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 2005 USA 8K Championships, Randall's Island, New York City
Submitted by mfox :: Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:39 pm
The 2005 USA 8K Championships were held this past weekend. Normally held in Central Park for the men only, this year's event was moved to Randall's island and this time included the Women's 8K Championship race also. The new Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island was the host site for these races. The womens race was won by 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, while the men's race was won by Jorge Torres in his first professional road race.

The double out and back course started on the stadium track and looped around the southern tip of Randall's Island. Runners returned to track after the first loop, completed one lap around the track and then head back out onto the road course again. This allowed the stadium crowd a unique opportunity to to see the runners' progress in the middle of the race. After returning to the stadium the seond time, each runner completed one more spiral lap of the track before finishing in front of a very enthusiastic crowd.

The women's race was especially exciting as Deena Kastor ran much of it at or below record pace. The stadium crowd road and cheered as she entered the stadium for her final lap. Despite the $25,000 bonus for breaking the women's record, Deena finished just 3 seconds shy of the record time of 25:02, set by Lynn Jennings in 1991. Deena managed to finish a good 400 meters ahead of Jen Rhines (25:54), while Amy Rudolph finished in third (26:02).

Jorge Torres won the men's event with a finishing time of 22:47. Jorge led the race from the beginning and though he exchanged places with Abdi Abdirahman once or twice he was pretty much in command of the race from the beginning. Jorge stated after the race that he really didn't know what to expect since this was his first professional road race event. He said he knew the course would be slow; due to a bit of windy at the southern tip of the island. His strategy was to avoid running with the front pack, and instead make an aggressive move to separate from the pack early and see who would stay with him. Apparently this strategy worked as he managed to outlast Abdirahman who finished in 22:56. New York native, Anthony Famiglietti finished third in 23:02.

See the official USA 8K Championships website for more details. I managed to get some pretty decent photos of the race and the winners. You can see them posted at my website .

The New York Road Runners Club who hosted this event, along with USA Track and Field, also held an open 5K race before the 8K Championships (NYRR Randall's Island 5K). This race, though shorter, coverd much of the same 8K course and also finished inside the stadium. It was a beautiful day (40 degrees and sunny) and an extremely well orgnanize event. My hat's off to the New York Road Runners Club for putting together three races in a row without any hitches.

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