Reigning champion Molly Huddle (light blue, third from left) captured her second straight National 12K title (Tom Flynn)
Alexandria, VA – Olympian Molly Huddle proved that last year’s victory in the US National 12K was no fluke, as she won the race for the second straight time early on Sunday in Alexandria. The event, organized by the USATF and in just its second staging, was claimed by the Elmira, NY native with a time of 38:08. Huddle’s pace was off slightly from last year’s winning time of 37:50.
Emily Sisson, a graduate student at Providence College in Rhode Island, took second place while Olympian Kim Conley sprinted to a third place finish with a 38:42 time. Sisson did not run in last year’s race while Conley, a 5K Olympian and the current 10K national champion, improved substantially, moving down to 38:42 from 2013’s 39:29. She runs for Team New Balance and the NorCal Distance Project based in the greater-Sacramento area.
“I’m happy with my finish,” Conley told the Baltimore Post-Examiner just after the race, noting that second place runner Sisson “caught me a little by surprise.”
With a 7:15 a.m. start time the Californian was working through an internal clock adjustment that made the race feel like 4:15 a.m. “I tried to run at 5 a.m. out West to prepare,” added Conley.
Both Conley and Huddle proved they can compete at distances far greater than their fortes. Huddle currently holds the American record in the 5K at 14:42 and was a 10-time All-American at Notre Dame. Conley’s primary event is the 5K although her national title in the 10k earlier this year will provide her with more than one consideration when approaching the 2016 Olympics.
On the men’s side, Englewood Colorado resident Brian Shrader won the race by six seconds over runner-up Diego Estrada. Shrader finished with a time of 34:11. Columbia-based Sean Henely represented the metro-Baltimore region and finished with a time of 43:06.
Tom Flynn has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He compiled the photo history, Baseball in Baltimore, in 2008 and has written one novel, Venable Park. Check out Tom’s journal at boxerjournal.com