The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has officially announced the elite field for the 2017 B.A.A. 5K, which is held a couple days before the Boston Marathon. This year, Americans (and both New Englanders) Molly Huddle and Ben True, will return to the race on April 15, each aiming to claim a fourth B.A.A. 5K title.
Huddle has placed first in the race the past three years in a row, making this year a possible fourth consecutive win. She also set the current American women’s 5K and course record of 14:50 at the 2015 B.A.A. 5K. This year, she’ll be toeing the start line with training partner Emily Sisson, who is coming off a U.S. record-setting half-marathon debut in New York City, and boasts a 5,000m best of 15:02.10 on the track. Last year’s B.A.A. 5K runner-up Buze Diriba of Ethiopia will also make another appearance at the race to redeem her 2016 second-place finish of 15:28.
“I love being in Boston during Marathon weekend,” said Huddle on her return to the B.A.A. 5K. “It’s great that the B.A.A. offers a 5K and Mile race to include a wide range of athletes in the festivities, though I hope to be able to race the 26.2 from Hopkinton to Boylston Street myself one day!”
True, another veteran of the race, has won the B.A.A. 5K three times in 2011, 2012, and 2015. His last win set the American men’s 5K and course record of 13:22. This year, True will face another match-up with Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel, who returns to defend his 2016 B.A.A. 5K victory (in which True placed two seconds after Gebremeskel) and has recently claimed his fifth victory in the Carlsbad 5000 on April 2.
“Last year, I was rebounding from an injury that was still limited to the amount of running I could do,” said True on his confidence going into this year’s race compared to last year. “Add to the fact that the B.A.A. 5K was my first race in over seven months, I must admit, I did not toe the line in my greatest condition. This year, I am healthy, training well, and even ran a few indoor races in February. I am in an entirely different position this year than last.”
Like True and Huddle, though, Gebremeskel has also won three B.A.A. 5K titles (2013, 2014, and 2016), and will present a tough competitor in the men’s field come race day. Winners of the men’s and women’s elite races will each take home a prize purse of $7,500.
As the first event of the 2017 B.A.A. Distance Medley, a field of 10,000 participants will take part in the B.A.A 5K. The race starts and finishes on Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden, and passes the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street approximately 2.4 miles into the race.
Following the B.A.A. 5K, which starts at 9:30 a.m. EST, the men’s Invitational Mile starts at 12:50 p.m. EST with the women’s Invitational Mile starting shortly after at 1:10 p.m.