Defending Champion Molly Huddle, Two-Time Winner Ben True Set To Kick Off Boston Marathon® Weekend at B.A.A. 5K.
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced an elite field of Olympians and returning champions for the 2015 B.A.A. 5K, to be held on Saturday, April 18, two days prior to the 2015 Boston Marathon®. Defending women’s champion Molly Huddle will return to the streets of Boston, while two-time winner Ben True comes back seeking to be the first athlete to earn three B.A.A. 5K titles.
The 2015 B.A.A. 5K will have a field size of 10,000 entrants and will start and finish at Boston Common. A prize purse of $39,900 (USD) will be awarded equally to the top male and female finishers. In addition, professional runners are eligible for a $5,000 (USD) bonus for event record times established at the B.A.A. 5K. Bonus incentives will also be available for professional runners for multiple top finishes at B.A.A. events in 2015.
Defending champion Molly Huddle of Rhode Island looks to build upon her race for the record books at last year’s B.A.A. 5K. In 2014, Huddle came from behind to break the finish tape first on Charles Street, running a time of 15:12 which tied the event record. Huddle, a 2012 Olympian and the American record holder for 5,000 meters on the track, returns to Boston’s Back Bay with hopes of becoming the first repeat women’s champion in race history.
Challenging Huddle will be last year’s B.A.A. 5K runner-up and B.A.A. Distance Medley champion, Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia. Daska had a season to remember in Boston a year ago, winning the B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Half Marathon in event record times of 31:04 and 1:08:20, respectively. Daska finished a mere two seconds behind Huddle at the B.A.A. 5K in 2014.
Also entered in the women’s field are Kenya’s Lineth Chepkurui, Mary Wacera, Cynthia Limo, and Valentine Kibet, as well as Ethiopians Werknesh Kidane, Sentayehu Ejigu, and Buze Diriba. Chepkurui won the 2011 B.A.A. 5K in 15:52, while Kidane set the event record of 15:12 in 2012.
On the men’s side, American True and Kenyan road racing ace Stephen Sambu lead a strong group eyeing the top spot on the podium. True finished a very close second place at last year’s B.A.A. 5K, running the same time as winner Dejen Gebremeskel (13:26, an event record). A native of Maine and graduate of Dartmouth College, True won both the 2011 and 2012 B.A.A. 5K titles, and is seeking to become the first athlete to win the race three times. Earlier this year True won the USA 15K National Championships in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sambu enters the B.A.A. 5K with a very strong record at Boston Athletic Association events. A two-time B.A.A. Distance Medley champion, Sambu knows what it takes to win on the roads of Boston. The University of Arizona graduate won the B.A.A. 10K in both 2013 and 2014, and finished a close third at the B.A.A. 5K last year. He finished second at the NYC Half in March.
Joining True and Sambu on the starting line will be Kenya’s Lawi Lalang, a track specialist who won multiple NCAA titles while at the University of Arizona, and fellow countryman Sam Chelanga, runner-up at the 2012 B.A.A. 5K. Lalang finished first at the Carlsbad 5000m on March 29, timing 13:32. Also from Kenya are Philip Langat, Daniel Salel, and Kevin Chelimo.
Reigning USA 20K National Champion Girma Mecheso, former University of Wisconsin standout Maverick Darling, and 2:10:36 marathoner Brett Gotcher round out the top men entered from the United States.
Seeking to enhance each participant’s race day experience, the B.A.A. has slightly altered this year’s B.A.A. 5K course from the race route used in 2014. The event will still start and finish at Boston Common, taking runners on a scenic tour through Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and across the Boston Marathon finish line.
The 2015 B.A.A. 5K will begin on Charles Street in between Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden. Participants will head south on Charles Street before taking a right onto Boylston Street, then another right onto Arlington Street. All athletes will proceed to take a left onto Commonwealth Avenue, eventually passing the one mile mark.
After going underneath the Massachusetts Avenue underpass, participants will then turn left on Charlesgate West, making their way onto the inbound side of Commonwealth Avenue. From there runners will follow the Boston Marathon race course, going underneath the Massachusetts Avenue underpass and taking a right onto Hereford Street (2-mile mark), then a left onto Boylston Street.
Participants will pass by the newly-opened Boston Marathon® RunBase and across the Boston Marathon finish line, continuing on Boylston Street before taking a left on Charles Street for the finish.
In 2015, professional runners are eligible for bonus incentives for multiple top finishes at the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, B.A.A. Half Marathon, and Boston Marathon. A runner who wins three of those four events in 2015 will be awarded $50,000 (USD) in prize money. In addition, the B.A.A. will award bonuses for event record times established at the B.A.A. 5K.
A total of $39,900 (USD) in prize money will be distributed to the top 10 runners overall, the top three masters competitors, and the top three push rim wheelchair competitors. Prize money awards are equal for men and women. The B.A.A. 5K male and female champions will each receive $7,500 (USD) in prize money. The prize money and bonus structure is listed below.
The 2015 B.A.A. 5K has a field size limit of 10,000 entrants. Registration opened on Wednesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. ET and closed on Friday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The start and finish line for the B.A.A. 5K is located on Charles Street between the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common. The 2015 B.A.A. 5K course will be a scenic tour through Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, with athletes crossing the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street before returning to Charles Street for the finish.
B.A.A. 5K Elite Field
NAME COUNTRY AGE PERSONAL BEST
Ben True USA 26 13:26
Stephen Sambu Kenya 26 13:21
Lawi Lalang Kenya 23 13:30
Philip Langat Kenya 24 N/A
Daniel Salel Kenya 24 13:31
Sam Chelanga Kenya 30 13:43
Kevin Chelimo Kenya 32 13:42
Maverick Darling USA 25 13:58
Brett Gotcher USA 30 14:00
Girma Mecheso USA 27 14:08
NAME COUNTRY AGE PERSONAL BEST
Molly Huddle USA 30 15:10
Mamitu Daska Ethiopia 31 15:14
Werknesh Kidane Ethiopia 33 15:12
Sentayehu Ejigu Ethiopia 29 15:16
Lineth Chepkurui Kenya 27 15:23
Cynthia Limo Kenya 25 15:47
Buze Diriba Ethiopia 21 15:14
Mary Wacera Kenya 26 15:20.30 (track)
Valentine Kibet Kenya 26 N/A
2015 B.A.A. 5K Prize Structure
PLACE OPEN MASTERS PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR
1 $7,500 $300 $300
2 $4,000 $200 $200
3 $2,500 $100
GRAND TOTAL= $39,000
About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2015. The 119th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.