Rematch from April's Historic Boston Marathon Set for B.A.A. 10-K
The inaugural B.A.A. 10-K is less than 48-hours away, and the field is shaping up to be deep at the top. Boston Marathon Champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel are back in the city where they earned victories two months ago, traveling the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston with ease. Runner-up Moses Mosop and third place finisher Gebre Gebremariam also return to the Bay State's capital city to compete.
Mutai comes to Boston following a training block in Eldoret, Kenya. Having only competed once since his record run of 2:03:02 --the fastest time ever recorded in a certified marathon-- the 29-year-old Mutai is ready to reenact the April race, he said, though at less than a quarter of the distance.
"For me, my training is going well. I have prepared myself and it is going well," said Mutai, sporting a bucket hat and adidas gray sweatshirt. "Maybe on Sunday, let's say if my body will be like the other time, I can see it will be amazing for me."
Running her first race since winning the 115th Boston Marathon will be Kilel, 30. The Kenyan veteran of fourteen marathons has traveled from her base in Kericho to take a shot at another podium.
When asked what her thoughts were on her Boston victory, Kilel responded with a smile and giggle.
"After Boston, because I ran my personal best 2:22, maybe next time I will try to run under 2:20 in Boston."
Runner-up Moses Mosop, who gave Mutai a run for his money down Boylston Street in April, is also entered. He is coming off of a pending world record run over 30,000m at the Prefontaine classic, where he also nabbed the 25,000m record en route. Coached by Renato Canova, Mosop's mindset seems to be in the right place.
"Boston changes the self confidence of many people," began Canova, speaking with a thick Italian accent. "There is no fear or fright of running faster, and it is possible to overtake the limit. What I can say is that the mind of Boston is different, the motivation is different now."
One of the brightest personalities in the sport of distance running, Gebre Gebremariam, is also entered in Sunday's race, which takes competitors through Boston's Back Bay.
Today was a special one for Mutai, Kilel, Mosop and Gebremariam, as they were all able to watch a television replay of themselves competing in the Boston Marathon, something none had seen before. The victors, Mutai and Kilel, enjoyed the video the most, asking if they could continue watching after the press roundtable had been completed.
Making his professional debut here will be Sam Chelanga, the 2011 NCAA Champion over 5,000m and holder of a 27:08.39 10,000m personal best. The 14-time All-American chose Boston for his debut because of the importance the city has to his heart.
"My love for Boston began in 2001 when my brother (Joshua Chelanga) ran his debut marathon there and finished third. When he returned home he brought me a John Hancock towel as a gift. A few years later, my good friend Robert Cheruiyot began his winning ways, four times crossing the line first on Boylston. One day, after a hard hill run, he pulled me aside and told me that I too could win in Boston someday. From that moment, I began to dream of Boston and the Boston Marathon," said Chelanga, 26, through a statement from Josh Cox, his representative. Chelanga soon will have family ties to Massachusetts: his fiancée, MaryBeth, and her family live in Plymouth, 30 miles Southeast of Boston.
"To begin my professional career on the streets of Boston really and truly is a dream come true. To top it off, I get to race the best guys in the world."
Joining him will be Shawn Forrest, a former NCAA standout at the University of Arkansas. Forrest, an Australian who lives in North Carolina, made a splash at last year's Beach To Beacon 10-K, where he set a personal best of 28:17. Kenya's Simon Ndirangu and Ireland's Martin Fagan are also entered.
The women's field features two Olympians and national record holders in Kim Smith and Benita Willis. Smith's last race in Massachusetts didn't turn out the way she had hoped, forced to drop out near 30-K at the Boston Marathon with a torn soleus. But now healthy, Smith recently finished sixth at the NYRR New York Mini 10-K in 32:32.
Willis, 32, has a road personal best of 31:17 at 10-K dating back to 2006, but has not shown her best form for several years. Ethiopia's Misiker Mekonnin Demissie and recent Providence College graduate Katie DiCamillo also hope to contend for the podium, while former USA 20-K champion Trina Painter will try for the masters title.
By Chris Lotsbom (c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved ; Used with permission