.  I'm not really worried about the field." O'Keeffe, the Marathon Trials winner, was excited to race here tomorrow but decided to scratch to protect her training for Paris. "It's really exciting just to be here supporting the event and women's running," said O'Keeffe.  She continued: "Actually, I'm not going to line up tomorrow.  I  have a tight right calf coming off of a big long run workout last weekend.  So, I don't want to take any risks.  I'm bummed to miss the race.  It's such a strong field; I was really excited about it.  But, just trying to make smart calls knowing that it's a long build to Paris." The race's reigning champion, Senbere Teferi, hopes to defend her title.  Last year she won the final sprint over reigning Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya (the pair clocked 30:12 and 30:19, respectively).  Teferi's mark was an event record. "Until the very end I was trusting in God that I could win, that I could beat her," Teferi told Race Results Weekly last year.  "I knew that Hellen had a stronger kick than me.  We were both kind of tired and had been competitive throughout.  But as we approached the end I was just thinking, if she comes let her come.  I just have to go for it." Teferi's strongest competition this year is likely to come from two Kenyans, Sheila Chepkirui and Sharon Lokedi.  Chepkirui has a sizzling personal best of 29:46, and Lokedi was the runner-up at this year's Boston Marathon.  Also with their eyes on the podium are Mexico's Laura Galvan, third at last year's Mini in 31:14, and former USA marathon record holder Keira D'Amato, who was fifth here last year in 31:23. The sentimental favorite for the podium is Kenya's Edna Kiplagat.  Kiplagat, 44, won the race 12 years ago and has been in great form this year.  She finished third at last April's Boston Marathon in 2:23:31 and, since turning 40 in 2019, has a 10K best of 32:09.  She finished ninth here last year in 32:17. The Mini will be broadcast LIVE and free, both on the web and over-the-air television.  Watch instructions are here. The pro race begins at 8:00 a.m. EDT, while the coverage show starts an hour earlier at 7:00 a.m. PHOTO: Reigning Mastercard New York Mini 10K champion and course record holder Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
In Debut, D'Amato Wins Delightful Run For Women 5K
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved ALBANY (01-Jun) -- As expected, former USA marathon record holder Keira D'Amato won today's 46th Delightful Run for Women 5-K in 15:41, but not without a fight.  The 39 year-old from Midlothian, Virginia led from gun to tape, but the entire way she was shadowed by three athletes from the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project --Amy Davis-Green, Jessie Cardin, and Anne-Marie Blaney-- who kept it close.  D'Amato tried to stay cool and stick with her plan, but there was an unexpected wrinkle. "The plan was to go out and run every mile faster," D'Amato told Race Results Weekly.  "Somewhere in the first mile I tweaked something, kind of in my upper (left) quad.  I was like, OK, I'm going to have to just chill and conserve so I can kick.  I wasn't planning on kicking so hard, but these women were on my heels pushing me." D'Amato split the first mile just past the entrance to Washington Park in Downtown Albany (which is mostly uphill) in 5:15.  The Davis-Green/Cardin/Blaney group was three seconds behind.  They were running close together, supporting each other. "I think for Anne-Marie, Jess and I it was all just to work together," Davis-Green said.  "Keira, just going out in the front knowing how great of a runner she is, I think we were like, as long as we don't lose contact with her we're going to be able to run really fast." The race's second mile is a bit of a roller coaster, going down, up, and down again with several turns.  D'Amato didn't have time to notice the park's lovely evergreens and tranquil lake as she covered the second mile in 5:09.  Her three-second gap on the Hansons-Brooks team stayed the same, but she was concerned about her leg, despite the extra steps she took to get ready for such a short, fast race. "I did a longer warm-up, I did much longer strides and sprints and I got myself ready to run fast right from the gun," D'Amato said.  "My body doesn't move that quick anymore without getting warmed up, so I definitely have to respect that." As athletes exited the park, and turned right for the long --and ultimately downhill-- straightaway to the finish on Washington Avenue, Blaney had drifted back into fourth place leaving Davis-Green and Cardin to chase D'Amato.  Davis-Green dug deep and got within one second of D'Amato at the three-mile mark (15:16).  She thought, maybe I can catch her? "I was trying," said Davis-Green whose mother, Nan Doak-Davis, was the USATF 5000m champion in 1987 and 10,000m champion in 1989.  "I've been trying to work on my closing speed.  It was so fun having somebody to chase down, and just practice that." In the end, D'Amato put four seconds on Davis-Green, who had to settle for second in 15:45, eight seconds faster than her mother ran here in 1989 when she finished third.  Cardin, a marathoner like D'Amato, got third in 15:51, and Blaney --who was third here last year-- finished fourth in 15:57.  D'Amato earned $3,000 in prize money today, and $2,500 went to Davis-Green, $2,000 to Cardin and $1,500 to Blaney.  Overall, the race will pay out $24,050 in prize money to both individuals and teams. Before the race D'Amato said how much she had always wanted to run this race, formerly called the Freihofer's Run For Women, but could never fit it into her schedule.  She said she was delighted to join the other 2091 women who had started here today on a picture-perfect, sunny morning. "I finished strong; it was a fun race," D'Amato said.  "I loved being in a run for women.  It's so important for our sport to continue empowering, to give women the opportunity to participate in stuff like this.  When we came in and registered they gave us a loaf of bread and some cookies from Sara Lee and the Delightful brand, and I was sold on the race ever since." PHOTO: Keira D'Amato wins the 2024 Delightful Run for Women 5-K in Albany, N.Y. in 15:41 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
D'Amato To Make Delightful Run For Women Debut On Saturday
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. (29-May) -- Even elite athletes have bucket list races, and for former USA marathon record holder Keira D'Amato the Delightful Run For Women (formerly the Freihofer's Run for Women) has been high on her list.  The 39 year-old D'Amato has wanted to do that classic all-women's 5-K in Albany, N.Y., for years, and this Saturday she'll be on the starting line for the first time.  It will be the 46th edition of the race which was founded in 1979. "I am so excited," D'Amato told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview from her home in Virginia.  "I've had this race on my radar for years."  She continued: "I've always wanted to do it and it finally worked out this year." D'Amato, who dropped out of the 2024 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon last February after 20 miles, is using the Delightful Run as part of her preparations for the USA Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field next month in Eugene, Ore., where she'll run the 10,000m.  She and coach Scott Raczko had already planned for her to do a fast three miles this weekend, and D'Amato thought that doing it in a race would provide her with an extra level of motivation. "I was going to have to do, like, a quick three miles this weekend," D'Amato explained.  "So, it's really easy to substitute that for a race because that would have mirrored what I would have simulated in training.  To me, it's much more fun to do it in a race."  She added: "Training has been going well, workouts have been going well.  I feel like my speed has been coming back."   Moreover, D'Amato would love to get a win.  She hasn't won a race since last October when she won the Abbott Chicago 5-K --held the weekend of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon-- in 15:51. "This year I don't have a lot of wins under my belt," D'Amato observed.  "My coach and I were like, Keira, you're having the most fun when you're racing.  I think going to a race and just competing, and getting back to the core of what I love about running, I think that would be really good for the season." D'Amato is coming off a DNF at the Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs in London 11 days ago.  She had hoped to hit the Olympic Games qualifying standard of 30:40.00, or at least run well enough to raise her ranking in the World Athletics points system.  However, the conditions weren't to her liking, and about three quarters of the way through the race she decided to step off the track. "It was warm and it was humid and I realized about four miles in that I wasn't going to hit the time I was going for, and it wouldn't help my ranking," D'Amato said.  "To be really honest, track is a lot harder on my body than the roads.  It takes me a lot longer to recover from a track race than a road race.  When I realized I wasn't hitting the time I wasn't going to risk something going wrong with my body.  I really thought I was in shape to hit the Olympic standard." The Delightful Run for Women should also help D'Amato sharpen up for the Mastercard New York Mini 10-K which takes place in New York City a week later.  D'Amato will face a loaded field there, including the 2024 USA Olympic Marathon team of Fiona O'Keeffe, Emily Sisson and Dakotah Lindwurm. "Before a fast 10-K next week, hopefully running something a little bit faster this weekend will just help my body get ready to go out hard in that 10-K," she said. Looking ahead to the race in Albany --where her top competitors will be Anne-Marie Blaney, Jessie Cardin, and Amy Davis-Green of the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project-- D'Amato has studied the fast, out-and-back course.  The overall event record is 15:12 by Kenya's Emily Chebet set in 2010, and the fastest time ever by an American is 15:25 by Marla Runyan in 2003.  The race had served as the USATF 5-K Championships for women from 1993 through 2004. "I've seen that you kind of climb a hill, run around a lake, and climb back down," said D'Amato, who delivered that line like a stand-up comic.  "It seems like a course where experience running it will be helpful.  I'll go around Friday and run it just to make sure I know what I'm doing."   PHOTO: Keira D'Amato finishing fifth at the 2023 Mastercard New York Mini 10-K in 31:23 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)