2017 USATF Outdoor Championship: 10,000 meter preview

By Stephen Kersh

June 21, 2017

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Women’s 10,000 meters

The women’s race looks considerably deeper than the men’s, with 14 women boasting an IAAF­qualifying time of 32:15.00 or faster. Familiar names like 2016 Olympians Molly Huddle, Amy Cragg, Shalane Flanagan, Emily Infeld, and Kim Conley highlight the field, and your three qualifiers will in all honesty probably be plucked from that pack.

Favorite to Watch

Expect this race to be another blood bath. And no amount of card tables set up on the track with paper cups full of water or sports drink can change that. In these situations, it’s best to go with runners who are demonstrably strong hot weather performers, and whose track record is relatively clear of implosions.

Fun Stat

Shalane Flanagan made her return to the track with a 10,000m victory at the Portland Track Festival. It was her first race on the track since 2015.

Predictions of who makes the team

We can’t reiterate this enough ­­heat makes things wacky. Mirages confuse runners. People pass out. These should be interesting races where about half the field drops but we see the likes of Molly Huddle, Kim Conley and Shalane Flanagan still standing at the end of the day.

Mens 10,000 meters

Phrases like “carnage,” “bloodbath,” and “too dang hot” should be used sparingly, and only when truly apt. But folks, it’s safe to say that this weekend’s 10,000­meter races will be contested under the aforementioned, break­in­case­of­emergency conditions. Chances are it’ll be in the 80s or 90s at race time, and for 25 laps, that truly sucks. And if you don’t have the IAAF standard coming into this race, buddy, it ain’t happening in Sacramento.

Favorite to Watch

As it stands now, only six men can make the team: Galen Rupp, Shadrack Kipchirchir, Hassan Mead, Lenny Korir, and Chris Derrick have the IAAF standard (27:45.00), and Sam Chelenga is grandfathered in after his IAAF World XC performance.

Dark horse pick:

Hot races make things weird, man. So it’s not unreasonable for any combination of three of these dudes to make the squad. Think back to the 10,000 at the Trials last year. Heat­ ravaged, emaciated male bodies littered the track;it was a true race of attrition with two WCAP athletes surprising many dopey pundits, including many on our yet ­to ­be­ forged staff.

Fun Stat:

None. This is a 10K. This isn’t fun.

Predictions of who makes the team

Kipchirchir is fit right now, as is Chelenga, but you gotta pick a few guys at random to fade, and so that’s what we’ve done.

Stephen Kersh

Former collegiate runner for University of Portland and Georgetown, currently a professional runner weighing sponsorship offers from no one. Enjoys using the internet to message Scott Olberding and Paul Snyder about bad story ideas. Does not assume he will work at Citius much longer due to the bad story ideas. He once gave a TED Talk titled "Twitter: How We Are All Just Shouting into a Vacuum" to his best friend and his girlfriend on the beaches of Connecticut.