Athletics News

The TEN — Another AR For Alicia Monson

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 2:32, 2:30, 2:30 and 2:29.

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…

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