So it goes…as novelist Kurt Vonnegut might say…
The back story is this.
Since May 1, I have been in Oregon. I drove from San Jose, California, where I went to high school (Bellarmine) and college (Santa Clara).
My girlfriend, Kathy, and I are visiting Oregon for the month. We are here to cover track meets, and see family.
We have been from Central Point, Oregon to Eugene, Oregon to worship at the altar of the new Hayward Field, and then to Portland. After two weeks away from Portlandia, we are back, now visiting Tracklandia, that special little place where amazing track performance happens and athletes feel loved and respected.
Now, get to May 28. We begin our 4-hour drive to Portland, Oregon, two hours late. Due to Memorial day traffic, it takes 5 and one-half hours. I am posting photos from Doha, answering emails, and taking business calls while K is tooling down the highway. Kathy is a fast driver, but also a very good one. Only two nail-biting moments which I will not discuss here. I believe that K may be related to a car racing family with an Italian name, but who knows?
We get to Lewis and Clark just after Mason Ferlic has done his damage in the steeple. And now comes the 10,000m events….
The 10,000 meters is an challenging race, and a worthy adversary. 25 laps on the track, it is a living, breathing, chess game with big wins and big losses based on how you pace it, and how you finish.
I first ran the 10,000m in July 1976 at an all comers meet at West Valley in Saratoga, CA. Homer Latimer, the long time and legendary coach at Leigh High School (San Jose, CA) had won in 32:11. Danny Grimes, a long time buddy, was the first high schooler in 33:53. Bob Lucas, my best buddy, was second high schooler in 35:55. I was third in 36:48. That I had taken third in a high school mile the hour before was merely a warm up. I loved the 10,000m from that moment on.
Now, back from the digression, here’s my take on the 10,000m events at Portland Track Classic.
Men’s 10,000m: Osaku just does it twice, Galen gives it his best…
Women’s 10,000m: Molly Siedel likes an extra challenge
Caroline Kipkurui of TSC Kenya won the 10,000m in 31:44.06. Risper Gesawbwa competes for Mexico (she was born in Ethiopia, check out her file on (https://ujenafitclub.com/profile.php/risper_gesabwa) was second in 31:48.07.
This story will concern the day of one Molly Seidel. Molly Seidel made the U.S. Olympic marathon team on Feb. 29, 2020 while debutting in her first marathon. Seidel, a Notre Dame graduate, and NCAA champion, had battled the with various demons in her career, from nutritional to injury based. Honest, thoughtful and open, Molly was sponsored by PUMA running after turning down a contract extension by her former sponsor, and PUMA supported her desire to educate and champion women’s causes. Her running has been going well, quite well since then.
My only time watching Molly was observing her a couple years ago at the Payton Jordan where she won the 10,000m B heat in her training shoes, coming back from another bout of injuries. Via social media, she has a fun relationship with her family and fans.
Seeing her take third in the 10,000m, and qualifying for the Olympic Trials at 32:02, I was pleased. Then I saw that she had done a 5 mile tempo at 5:19 mile pace just an hour and 30 minutes prior to the 10,000m at PDX got me to thinking: had Molly just done her own bespoke Shigaru Osaka session (run two 10,000m efforts in one day) on her own.
Molly obviously was preparing for her upcoming Olympic marathon. This woman is tough.
Molly Seidel (@ByGollyMolly12) banging out a 5 mile tempo @ 5:19 pace 90 minutes before 32:02 10k at Portland Track Festival belongs in the Strava hall of fame #PortlandTrack pic.twitter.com/xCfVXafcnb
— Johanna Gretschel (@jojo_shea) May 29, 2021
Five women made the US Olympic Trials standard for 10,000m of 32:25.00. In fourth was Makenna Myler of the Run Elite Track Club ran 32:03.62 and in fifth, Lauren Hurley of Tinman Track Club ran 32:17.22. In the sixth, just 3 seconds off the standard, Jaci Smith, of the U.S. Air Force ran 32:28.98.
The 10,000m at a championship is about going slow until half way, then, running an ungodly fast lat 5000m, with a swift last 4 laps and then kicking like mad.
Another thing about the 10,000m on the track, this is not a 10k on the roads. You can consider the chirping birds as you run down the roads, or up and down hills in a 10k, in the 10,000m, there is the idea of concentration and also, some anxiety.
Big-name marathoners, including Galen Rupp, Suguru Osako and Molly Seidel, crashed the party at last night’s Portland Track Festival. My story: https://t.co/2GDBQHssCp
— Ken Goe (@KenGoe) May 29, 2021
Caroline Kipkirui wins the Portland Track Festival 10,000m in 31:44.06, Risper Gesabwa is second in a personal best. Molly Seidel, Makenna Myler, and Lauren Hurley all qualify for the Olympic Trials. Myler has a 7-month-old baby, and Hurley has a 10-month-old! pic.twitter.com/KLU5U1PMn5
— Fast Women (@fast_women) May 29, 2021