The TEN — Another AR For Alicia Monson

Late entry McColgan pulled away for the win over Monson 30:00.86–30:03.82 in a battle of national records. (BILL LEUNG)

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA, March 04 — Not only have the swallows long come back to Capistrano every March, now so also do runners who are looking for a good, fast race to help them in their preparations for the upcoming season.

Conditions were ideal for this year’s Sound Running 10,000s, with temperatures in the mid-to- low 50s and little wind in the Orange County enclave. For those in need of qualifying marks, this was the place to be as the marquee races provided scintillating finishes and a slew of PRs and national records.

The Women’s Win Goes To McColgan

Something was in the air as the women lined up for their turn on the JSerra HS track. A last-minute decision by Eilish McColgan to return to San Juan Capistrano as she prepped for her marathon debut in London next month spurred the interest of everyone.

The Briton’s decision was so last-minute that there wasn’t time to have a bib printed with her name. Alicia Monson, meanwhile, had been very active, most notably with her 8:25.05 American Record at the Millrose Games.

From the get-go, it was the Eilish/Alicia show. Pacesetters Eleanor Fulton and Josette Andrews were charged with taking the leaders through 72-second circuits, which would net a 30:00 result.

Fulton pulled the frontrunners through 2000 in 6:02 before stepping off after 6½ laps and having Andrews take over. Andrews continued the spot-on pacing, crossing 3000 in 9:05 with Monson and McColgan in tow.

Andrews stayed on pace through 5000, passing the halfway mark in 15:08 and leaving the rest of the race up to her OAC teammate Monson to carry the load for the second half as she tried to distance herself from McColgan.

Monson had no choice but to keep the pressure on McColgan, as the Commonwealth champ would not be broken. With 8 laps remaining Monson stepped the pace up from 72 laps to 71, but McColgan stayed on her heels.

Monson and McColgan passed 9K in 27:09, meaning they had run their last 4 kilo splits in 3:02, 3:00, 3:00 and 2:59.

At the bell, Monson increased the tempo, but McColgan stayed behind her until she unleashed her kick. She blew by the American with 250 to go and lengthened her lead with every stride. Her 65.3 final lap stopped the clock at 30:00.86, not only breaking her personal best by 19 seconds, but also toppling Paula Radcliffe’s British Record of 30:01.09 that had stood since ’02.

Monson finished 2.96 back in 30:03.82, smashing Molly Huddle’s 30:13.17 from ’16. Elly Henes took 3rd in her 10,000 debut in 30:48.26 just in front of Natosha Rogers’ PR 30:48.69.

McColgan and Monson’s finishing times were quick. Aside from covering their final 4 laps in 4:39 and 4:42, respectively, they were well inside the WC Q-standard of 30:40.00. In fact, McColgan ran her final 5000 in approximately 14:53, with Monson finishing in 14:56, both of which would have been inside the 5000 standard of 14:57.00.

When asked about how she felt coming into the race, McColgan said, “Yeah, I think a lot of people thought I was a bit of an underdog today and, so yeah, it’s nice to come here. Huge PB, I don’t know what I ran, I’m just so happy.

“Yeah, I suppose I’m building up for London Marathon, so I’ve had a few niggles, so I missed my like sort of prep races in January, I missed a half-marathon in February, so I pushed everything back. When this opportunity came up, I was like, ‘Do I do it? Am I gonna have the legs for a 10K?’ but I’m really strong right now and I think I showed it tonight, so I’m glad I did it.”

Women’s 10,000

1. Eilish McColgan’ (GB) 30:00.86 NR (11, 15 W);

2. Alicia Monson (OAC) 30:03.82 AR (old AR 30:13.17 Molly Huddle [Sauc] ’16) (13, 18 W);

3. Elly Henes (adi) 30:48.26 PR (6, 11 A); 4. Natosha Rogers (Puma) 30:48.69 PR (7, 12 A); 5. Fiona O’Keeffe (Puma) 30:55.05 PR (10, x A);

6. Laura Galván’ (Mex) 31:04.08 NR; 7. Dominique Scott Efurd’ (SA) 31:14.00; 8. Carrie Verdon (TmBou) 31:52.94; 9. Susanna Sullivan (unat) 31:55.80 PR; 10. Amy Davis (HansB) 32:10.59.

A PR For Woody Kincaid

A lineup that included Woody Kincaid, Joe Klecker, Connor Mantz, Sam Chelanga, Emmanuel Bor, Switzerland’s Jonas Raess, Japan’s Ren Tazawa, Germany’s Nils Voigt and Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva ensured that the race would not be slack, with the likes of Amon Kemboi, Athanas Kioko and Olli Hoare setting the pace.

Laps in the 65/66 range kept the field tight, but in single file through 3K, with Kemboi, Kioko and Hoare leading the way. Kioko and Hoare took everyone through halfway in 13:36 before Kioko eased off his pacing duties, only to slide back a few spots and continue the run with the main pack behind Hoare, Klecker, Tazawa, Mantz and Kincaid and followed by Grijalva and Bor.

The pack thinned even more by 6K and at 6400 Hoare — fresh from the World XC — stepped away and left Klecker, Tazawa, Mantz and Kincaid to fight it out.

With 8 laps left, Klecker and Kincaid separated from Tazawa and Mantz. The pair extended their lead and crossed 8K in 21:47, with Kincaid staying behind Klecker patiently waiting for his moment to pounce. Mantz and Tazawa were 4 seconds back, with Kioko back another 5.

Kincaid couldn’t wait any longer and passed Klecker with 900 to go. Klecker didn’t shrink and stayed a step behind on the penultimate lap as they headed for the bell.

Both picked up the pace significantly down the backstretch, but Kincaid seemed to have more zip in his legs and as they hit the homestretch he started to pull away from Klecker. Kincaid last 400 was 56.5, but even more impressive was his 26.8 final 200, as he finished in 27:06.37 to Klecker’s PR 27:07.57.

The race for 3rd was just as exciting as Kioko put on a huge kick himself. The pacesetter finished in 27:23.84 compared to Mantz’s 27:25.30 and Raess’s 27:26.40.

Men’s 10,000

1. Woody Kincaid (Nike) 27:06.37 PR (5, 6 A); 2. Joe Klecker (OAC) 27:07.57 PR (7, 8 A);

3. Athanas Kioko’ (Ken) 27:23.84 PR; 4. Conner Mantz (Nike) 27:25.30; 5. Jonas Raess’ (Swi) 27:26.40 PR; 6. Ren Tazawa’ (Jpn) 27:28.04; 7. Nils Voigt’ (Ger) 27:30.01 PR; 8. Samuel Chelanga (USAr) 27:38.02; 9. Luis Grijalva’ (Gua) 27:42.56 NR; 10. Alex Masai’ (Ken) 27:42.80 PR; 11. Wesley Kiptoo’ (Ken) 27:45.81; 12. Ben Flanagan’ (Can) 27:49.67; 13. Kanta Shimizu’ (Jpn) 27:51.23; 14. Benjamin Eidenschink (unat) 27:51.74 PR; 15. Tatsuhiko Ito’ (Jpn) 27:54.64; 16. Aaron Bienenfeld’ (Ger) 27:55.96 PR; 17. Ahmed Muhumed (unat) 27:56.99 PR.