Tuning up for the NYC Half, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom on Saturday won her fourth national road title in six months when she broke the tape at the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, FL, in 49:41. The win was worth $17,000, including the $5,000 equalizer for holding off men's winner Mo Trafeh. "I tried to catch Janet but she was tougher than me today," Trafeh, who won the men's 15K crown for the third consecutive year, told the Florida Times-Union.
"I felt strong throughout, except for the bridge," said Cherobon-Bawcom, referring to the three-quarter-mile long Hart Bridge over the St. John's River, near the end of the race. "It was so windy. I lost balance at one point. I wasn't moving at all."
Meb Has Busy Weekend
On Sunday, Meb Keflezighi will be hard at work competing in the NYC Half. But this weekend the 2009 ING New York City Marathon winner found time for a little fun. On Saturday night, Keflezighi—who in January won the men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials— was named Competitor of the Year at the Endurance LIVE Awards in Los Angeles, put on by the Competitor Group, and on Sunday he served as honorary starter for the inaugural San Diego Half Marathon at Petco Park.
Named Female Runner of the Year was Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World Champion at 1500 meters, while Lukas Verzbicas was honored at Male Runner of the Year. Among his many accomplishments in 2011, Verzbicas became only the fifth American high school student to break the four-minute mile when he ran 3:59.71 at the adidas Grand Prix on Randall's Island in June.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg