For the second time in less than a week, a woman has set a single-age world record in a New York Road Runners race.
On April 1, Rae Baymiller broke the world record for 68-year-olds when she ran 1:07:36 in the New York Colon Cancer Challenge 15K. Just six days later, in Saturday's ninth-annual Scotland Run 10K, Ginette Bedard finished in 57:26 to break the world mark for 78-year-olds by more than a minute.
Bedard, of Howard Beach, NY, is a familiar sight in Central Park. Since turning 70 in the summer of 2003, she has competed in 157 NYRR races, winning her age group all but four times. Bedard has run every ING New York City Marathon since 2002; in the 2005 race she posted a personal best of 3:46:34—at the age of 72—only to better in at the More Marathon in 2006 with a 3:46:03 that still stands as a single-age world record for 72-year-olds.
Winning the men's division of Saturday's Scotland Run 10K in a time of 29:44 was Eric Chirchir, 28, of Jackson Heights, NY, for the Urban Athletics team. For the women, 23-year-old Reilly Kiernan of New York City, running for the New York Athletic Club, set an event record with her winning time of 34:15. The race saw a total of 7,920 finishers.
In other weekend action, Dathan Ritzenhein raced on the track for the first time since setting an American record at 5000 meters in August 2009, winning the Stanford Invitational 10,000 meters in 28:21.48. In perhaps the most impressive performance of the meet, Jackie Areson demolished her personal best by more than 30 seconds when she won the 5000 meters in 15:18.31, the fastest time in the world this year and under the Olympic "A" standard.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Stephen Muzhingi bounced back from the 2011 ING New York City Marathon to win the Two Oceans Marathon, a 56-kilometer race in Cape Town, South Africa, in 3:08:08. A mix-up in New York led to the three-time defending champion of the famed Comrades Marathongetting on the wrong bus to the start; he finished 43rd in 2:29:10.
“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