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David Torrence won his third straight USA Men’s 1 Mile Road title and Sara Hall won the USA Women’s 1 Mile Road title that eluded her two years ago at last night’s Medtronic TC 1 Mile. Both runners broke course records and earned $10,000 time bonuses in addition to their $4000 winners’ checks.
Torrence, of Oakland, Calif., clocked 3:58.4 in victory, bettering the course record of 3:59.3 he set at his first TC 1 Mile in 2009. As he did in both of his previous triumphs, Torrence kicked to victory after the race made its final bend on downtown Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall.
Aaron Braun of Flagstaff, Ariz. finished second in 4:01.2; Craig Miller of Madison, Wisc. was third in 4:01.3. Ryan Hall, Sara’s husband, a surprise entrant in the race held only 24 days after he ran the fastest marathon ever run by an American at Boston, finished 13th in 4:17.2.
Torrence was content to follow the brisk early pace of Hall and James Hatch in the race’s early-going. On the course’s lazy, mostly downhill meander to the finish, he marked a late-race surge by Miller and withstood a final charge by Braun before kicking to the win.
“They got out hard. We came through the quarter in 58 seconds, and going uphill, that’s pretty fast,” Torrence said. “I was pretty shocked, to be honest. Everyone was right there in a big group. I was in second or third most of the race. I bided my time, bided my time and when we took that turn I put the hammer down and I guess no one could respond.”
Torrence has won every USA Men’s Road Mile Championship contested. He is the only athlete to have broken 4:00 on the TC 1 Mile course, doing it twice and earning the $10,000 bonus for the feat each time.
“I feel like I just cemented myself in history a little bit,” an elated Torrence said. “Three in a row, that’s awesome. It’s just a great feeling to win three titles in a row and get the bonus.”
Sara Hall, who finished runner-up at theevent in 2009 behind Shannon Rowbury, caught and passed early break-away leader Amy Mortimer in the race’s late-going for an emphatic win in 4:30.8. The mark trumped Rowbury’s course record of 4:33.4. Hall earned her $10,000 bonus for breaking 4:32 on the course.
Mortimer, of Johnson City, Tenn., who had finished runner-up to Hall at a road mile Des Moines, Iowa last month, made a bold attempt to turn the tables in Minneapolis that started with a 65-second opening quarter-mile. At the half-way mark, it looked like the Kansas State alumnus might have stolen the race, until Hall bridged the gap to a slowing Mortimer.
“I tried to go right by, because when you are leading it is hard mentally when somebody catches you,” Hall explained. “She ran a great race. The crowd was so loud. I thought maybe there was someone catching me. I think they were just excited I was close to breaking the record. It was a relief to cross that finish line."
A pair of Minnesotans claimed the next finishing spots: Heather Kampf of Minneapolis was second in 4:35.9; Gabriele Anderson of Perham was third with 4:36.9. Mortimer ended up 5th in 4:37.3, one place and two tenths of a second behind Lauren Bonds of Durham, N.C.
“My strategy was to stay a little off the lead pack and make a final kick,” Kampf said in a Team USA Minnesota media release. “I tried to stay patient and at 200 meters to go I was still in sixth place. Then I just started to pick off runners to get that second spot. I had some great competitors out there so I wasn’t sure if I could get in the top three. I am really happy with how everything turned out. I love racing in Minneapolis because there were a lot of people cheering us on.”
Anderson, who said at the pre-race media conference that she was eager to do more that place in high level races, came away pleased with her third-place finish.
“It is hard to know what to expect with a road mile,” Anderson said. “I went out behind the leaders and ran the tangents. I was part of the chase pack at 400 meters to go and was glad to get in the top three. It was a good day for Team USA Minnesota. We don’t get a lot of opportunities to connect with people who support us in Minneapolis so this was a lot of fun.”
Despite drizzly weather and temperature in the low 50s, nearly 2800 runners participated in the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, which included races waves dedicated to corporate teams, masters runners, and families.
Find complete results of the event HERE,
You can watch the races for yourself, below ...