This Year’s Boston Champions Repeat At B.A.A. 10K

Geoffrey Mutai breaks the tape in 27:19, the fastest 10K ever run in the state of Massachusetts. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Geoffrey Mutai runs the fastest 10K ever in Massachusetts.

Photo Gallery: Mutai, Kilel Capture 2011 BAA 10K Titles

From: Running USA

BOSTON — Under overcast skies and a starting temperature of 65 degrees, the inaugural B.A.A. 10K on Sunday morning was won by Geoffrey Mutai in 27 minutes, 19 seconds, marking his second victory in Boston since April when he won the 115th Boston Marathon in a world best time of 2:03:02. The 29-year-old separated from the field after half-way, dropping a 4:18 mile to leave Gebre Gebremariam and Sam Chelanga behind. Gebremariam wound up second in 28:11, while Moses Mosop took third in 28:29. Chelanga, running in his professional debut, finished fourth in 28:31.

Mutai’s time was the second fastest road 10K ever on a record standard course in the U.S. and also the fastest 10K in Massachusetts history, besting John Gregorek’s 28:15, set in 1985. Mutai may have been inspired for such a performance after finding out last night that his wife gave birth to their second child, a yet-to-be-named baby girl. As is Kenyan tradition, Mutai and his wife will decide on a name for their child in the coming days, once he returns home.

The women’s race also saw a Boston Marathon champion come out on top as Caroline Kilel of Kenya broke from New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith early on and crossed the tape in 31:58. After the race, Kilel, 30, said she loves Boston, as well as the race course. Both race champions took home $5000 each.

In its first year, the B.A.A. 10K had 3,040 finishers. The number of people crossing the start on Charles Street was 3,060, while the number of registrants topped out at 3,656. There were also an estimated 80 children participating in the kids races following the B.A.A. 10K.

With the start and finish of the B.A.A. 10K in between Boston Common and the Public Garden, the race featured a picturesque beginning and end. To show their appreciation and continued support, the Boston Athletic Association donated $6000 to the Friends of the Public Garden.

The Boston Athletic Association’s own Tim Ritchie and Heather Cappello finished as the top Americans. Ritchie, a former standout at Boston College, placed tenth in 30:26. Cappello finished fourth in 33:32, earning $1000. Cappello competed for the Providence College Friars.

A number of former Boston Marathon champions were on hand for the inaugural B.A.A. 10K. Firing the gun at the beginning of the race was Bobbi Gibb, the first woman ever to complete the Boston Marathon. Bill Rodgers, a four-time Boston Marathon winner, and Joan Benoit Samuelson, the gold medalist in the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984, ran the 6.2 mile course as well. Watching the race was Geoff Smith, a two-time Boston winner.

The inaugural B.A.A. 10K is now one of five road races that the Boston Athletic Association holds during the year. Among the distances run are one mile, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and Boston Marathon. As Bill Rodgers said post-race, “the B.A.A. 10K brings another great event into the B.A.A.’s schedule.”

Fourth-place finisher Chelanga ran an amazing race in his debut as a professional. Mixing it up with Mutai and Gebremariam in the beginning, the recent Liberty graduate earned valuable experience competing on the roads. But what the 26-year-old was really excited about was competing in Boston. “It’s something you read and dream about,” he said. “I saw the huge CITGO sign, and I’m like ‘Wow!’ this is a dream. It’s like I’m doing the Boston Marathon. I know that one day I am going to do the Boston Marathon, and I am going to do awesome. It’s just exciting.”

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