The Top-10 Moments For U.S. Distance Running In 2010

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Dec. 12, 2010
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM UTC

In past years, many of the below would have made the top 10 best moments.

* At the Boston Indoor Games on February 6, two-time Olympic 1500m medalist Bernard Lagat, 35, led from the front to win the 5000 in 13:11.50 to break Galen Rupp’s one-year-old U.S. record by nearly 7 seconds. Rupp also broke his PR with a solid 13:14.21 to finish fourth.

* Iowa State Senior Lisa Koll, at the Stanford Invitational in March, crushed the NCAA 10,000 meter record with her winning 31:18.07 (previous record was 31:25.45 by Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech). Koll became the 6th fastest U.S. woman at the distance all-time.

* At the Herculis Meeting in Monaco last July, 2008 Olympian Shannon Rowbury finishes third in 8:31.38 for 3000 meters to become the second fastest U.S. woman all-time; only Mary Decker Slaney is faster.

* In August at the DN Galan Meet in Stockholm, Chris Solinsky finishes 5th in another sub-13 for 5000 meters in 12:55.53, a PR and second fastest American all-time. Later in August at Weltklasse in Zürich, Solinsky ran another sub-13 to become the first American to record three sub-13 minute 5000m in a season.

* In late June, Geoff Roes shatters Western States 100 Mile record with his 15:07:04. Anton Krupicka’s runner-up 15:13:52 was also under the old record (15:36:27, Scott Jurek, 2004).

* In early September, Bernard Lagat used his lethal kick to sweep the 3000m and 5000m at the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup (former World Cup). Lagat also became the first athlete to win three different events (also 1500m in 2002) at the competition.

* Michael Wardian took the individual bronze medal, leading the U.S. men’s squad to a team silver medal Sunday at the IAU 100K World Championships in Gibraltar on November 7.

* At World Mountain Running Championships hosted by Slovenia in September, the U.S. men’s team won the silver medal – their highest placing ever at the Worlds.

* At the Prefontaine Classic in early July, Shalane Flanagan finished second in the 5000m (14:49.08). Amy Begley also cracked the 15-minute barrier in a PR 14:56.72, good for fifth.

* For the first time, Molly Huddle and Lisa Koll broke 15 minutes for 5000 meters in 14:51.84 (#4 U.S. woman) and 14:55.74 (#7), respectively, at Meeting Areva in Paris.

* At the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, Desiree Davila finished fourth in 2:26:20 to become the fourth fastest U.S. woman over 26.2 miles.

* At the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon last April, Magdalena Lewy Boulet finished second in 2:26:22 to become the fourth fastest U.S. woman for the distance (at the time).

* With his 2:10:36, Brett Gotcher produced the 4th fastest U.S. debut marathon at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January, while 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan won the USA Half-Marathon title in 1:09:41, in her 13.1 mile debut.

* At the 25th Marathon des Sables, a 151 mile, six day endurance race across the Sahara in Morocco last April, Michael Wardian finished third in 23 hours, 1 minute, 3 seconds, the best place ever by an American male at the event.

* Missouri prep Emily Sisson broke the national high school 5000m at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Canada with her 15:48.91 to take sixth. The previous HSR was 15:52.88 by Caitlin Chock at the World Juniors in Italy 2004.

* Dan Huling became the fifth fastest U.S. steeplechaser with his 8:13.29 – good for 4th overall – at the Athletissima Meet in Lausanne, Switzerland in early July.

* Jamie Donaldson broke her course record and three-peated at the challenging AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon (135 mile) in 26:16:12. She was third overall.

* Houston awarded 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials; the first time a city will host both races at the same Olympic Trials.

* At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Angela Bizzarri of Illinois edged another rising young star Lisa Koll of Iowa State to win the 3000 meters in 8:57.40 to 8:57.52.

* The masterful running of Linda Somers Smith, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Mbarak Hussein and Doug Winn.

* Renowned distance running coach Joe Vigil was honored at his alma mater Adams State College, where he coached and taught for nearly three decades, with a tribute and an unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue in November.

* Although the mile is not a distance event, it is worth noting that Bernard Lagat won his record 8th Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile on January 29 in 3:56.34.

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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