BOSTON— The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) hosted a full slate of events on Saturday, One Boston Day.
FAST FINISHES HIGHLIGHT B.A.A. 5K & B.A.A. INVITATIONAL MILE
Two course records, a battle of two world medalists and a phenomenal finish that saw the top 11 men finish within five seconds of each other highlighted the 2023 BAA 5K presented by Point32Health on Saturday.
The international field of professional athletes in the 13th annual 5K kicked off a morning that featured nearly 10,000 entrants in the 3.1-mile race, followed by the B.A.A. Invitational Mile, three laps around Boston’s Back Bay that finished at the Boston Marathon finish line.
In the 5K, five-time Boston Marathon winner Marcel Hug (9:52) of Switzerland and American Susannah Scaroni (11:10), the reigning Paralympic gold medalist at 5000 meters, both set new course records with their wins in the wheelchair division in a tune-up for Monday’s Marathon.
Professional Open Races Come Down To Wire
They were soon followed across the finish line in the men’s open division by Morgan Beadlescomb, a 24-year-old running his first 5K as a professional after an All-American career at Michigan State. As a pack that included more than a dozen contenders turned the final corner, about 200 meters from the finish, Beadlescomb made his move, taking the victory in 13:35 – just one second ahead of his training mate, Canada’s Ben Flanagan (13:36). Winning the kick for third was Edwin Kurgat of Kenya (13:37) – with three other athletes recording the same time.
Asked after his wild victory what position he was in just before that last turn, Beadlescomb said he wasn’t sure. “Between second and tenth,” he replied.
The women’s race came down to Mekides Abebe of Ethiopia, the 2022 World Championships bronze medalist in the 3000-meter steeplechase, and Agnes Ngetich of Kenya, who won her bronze medal in the 2023 World Cross Country Championships. Abebe was able to outkick Ngetich for the win, 15:01 to 15:02. First prize in the men’s and women’s open race was $7500.
Top American honors in the women’s 5K went to Annie Rodenfels, third in 15:12. Last year Rodenfels won the B.A.A. Invitational Mile.
“I feel like I always run well here,” said the 26-year-old, who runs for the B.A.A. High Performance Team. “I live in Boston, it’s Marathon weekend.”
In the women’s professional mile, Krissy Gear broke from the lead pack midway through the last lap knowing that in “a field of just absolutely amazing women, if I didn’t make a fearless move I had no chance. I just wanted to give myself that best chance that I could.”
Gear, a member of the 2022 NCAA Indoor Distance Medley National Champions out of the University of Arkansas, went on to take her first pro victory in 4:39.98. Great Britain’s Lizzie Bird (4:42.37) won a duel for second over Susan Ejore of Kenya (4:42:57).
Breaking the tape in the men’s professional mile (4:07.91) was American Hobbs Kessler, a 20-year-old in his second year as a professional and a Very Nice Track Club teammate of both the 5K winner and runner-up. Also still part of that group is five-time Olympian Nick Willis, a three-time winner of this race.
“I talked to my coach and my training partners, and they said that everyone who’s won this race in the last 10 years is the first person going into the second-last corner, every time,” Kessler said.
Finishing second were Americans Casey Comber (4:08.27) and Johnny Gregorek (4:09.19)
“I just didn’t quite take the second turn tight enough, and he just got right inside, gave me a nice little shoulder,” said Comber. “It was a good race move by him. But hey, it’s a nice opening run. Great spectator course coming around multiple times, loud announcer in the stands. I know it’s a special weekend in Boston so it’s a cool thing to be part of.”
In the high school miles, which featured two runners from each of the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon course, Brian Gamble of Boston triumphed for the boys in 4:27.83, followed by Declan Mulligan of Brookline (4:38.83) and Alex Hrycyszyn of Newton (4:39.59). In the girls’ race, Amelia Everett (5:10.85) and Ciara Evans (5:15:30) went 1-2 for Newton, with Sasha Lamakina of Framingham (5:24.35) rounding out the podium.
The boys middle school 1K was won by Luca Domestico of Ashland (3:00.53); the girls’ victory went to Adelle Dupere of Newton (3:22.04).
FINISH LINE DEDICATED IN ONE BOSTON DAY CEREMONY
The City of Boston and the B.A.A. honored April 15, 2013 and One Boston Day, at a special ceremony on Boylston Street, marking ten years since the tragic events on Boylston Street. Community leaders, runners, and those who were closely affected in 2013 took part in the event. A quintet from the Boston Pops and members of the Boston City Singers Tour Choir performed, followed by a dedication reading by 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi.
NEXT GENERATION OF RUNNERS TAKE TO STREETS AT B.A.A. RELAY CHALLENGE
Middle schools and youth programs from around Greater Boston gathered for the B.A.A. Relay Challenge. In the culmination of a month-long program taught by volunteer coaches, the relay challenge featured students racing in relays and learning running tips from B.A.A. athletes and coaches.