Some thoughts on the 10,000 meters, by Larry Eder

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Ritzenhein-Rupp1-USA09.jpg

On Thursday night, the crowd of 8600 people were treated to two excellent 10,000 meter runs. On the women's side, Amy Bagley won the 10,000 meters, after sharing pacing chores with Shalane Flanagan, until the last lap.

On the men's side, Dathan Ritzenhein used a tactic similar to Carlos Lopes in the 1976 Olympic 10,000 meters, to break the field. Dathan took the pace at 4,000 meters, and with some help from James Carney, led for most of the race, until Galen Rupp, the Mayor of Eugene, Oregon, took control with five hundred meters to go!

Two fascinating races...here is how we saw them.....

Dathan Ritzenhein breaking up the pack, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Women's 10,000 meters: Amy Yoder Begley has arrived!

Amy Begley is a very, very tough runner. Shalane Flanagan is also quite tough, and owns the US records at 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and the 3k, and 5k indoors. On a cool, windy night, Amy Begley and Shalane Flanagan traded off 800 meters, in the twenty five lap race around Hayward Field.

Running 75-77s most of the way, the leaders, which included Amy Begley, Shalane Flanagan, Katie McGregor and Magdelena Lewy Boulet, broke away from the second pack, lead by Molly Huddle and Amy Hastings. By the halfway, which Begley and Flanagan hit in 15:51, the race had broken into four packs.

Amy Begley has the upper body of a swimmer. Her strength is her strength. In this race, Amy did her race according to plan. " I thought I was ready for a 31:20-31:30 race. Jerry and Alberto had us work together.I was comfortable and confident the whole time." noted Amy after the race.

For Begley and Flanagan, their pacing was tough, but it was tougher on the runners behind them.Katie McGregor was running a very good race, as Magdelena Lewy Boulet, who was running one of the best 10,000 meter runs of her career, was slowly falling back. Molly Huddle, who was running in no women's land, was running a gutty race, by herself, talking herself into a strong performance.

The race up front was fast. The first half had taken 15:51, the second half would take 15:31!

The crowd was cheering during the race, and the pace increased over the last four laps, as the penultimate lap was run in 70 and the race was on. Shalane Flanagan made her run for the front, but Amy Bagley was not to be beat. It was not that Shalane gave up, as she fought the whole way. It was just Amy Bagley's day, as she ran a 67.2 last lap and won in 31:22.69, to Shalane Flanagan's 31;23.43, both under Shalane's previous Hayward Field record of 31:34.81.

"It was amazing to run at Hayward. The bonus was the Hayward Field record...It was a different experience than the Trials, it did not feel so big this year."

Shalane Flanagan, who just changed coaches to Jerry Schumacher, part of the Oregon Project, with Alberto, had this to say: " It was a bittersweet race. I am a competitive athlete, I want to win." And Shalane will win, again.

But this was Amy Yoder Begley's night, and she accomplished it with hard work, guts, and the desire to win.

It should be noted, that one of her biggest cheerleaders was Kara Goucher, who was running the 5,000 meters the next night. Kara was very happy for her teammate, and it made the night all the more magical.

Katie McGregor, who finished in third place this year, moved up one spot from 2008, and should be racing in Berlin. Katie ran 32:08.04 to make the team.

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Women 10000 Meter Run
================================================================
2 alleys, 1 turn stagger
World: W 29:31.78 9/8/1993 Junxia Wang, CHN
American: A 30:22.22 8/15/2008 Shalane Flanagan, Nike
Hayward: S 31:34.81 2008 Shalene Flanagan, USA
Name Year Team Finals
================================================================
Finals
1 Amy Begley Nike 31:22.69S
2 Shalane Flanagan Nike 31:23.43S
3 Katie McGregor Reebok 32:08.04
4 Magdalena Lewy Boulet unattached 32:20.45
5 Molly Huddle unattached 32:43.11
6 Amy Hastings adidas 32:56.20
7 Serena Burla RIADHA 32:56.40
8 Melissa Cook New Balance 33:02.90
9 Sally Meyerhoff unattached 33:03.19
10 Allison Grace ZAP Fitness 33:12.34
11 Katherine Newberry N Y A C 33:21.56
12 Jill Steffens New Balance 33:27.43
13 Kara Storage RUNOHIO R T 33:27.75
14 Melissa White Hansons-Brooks D P 33:34.64
15 Erin Nehus unattached 33:37.76
16 Tara Storage RUNOHIO R T 33:39.57
17 Danielle Domenichelli unattached 33:41.72
18 Catherine White Arkansas 33:42.55
19 Mattie Bridgmon Oregon 34:10.51
20 Clara Grandt West Virginia 34:13.76
21 Alissa McKaig ZAP Fitness 35:41.80
22 Aileen Conlon Nike Central Pk 35:51.52
-- Wendi Robinson Indiana DNF

Men's 10,000 meters-The Mayor of Eugene, Oregon is...Galen Rupp

The men's 10,000 meter race was the last race that Galen Rupp would run in a Duck uniform at Hayward Field. The race was also the first race that Dathan Ritzenhein would run, on his own, before he joins the Oregon project and is coached by Alberto Salazar. Add to that two other interesting runners: one, James Carney, one of our most talented distance runners, who has run 27:43, and Tim Nelson, who has run 27:36, and is training with Jerry Schumacher (we will now call the Wisconsin connection, Jerry's Kids).

Abdi Abdirhaman, as is his want, went out hard, and pushed the pace, with James Carney, Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Meb Keflizighi in tow. Jorge Torres, the third Olympic Trials finisher, was about ninth.

The pace was strong, but not suicidal, but the wind, which was very tough on the backstretch, and the pace, took its toll. James Carney lead early on, looking very good, after Abdi Adirhaman had lead, and slowly moved back. Galen Rupp, and Dathan Ritzenhein were right behind Carney at this time.

