Lauren Fleshman wins 5,000 meter, "That was Balls!", by Larry Eder

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Lauren Fleshman, USA Outdoor 5,000 meters, June 25, 2010 photo
by PhotoRun.net.


Friday, June 25, 2010:

Just before heading over to the track on Friday afternoon, RBR said
hello to Lauren Fleshman, who looked radiant, and relaxed. She told
us that she was just happy to be here, and very thoughtfully, " it has
been a long time...."

Lauren had last won a U.S. champs in 2006, and in 2007, just missed making
the squad with a panic attack, finishing a gutsy 4th. In 2008 to now, Lauren
Fleshman endured the trials of Job. Now healthy, getting back into shape, and
now under the watchful eyes of OTC coach Mark Rowland, Lauren came to
Des Moines, 'hoping for a good race."

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Jenn Rhines takes the lead of the 5,000 meters....photo by PhotoRun.net

Championship distance races, in warm weather, are not regularly places
where fast times are run. The women's 10,000 meter on Thursday night
was epic because Blake Russell, Lisa Koll and Amy Begley put it all on the
line.

In the 5,000 meters, Olympian Jenn Rhines, whose pbs from the mile to the
marathon are world class, took off and built a sizable lead. Jennifer hit the
first lap in 74.9.  Rhines built up a 30 meter lead, by 800 meters, which Rhines
hit in 2:31.7. The following pack consisted of Molly Huddle, Jennifer
Barringer, Angela Bizzari, Liz Maloy and Rebecca Donaghue. Not much
changed, as Rhines took the field through 1,200 meters in 3:44, 1,600 meters
in 5:03.7, and 2,000 meters in 5:43.37.

Rhines continued to lead, knowing that this was, in this field of kickers, her
best shot at stealing the race. 2,400 meters was hit in 6:58.59, 2,800 meters
hit in 8:15.34, and 3,000 meters hit in 9;25.04, with Jenn Rhines running her
race, and the pack, seemingly using a collective brain that told them not to
move any closer....Barringer and Huddle were the lead followers, with Lauren
Fleshman who had moved up from six or seventh.

Rhines' lead was getting smaller, as she hit in 3,400 meters, in 10:38.89, then hit
the 3,800 meters in 11:53.54, hitting the 4,000 meter mark in 12:34. We were
beginning to think that Jenn Rhines might steal this race after all!  

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Jenn Rhines takes the lead, 600 meters to go! photo by PhotoRun.net.

While everyone expected Jenny Barringer or Molly Huddle, or Angela
Bizzari to make the move, it was Lauren Fleshman, the 2006 champion,
(remember her interview on Let's Run? or the Nike, Don't Objectify Me
ad)?

Lauren Fleshman took off like she knew what she was doing. Afterwards,
Lauren said, " I had dreamt of taking the lead from 600 to 200 meters out,".

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Molly Huddle sprints to second, USA 5,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Fleshman was running full out. Hitting the bell in 14;32.8, Fleshman continued
to sprint away, and no one was really following her! The pack was swallowing
Jenn Rhines, but it was Molly Huddle who went after Fleshman, making up
some distance with about 150 meters to go!

By that time, the speed of Fleshman's last quarter, in 66.9, had taken it's
toll. Lauren Fleshman won her second title, with only four years in between,
in 15:28.70!  Molly Huddle was second in 15:30.89, Jennifer Barringer
was third in 15:33.33, Jen Rhines was fourth in 15:35.71 and Angela
Bizzari was fifth in 15:39.81.
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Lauren Fleshman hits the finish! photo by PhotoRun.net.

Lauren has always been one of our favorites. She is does not suffer
fools, and she is devoted to her fans and the sport. When TV asked
her about her race, she noted, " That race was total balls!". Enough
said. Fleshman has endured the Trials of Job, the Trials of Miles and
Miles of Trials (if you have not read Once A Runner, then get it), and
she is back. We wish Lauren Fleshman the very best!




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