FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kim Smith and Allan Kiprono Win B.A.A. Distance Medley
Both Athletes win $100,000 Grand Prize as Medley Concludes
in Boston with B.A.A. Half Marathon
A Day of Firsts at the 12th B.A.A. Half Marathon,
Presented by Dana-FarberCancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund
BOSTON - Sunny skies and a temperature of 51F degrees at the start were the
backdrop for the 12th B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute and the Jimmy Fund. The rain that was forecasted earlier in the
week never fell and would not dampen the spirits of the record crowd of
5,459 starters gathered in Boston's Franklin Park on a beautiful autumn day
in New England.
It was a day of firsts as a new event record was established: for the first
time, the B.A.A. Half Marathon served as the culmination of the B.A.A.
Distance Medley, a three-race series which combines the B.A.A. 5K in April,
B.A.A. 10K in June, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon. In the B.A.A.'s 125th
Anniversary year, a grand prize of $100,000 would be awarded to the man and
woman with the lowest cumulative gun time across all three races. With four
men within five seconds of the overall lead coming into the race, the stage
was set for a thrilling end to the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley.
Allan Kiprono (KEN) set the pace in the early miles, running in a pack that
included B.A.A. Distance Medley competitors Lani Rutto (KEN), Sam Chelanga
(KEN), and Ali Abdosh (ETH). Kiprono ran alone for much of the race.
As he passed nine miles in 41:39 and 15K in 43:09, Kiprono began looking
over his shoulder. Behind him, he saw the familiar face of Lani Rutto, his
training partner, 13 seconds behind him. At mile 12 in the Franklin Park
Zoo, Kiprono made a move, opening a gap of 18 seconds.
His large lead, however, was short-lived. With just 800 meters to go, Rutto
was only six seconds behind. Despite his late charge, Rutto simply could
not make up enough ground on Kiprono. As the leaders approached the finish
line within White Stadium to the cheers of the crowd, the race clearly
belonged to Allan Kiprono. He crossed the line in 1:01:44, with Rutto
following in 1:01:55. Both times were better than the event record of
1:02:20, set in 2007 by Kenya's Tom Nyariki. With his performance, Kiprono
won the B.A.A. Distance Medley and the $100,000 grand prize.
Discussing his strategy after the race, Kiprono said, "I was trying to see
how the guys [would] run. I [started pushing the pace] very early." He
admitted that leading the race was no easy task: "When you run [by]
yourself, to maintain the pace while some guys follow you is not easy. The
guys who follow you – they have a lot of morale."
In the end, Kiprono clearly had enough morale to win, as he received a
welcome boost from the crowd: "[The crowd support] was amazing! I was happy
when I heard a lot of cheers for me. I was happy to see everyone was happy
with me and my performance."
Soft spoken and humble, Kiprono was the picture of quite confidence. Before
the race, he told Lani Rutto, "I'll go. Let the guys follow me. I'll go,
and then I'll break the course record."
The $100,000 B.A.A. Distance Medley prize will go a long way in Kenya,
where Kiprono lives and trains. "Maybe [I will] invest in Kenya and do some
business," Kiprono said. [I will help] my parents and my little brothers,
who are still in school. But first I will set a budget!" After a
spectacular race and a welcome payday, Kiprono speculated about joining
next year's B.A.A. Distance Medley. "I hope I'll come," he said with a
smile. "When I [came for the B.A.A.] 5K, I was not prepared well. I have to
prepare for next year for the whole series."
On the women's side, New Zealand native and Providence, RI resident Kim
Smith entered the B.A.A. Half Marathon with a 16-second lead over
Ethiopia's Aheza Kiros on the B.A.A. Distance Medley leader board. After
competing in the marathon at the London Olympic Games this summer, Smith
had to make sure she balanced recovery and training in the buildup to this
Smith explained, "I had a week off [of training] after the Olympics and
then slowly got back into [training]. I had to get back into training
quicker than I usually do after a marathon. But luckily my legs felt
pretty good, so the training was going pretty well."
Keeping that in mind, Smith ran conservatively in the early miles. She ran
with Kiros and Hellen Jemutai (KEN) through five miles in 28:05. Working
together as they did in June's B.A.A. 10K, Smith and Kiros ran side-by-side
until about nine miles into the race. It was at that point that Smith began
to pull away.
"I went out really, really conservatively," Smith said after the race.
"[Kiros and I] both were throwing in some surges after about half way. I
think at about the nine-mile mark, I threw in one last surge and got away.
I got a bit of a gap and then just kept it going." By mile 10, Smith built
herself a 15-second lead over Kiros and never looked back.
Pouring it on at the end, Kim Smith went on to win by nearly two minutes,
taking home the B.A.A. Half Marathon win, the B.A.A. Distance Medley crown
and a $100,000 prize. Her winning time of 1:10:57 was only five seconds
shy of the event record, set in 2010 by Kenya's Caroline Rotich.
The 2005 graduate of Providence College and a resident of Providence, RI,
Smith was a local favorite and was welcomed by cheers from the crowd in
Franklin Park. "[Franklin Park] definitely feels like a home course for
me," Smith said with a smile. "This was always my favorite cross country
course in college. I think I heard some people on the course saying, ‘Go
Friars!' I always like running in Boston, so coming here was a great end to
the series." The race was a brilliant homecoming for Smith in her first
race since the Olympics. Next up for Smith, who was recently married in
September, is the ING New York City Marathon on November 4. She said that
she'll honeymoon after that.
Behind Kiprono and Smith were thousands of smiling faces as runners poured
into the finish area in Franklin Park's White Stadium. Among those
finishers were over 500 runners supporting adult and pediatric cancer care
and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Their goal is to raise more
than $550,000 in today's race.
This year marks the tenth year of the B.A.A.'s partnership with Dana-Farber
Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, the presenting sponsor of the B.A.A.
Half Marathon since 2003. Dana-Farber runners have raised more than $3
million through their participation in the B.A.A. Half Marathon since 2003.
In the push rim wheelchair division, Tony Nogueira won by over a minute,
with a time of 58:14. The women's champion was Cheri Blauwet, of
Massachusetts, who crossed the line in 1:26:48.
The culmination of the B.A.A. Distance Medley brings the B.A.A.'s 2012
racing schedule to a close. This year marks the B.A.A.'s 125th Anniversary.
Established in 1887, the B.A.A. is among the nation's oldest athletic
clubs. The 117th Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, April 15, 2013.
For results, please visit: www.baa.org OR coolrunning.com
To view the B.A.A. Distance Medley Leaderboard, go to:
About the Boston Athletic Association
Established in 1887, and now in its 125th year, the Boston Athletic
Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing
athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports,
especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest
annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and
supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs.
Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John
Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors
along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America
Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Nearly 50,000
runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2012.