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About 4,000 meters, Dathan Ritzenhein began to show his cards. He took the lead, and upped the pace, with Rupp on his shoulder, Carney next and Tim Nelson right behind. Ed Moran and Meb Keflizighi were there as well. Meb was looking good, considering his six weeks or so of good training. He looked strong and fit.

Dathan was relentless, " I did not mind leading. I wanted to break up the pack, and I was confident as my workouts had been going well. " noted Dathan after the race.

The 5,000 meters was hit by the leaders in 13:56, and Dathan continued to lead. Ritzenhein was pushing the front straight, maintaining on the back straight as Galen Rupp floated, and James Carney would come up, every few laps to lead for a bit.
" I think that Dathan just wanted someone to help with the lead," noted James Carney afterwards. In the front pack, were Ritz, Rupp, Carney, Josh Rohatinsky, Tim Nelson, Ed Moran, but the pace was taking its toll.

The last twelve laps were a strong pace, with Ritzenhein and Rupp breaking off from fist Carney, then Nelson. Tim Nelson, who told us later, " I am new to this stage..the race was surreal, I was hanging on for dear life, and each lap, my coach was telling me to be careful of James Carney."

James Carney was running strong in fourth, he had made up some distance on Nelson, and one could see that Tim was in some distress. There were times when he seemed to be closing his eyes, taking it one lap at a time.

So, with Ritzenhein and Rupp breaking away, the battle for the title was down to two. Nelson and Carney were close enough over the last four laps to make it a real battle for third place.

Dathan Ritzenhein made this race. His long, long run for home, reminiscent of Carlos Lopes attempt to run away from Lasse Viren in the 1976 Olympic 10,000 meters, was mesmerizing to watch. Less than a year ago, Dathan was running the Olympic marathon in Beijing, and now, back on the track.

The race came down to the last five hundred meters, when Galen Rupp took off, " It was a great day, I am still high from the race. It was great to win at home, it was a great win for the Ducks ad it was my last time running for the University of Oregon."

Galen ran his last lap, in just about 62 seconds. His form is relaxed, but do not miss his speed. " Galen Rupp has the ability to change gears, the young man is quite impressive, he has the finish to run a four minute mile to the finish. It may look relaxed, but the young man can finish very fast, " noted 1972 Olympic bronze medalist at the 5,000 meters, Ian Stewart.

Galen won his first US title in 27:52.53. Dathan Ritzenhein was second in 27:58.59. Tim Nelson did hold on for third in 28:01.34, and James Carney finished fourth in 28:13.37.

For James Carney, " this race showed how good of shape I am in, and I will find some more races". In fith place was Ed Moran, who ran 28:34.54, and a returning to fitness Meb Keflizighi, who ran 28:35.79. After wards, Coach Larson told us that " Meb ran well for six kilometers, a few more weeks and he would be racing well at 10 kilometers."

My final observation is that, in the men and women's 10,000 meters teams, five of the runners are from, are will be part of the Oregon Project. The Oregon Project, with Jerry Schumacher and Alberto Salazar's training groups, give these you ng men and women access to the best training equipment, and coaching, so that the athletes can focus on being better athletes.

Alberto Salazar, at the TAFWA breakfast on Friday noted that he had made two goals for his present life, one was to help restore Oregon Ducks to their past level in athletics. Alberto thanked Vinn Lannana and his team for doing that. He also wanted to help return American distance running to a strong level. He noted, " Terrance Mahon, Brooks-Hanson, various US training groups, all are working to make our sport better in the US. I am really, really excited about our prospects. I also want to thank Nike to supporting my efforts. I think that coaches should focus on six to seven athletes. I am so happy with Jerry Schumacher, and I hope to convince Nike to sponsor a few more coaches, with a few more athletes. We will contend for Olympic medals."

What does the Oregon project prove? That Americans, can contend, once again on the world stage...this night showed that as well...

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All photos by PhotoRun.net.

Men 10000 Meter Run
===============================================================
Final Only
World: W 26:17.53 8/26/2005 Kenenisa Bekele, ETH
American: A 27:13.98 5/4/2001 Meb Keflezighi, Nike
Hayward: S 26:25.97 2008 Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia
Name Year Team Finals
===============================================================
Finals
1 Galen Rupp Oregon 27:52.53
2 Dathan Ritzenhein Nike 27:58.59
3 Tim Nelson Oregon TC Elite 28:01.34
4 James Carney New Balance 28:13.37
5 Edward Moran Nike 28:34.54
6 Meb Keflezighi Nike 28:35.49
7 Patrick Smyth unattached 28:35.70
8 Abdi Abdirahman Nike 28:35.79
9 Jorge Torres Reebok 28:42.13
10 Forest Braden Brooks ID / Brooks 28:43.98
11 Josh Rohatinsky Nike 28:46.65
12 Seth Pilkington New Balance 28:50.86
13 Joshua Moen Team USA Min/Str 28:57.31
14 Jeremy Johnson Team Indiana/Brk 29:02.64
15 Charlie Serrano unattached 29:04.63
16 Luke Puskedra Oregon 29:11.32
17 Lucas Meyer Boston A A 29:14.08
18 James Strang Arkansas 29:17.96
19 Juan Carlos Trujillo unattached 29:31.01
20 Michael Kilburg Hansons-Brooks D P 29:48.14
21 David Jankowski Hansons-Brooks D P 30:15.82
-- Sean Houseworth unattached DNF
-- Scott Bauhs adidas DNF
-- Edwardo Torres Reebok DNF
-- Mikhail Sayenko unattached DNF
-- Michael Krisch Georgetown DNF

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