Sara Hall was the winner at the New York Mini USA 10-K in Central Park
On a morning with near-perfect weather conditions in Central Park, Sara Hall won a thrilling battle for the USATF Women’s 10-K Championship, using a devastating kick to pull away from fellow Flagstaff, Arizona, resident Stephanie Bruce in the final 100 meters. The event was held as part of the 48th edition of the NYRR New York Mini 10-K, the longest-running women’s-only road race in the world.
Five minutes before the open race began, a field of 28 American professionals set out for the national title under comfortable temperatures (68F/20C) with moderate humidity and a slight breeze. Emma Bates, winner of U.S. titles in the marathon and 25-K in the past sixth months, took the early lead as the pack raced up Central Park West for the first mile (5:20), with Jordan Hasay and Carrie Dimoff a step behind.
As the race moved into the park a few minutes later, Bruce inserted herself just behind Bates, while Hall began to move up through the tightly-bunched group.
Shortly past 2 miles (10:28), a pack of five began to pull away, including Bates, Bruce, Hall, Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego. Laura Thweatt soon reconnected to the leaders and those six women climbed and descended the steep north hill in the park together through 3 miles (15:34) and 5-K (16:11). In the fourth, uphill mile Bates finally gave up the lead and appeared to be dropping back, with Thweatt and Kipyego taking turns controlling the pace.
“It was an honest pace the whole way. I couldn’t believe how fast we came through 5-K, which is mostly uphill,” Hall told Race Results Weekly. “There was always someone else would get in the lead and start pushing any time it slowed down.”
At the 4-mile mark (21:02) Bates had worked her way back into the mix, with Bruce and Thweatt now leading the group of six. Shortly past 8-K (26:02), the pack passed Sara’s husband and coach, Ryan Hall, cheering on the side of the course.
“I could tell she was relaxed,” the two-time Olympian said. “She smiled at me when she came past me. I was just telling her to collect herself on the downhill. When you’re at that point in the race, everyone is screaming at you and you have to just relax, take a deep breath, collect yourself for the finish.”
Moments later the 36-year-old Hall began a surge to the front, running side-by-side with Bruce, and Kipyego a stride back. With a little more than 400 meters to go, Kipyego lost contact as Bruce and Hall were powering uphill to the finish. At 6 miles (31:25) it was still tight, before Hall unleashed a powerful sprint over the final climb to the tape adjacent to Tavern on the Green (the same iconic finish line as the TCS New York City Marathon).
posted Saturday June 8th
by Richard Sands