Leonard Korir and Sara Hall defend their national titles at the Faxon Law New Haven 20K
A few weeks ago, Leonard Korir became the first American man in three decades to win the Falmouth Road Race.
He’s still on a roll – on Monday, Korir pulled away after the third mile at the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race to win his third 20K USATF championship on a cooler than usual Labor Day in 59:06.
Korir, 32, of Colorado Springs won the race in 2016 and 2018 and was edged by Galen Rupp, an Olympic bronze and silver medalist, in 2017.
“I’m feeling very, very good,” Korir said. “I had a good race in Falmouth. That gave me motivation that my fitness is good, so I said, ‘Let me go again to this race and maybe push myself to know if I’m consistent.’”
Sara Hall of Flagstaff, Ariz., defended her women’s title, winning the 12.4-mile race in 1:06:47.
“It was so fun to be out here again,” said Hall, 36. “This race is really tough. Last year, I couldn’t even run marathon pace. It’s really encouraging to be able to run a good amount faster. I have my sister and her kids out there cheering, they live right on the course. That gave me a big boost.”
It wasn’t as humid as it usually is for the day of the annual race, with temperatures in the low 70s.
“Compared to last year, today was better,” Korir said. “It was just windy.”
Moath Alkhawaldeh of Amman, Jordan won the accompanying half-marathon (1:08:48) and Myriam Coulibaly of New York City was the women’s winner (1:31:33). Glastonbury’s Matthew Farrell won the 5K in 15:07 and Emily Stark of New Haven was the women’s winner (18:03).
Everett Hackett of Hartford was the top state finisher in the 20K (14th, 1:01:45) and Annmarie Tuxbury of New Hartford was the top female finisher (12th, 1:11:15).
Luke Puskedra, who retired from running competitively in the spring to open a real estate business in Eugene, Oregon but decided to come and run New Haven, and Parker Stinson, the national 25K record holder, led a large pack in the 20K early on but Korir took the lead after the pack went through the third mile in 14:11 and he just kept extending the lead.
“I saw them take off and it was like, ‘All right, I’ll see you guys,’” Puskedra said, laughing, who finished 23rd in 1:03:06.
Korir went through the halfway point in 29:21 and the trailing pack was over 30 seconds behind him but although he had a big lead, he was still not on pace for the race record (57:37 set by Khalid Khannouchi in 1998).
“It’s tough,” Korir said of the record. “You have to have good weather and no wind coming on your face.”
posted Monday September 2nd
by Lori Riley