BIG WEEKEND AHEAD FOR HOKA NAZ ELITE!! Coast to coast action with five athletes and four races including a marathon debut (Nick Hauger) and a half marathon debut (Lauren Paquette).
Here’s the schedule, as well as viewing/tracking info so you can all follow along. And check back on Friday when we will update this page with entry lists and previews!!:
Saturday, December 4th:
Dani Shanahan- 2pm Pacific at the Sound Running Cross Champs
You can watch LIVE (for $5.99): https://www.soundrunning.run/
RACE PREVIEW: The Mt San Antonio College cross country course–one of the nation’s most famous high school venues and longtime home to both the Mt Sac Invitational and the Eastbay (formerly Foot Locker) West Regionals will now play host to a professional meet! The Cross Champs, put on by the folks at Sound Running, will take place tomorrow afternoon and the pros will have twice the fun as the high schoolers–running the hilly 3-mile loop two times, plus a little extra, for a full 10k. And when we say hilly we mean it. The traditional high school course has 463 feet of gain so you can do the math for the 10k.
The favorite in the professional women’s race is no doubt Weini Kelati who is coming off a win and course record last week at the Manchester Road Race. Before that she was also the victor at the Boston 10k for Women and the USATF 5k Road Championships in New York City. There is certainly no shame in being second to Kelati. That battle should come down to Allie Buchalski of the Brooks Beasts, Amy Davis of the Hansons Brooks Distance Project, and Dani Shanahan of HOKA NAZ Elite. Other contenders include Anne-Marie Blaney, Olivia Pratt, Katrina Spratford, and Lexi Zeis.
More on Dani: After a long hiatus due to injury in the spring and summer, Dani returned to racing in November with a 12th place finish at the USATF 5k Road Champs and then helped the HOKA NAZ Elite team to a second place finish at the Michigan Pro Ekiden two weeks later. She’ll be racing on a course that she ran 10 times in high school, so suffice it to say she’s familiar with the layout.
Weather: 66 degrees, 7mph winds
Matt Baxter- 6pm ET at the BU Season Opener (5,000)
You can watch LIVE on Flotrack (sub required): https://www.flotrack.org/
RACE PREVIEW: The term, loaded field, is overused. We’ve been guilty of it ourselves. However, not this time. For an early bird indoor meet in December, this men’s 5,000 meter field is loaded. It features reigning 1500 meter Olympian Ollie Hoare, New Zealand indoor 5,000 record holder Matt Baxter, 3:54 miler Geordie Beamish, and a slew of NCAA stars including NCAA indoor 5,000 champ Wesley Kiptoo, Colorado’s Eduardo Herrera, and the NAU quartet of Drew Bosley, George Kusche, Abdihamid Nur, and Nico Young. Word is that the pace up front will be set by Olympian Joe Klecker at 32 seconds per lap (13:20 pace).
More on Matt: A dominating win at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon in October (1:02:38) was meant to be a step toward the TCS NYC Marathon in November, but a calf injury derailed those plans. Fortunately, the calf healed quickly enough to get right back into training and Matt’s added some faster work these last few weeks in preparation for this 5,000 and the rest of the indoor season to come. His New Zealand national record of 13:27.61 could go down but keep an eye on the race between he and countrymen/friend Geordie Beamish as they both will want to best that mark.
Sunday, December 5th:
Lauren Paquette- 8:50am ET at the USATF Half Marathon Championships.
No live coverage. On demand replay available later in the day on runnerspace.com
RACE PREVIEW: Much of the pre-race prognostication for this race has focused on Keira D’Amato (1:08:57 PB) who is coming off a fantastic run at the Manchester Road Race last week where she would’ve set the course record but for an even more fantastic run from race winner Weini Kelati. D’Amato will be challenged by a couple of young up-and-comers in Erika Kemp and Makena Morley, who’ve both won USATF road titles this year as well as veterans Gwen Jorgensen, Lauren Paquette, and Natosha Rogers.
More on Lauren: It is always interesting for track and field fans when an athlete “moves up” in distance. Lauren has PBs of 2:02 for 800, 4:09 for 1500, 8:47 for 3k, 15:10 for 5k, and 31:53 for 10k. Whether or not she can put up an equivalent mark in the half marathon remains to be seen, but training over the last couple of months has gone very well and her races have gotten better and better throughout the fall: 6th at Boston 10k for Women (33:05), 5th at the USATF 5k Champs (15:49), and 2nd on her 10k leg at the Michigan Pro Ekiden (32:33).
Weather: 57 degrees, 3mph winds
Nick Hauger and Rory Linkletter- 7am Pacific at the California International Marathon.
No live coverage. Live tracking here: https://track.rtrt.me/e/CRRM-
RACE PREVIEW: CIM always brings an exciting end to the year of marathoning in the U.S. This year shouldn’t be any different. The field for the 2021 race features American CJ Albertson, just two months after a thrilling run at the Boston Marathon that saw him lead for 20 miles, get swallowed up, and then hang on for a gutsy 10th-place finish in 2:11:44. Albertson will have his hands full with an entry list that includes 2021 Grandma’s Marathon winner Milton Rotich (Albertson was second), a slew of 2:11/2:12 marathoners including Mulue Andom, Shadrack Biwott, Brendan Gregg, Rory Linkletter, Tyler McCandless, and Nelson Oyugi, as well as debutant Nick Hauger.
More on Nick and Rory: The two HOKA NAZ Elite athletes in the CIM field are aided by the success the group has had here in the past: two runner-up finishes from Steph Bruce (2016 and 2018) and a 4th-place effort from Eric Fernandez (2016). Rory is coming off a disappointing Boston finish (37th in 2:23:34) but training has been nothing but positive in the weeks leading into CIM and has arguably been better than where he was before Boston, or any race he’s gone into as a professional. Nick is making his debut off a training block that has been as consistent as anything an athlete could ask for, and he’s run well in both the races he’s run during the build-up–a 10th-place finish at the USATF 25k Championships in October and a solid 10k leg at the Michigan Pro Ekiden in November.
Weather: 42 degrees, 2mph winds.