Estrada, Huddle Win National Titles in Providence

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RECAP OF THE 2014 CVS HEALTH DOWNTOWN 5k

More than 7,000 people from around the region and world registered for today’s 25th annual CVS Health Downtown 5k – bringing a mix of elite and other competitive runners into Providence, along with recreational runners, walkers and children. In addition to hosting the USA Men’s and USA Women’s 5k National Championships, the CVS Health Downtown 5k offered races and inspirational events for individuals of all ages and abilities, and raised funds for charities throughout Southern New England.

An emotional Diego Estrada of Flagstaff, Ariz., crosses the finish line to win the 2014 CVS Health Downtown 5k, earning him the national 5k men’s title and the overall race champion crown. This is the first national title for Estrada. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

More than 4,500 people registered for the main 5k race while nearly 1,700 children registered for the event’s youth races, which included 21 different races for children – pre-kindergarten through eighth grade – including a CVS Health “All Kids Can” Inspirational event for children of all abilities. The athletic activities offered through the CVS Health Downtown 5k included a 3k High School Inspirational event—sponsored by Tufts Health Plan—that drew more than 1,000 high school students from the region.

Diego Estrada of Flagstaff, Ariz., became the men’s overall and national 5k champion with a time of 13:56.4. Estrada, who grew up in Salinas, Calif., and graduated from Northern Arizona University, competed in the 10k during the 2012 London Olympics. This is Estrada’s first national title.

The women’s overall and national 5k champion was Molly Huddle of Providence, R.I., with a time of 15:10.0 – a personal record that also equals the course record set by Elana Meyer in 1995. Huddle defended her title from last year’s race, making her a four-time winner of the CVS Health Downtown 5k—matching the four-time winning record of Olympian and CVS Health Downtown 5k inaugural race winner Lynn Jennings. Huddle is an Olympian (London Olympics) who grew up in Elmira, N.Y., and graduated from Notre Dame University where she was a record breaking nine-time All American.

Molly Huddle of Providence, R.I., defends her 2013 national 5k title by winning the 2014 CVS Health Downtown 5K. Through her win, Huddle earns the national 5K women’s title and the overall race champion crown for women for the fourth time at the CVS Health Downtown 5k—matching the record of Olympian and CVS Health Downtown 5k inaugural race winner Lynn Jennings. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Estrada and Huddle each won $8,000 in prize money: $5,000 for the USA Track & Field Championship and $3,000 for winning the CVS Health Downtown 5k Open Race.

Other top three 5k men’s runners include German Fernandez, who placed second with a time of 13:57.0, and Maverick Darling who placed third with a time of 13:57.5. Fernandez, a California native, made his debut at the CVS Health Downtown 5k. He graduated from Oklahoma State University and trains in Portland, Ore. Darling grew up and trains in Ovid, Mich., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

Other top three 5k women’s runners include Jorday Hasay, who placed second with a time of 15:25.0, and Emily Infeld who placed third with a time of 15:32.5. Hasay is part of the Nike Oregan Project—coached by Alberto Salazar—and competed in the 2013 Word Championship in Moscow, Russia. Hasay is a graduate of the University of Oregon and grew up in San Louis Obispo, Calif. Infeld had a spectacular return to this year’s race after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her sacrum in November, which kept her on the sidelines for the early part of the year. Infeld trains in Portland, Ore., graduated from Georgetown University and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.

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