Just an update on the USATF 40km Championships from yesterday. Attached are the results. For the first time ever Shore AC swept places 1-4 In fact the ShoreAC team were the only finishers. The race was bitter sweet. 2012 Olympic 50km Champion Jared Tallent traveled over to race. Australia had extend their World Champs qualifying period until Midnight on June 30th just so Jared could take a shot at the 4:00 mark at our race. At the pre-race party Jared was relaxed. We presented him with a Shore AC Shirt and made him an honorary member of the club (by Elliott’s grace and request). We had A.J. Gruttadauro shooting for the same 4 hour mark as well as David Tokodi from Hungary who walked a 4:02 in Dudinsk this spring I believe. For the women the ageless Teresa Vaill and Erin Taylor-Talcott. On the junior 20km side, only one entry – Taylor Ewert!The race began at 5:30am to beat the heat. It was about 62 degrees with a light fog. Jared went right to the lead with AJ and David walking together and Taylor fairly close behind along with 10k entrant Joel Pfahler. The top 3 men would stay fairly consistent through 10km. Jared would continue to extend his lead and lap the second 2 competitors on the 1.0 km loop course. AJ suffered from some indigestional issues and also an upset stomach for the duration of the 40km race. This caused him to fall back a bit and then pick it back up – numerous times. Shortly after 22 km Jared stopped briefly and beat on his left hamstring (he has had hamstring issues over the past year). That kilometer took him nearly 6 minutes while all previous ones were in the 4:40’s. With no relief in sight, Jared hung up his walking shoes for the day. It was sad for everyone as it means that Jared won’t be there to race at the World Championships this year. Meanwhile Taylor continued to walk strongly passing 10km in just over 49 minutes en route to an American Record 1:13:50 15km split and a finish time of 1:38:55 to break Meaghan Podlaski’s mark of 1:47 and change, and in the process qualify for the 2020 US Olympic Trials at 20km.
The 40km women: Teresa (can she really be 56?) had a long flight from Florida – visited the family in Pine Plains, NY and then drove to Owego (3 hour trip) for the race. Probably way too much flying and as Teresa said – she hadn’t started her distance build-up yet since she was expecting the 40km in September. She would have tight/strained groin muscles and her body made her stop at 15km. Meanwhile Erin Taylor-Talcott was enjoying the early going – walking with some of the athletes she coaches at the shorter distances. She worked with fellow Shore AC teammate Chelsea Conway pushing her the last couple of laps in the 20km where she finished in a fine 1:53:28. Then she got down to business. She walked the second half quite a bit faster than the first and cruised to a second place overall, first master, first woman finish in 4:08:20. Ooh, what about AJ? He would struggle with his ailments but still posted a 3:30:05 for the Men’s Title. The Hungarian would be the only finisher in the 50km as he would not quit. His time was 5:06:29.
The Italian Stallion meandered down from Canada – actually what should have been 5 hours ended up being 10 hours as traffic was snarled on the QEW with accidents and slow traffic. Michael would also miss an alarm for the early start. 47 minutes into the race he arrived and asked permission to start the race. Permission granted, Michael would begin spot the field 52 minutes and would still wind up third walking a sub 4 hour performance which ended up 4:47:42 on the clock. Barry Blake was trying to give a go at his first ever 50km but with going past the 40km mark at 5:01:18 he decided not to hold everyone up by continuing. He was impressive throughout maintaining a consistent pace which garnered him the Men’s Masters title. Some other fine performances were had.
Erin and I thank Elliott and the Shore AC for their help and support