(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
August 3, 2014 -- After her debut 10K on the roads at Saturday's TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, ME, Jordan Hasay was all smiles. The 22-year-old Nike Oregon Project athlete finished fourth among women in 32:21, a solid showing that taught her a lot about what happens on the road racing circuit.
"It was really fun. It was I guess a PR on the roads and it was pretty quick," Hasay told a pair of media members after completing her cool down. "I was hoping to go maybe under 32, but I was pleased. Obviously that's a lot slower than on the track [where her PR is 31:39.67]."
On what is a hilly yet surprisingly fast course, Hasay gambled and went out with leaders as American Shalane Flanagan headed the charge. Opening with a sub-five minute mile, Hasay felt the pace was comfortably quick and right in her wheelhouse.
"If she [Flanagan] was going to go crazy fast then I wasn't going to go, but a couple other women went so I decided to go and I was feeling pretty good," Hasay described. By the third mile, the pace had gotten to the University of Oregon alum, as she dropped back behind Flanagan, Burundi's Diane Nukuri-Johnson, and eventual winner Gemma Steel of Great Britain.
Not deterred by the leaders moving away, Hasay astutely joined some men running around her. With the race featuring a mixed gender start, Hasay maintained focus on those in her vicinity, charging up and down the challenging hills from miles three to five.
"It felt really good in the first half. Maybe I wish I went out a little bit slower, but I was just patient in the middle and then I just knew I needed to take it back a little bit," Hasay said.
Entering the race knowing it would be a learning experience, Hasay simply wanted to be competitive and roll the dice. Letting her fiery spirit take over, the native of Arroyo Grande, CA, kept her eyes on men fading in the distance, using them as targets.
"It's nice for women 'cause we can compete with the men. I was like, 'OK I'm going to get that guy.' You're going to get these people even though the top three women were kind of far away," she said with a sly smile. "So I was just really trying to compete against the people that were around me."
Ultimately Hasay would finish fourth among women--33rd for both genders combined--earning $2,000 in prize money.
In hindsight, the Portland, OR, based Hasay said she learned two particular lessons: how to concoct a mid-race strategy and how to use those around you--even men--to pull you through the tough patches.
"In the middle part I think I just need to work on continuing to stay relaxed and continuing to be tough and cover those moves," said Hasay. "That's something that I look to work on in the next race. Although I didn't cover the moves like I said with the women, the last mile I was really trying to pick off people [men] and that was something I did and that was good."
Hasay took satisfaction in knowing that she could always see the leaders ahead of her. In the fourth and fifth mile, she believes she chipped away at their lead ever so slightly before beginning her finishing kick.
Hasay will travel back home to Oregon before returning to the East Coast in just under two weeks for the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on August 17, in Massachusetts. On Cape Cod she'll be up against the likes of Molly Huddle, Steel, Nukuri-Johnson, Mary Wacera, and Betsy Saina. With one long distance road race in the books, Hasay is ready and eager for more.
"It'll be my first seven-mile so it'll be interesting but I'm excited!" she said, smiling once again.
Photo: Jordan Hasay warming up prior to the 2014 TD Beach to Beacon 10K, where she'd finish fourth in her 10K road running debut. Photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly.