By: Ellie Moore
3 races took place in Bathurst, Australia on the 18th of February. The first was the mixed relay: 2 girls and 2 boys would run 2k each for a total of 8k. The boys were required to start and run the third leg. The girls would run the second leg and the final leg.
The course was extremely hilly and swampy. As the runners came into the handoff zone and finish, they had to weave between stacks of tires.
The boys started the race. South Africa and Kenya coming into the handoff zone 6 seconds ahead of everyone else. Australia, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Morocco, and Canada had a tight chase pack, all handing off to the girls only 2 seconds off of each other.
Australia had a strong second leg, and after the lap handed off in first with a time of 11:34. Kenya close behind at 11:39. Ethiopia and South Africa chasing only 8 seconds behind Kenya. The United States moved up 5 places to lead the second chase pack.
When the third lap started, Kenya took the early lead over Australia. South Africa and Ethiopia stuck together in the chase pack. The United States still in 5th. Kenya handed off 8 seconds ahead of Australia. South Africa and Ethiopia gaining on the lead, only 3 seconds behind.
Kenya ended up making a gap at the start of the 4th lap that was too big to make up, so the race was really for second and third. Australia stayed in front of Ethiopia, but Ethiopia caught up quickly. They ran together until the end when Ethiopia made a big kick, making a gap on Australia.
Kenya ended up winning the race by 7 seconds. Ethiopia got second and Australia got third. South Africa was 24 seconds behind for fourth, and the United States got fifth.
The next race was the women’s U20 8k. The race was a very close race with the top three finishers coming in less than 10 second apart. For the first lap the top 17 runners ran together coming through the lap within 7 seconds of each other. After the second lap the race spread out a bit. The top 11 created a pack running 7 seconds apart from each other. United States, Irene Riggs and Ellie Shea lead the chase pack.
By the end, the race became a lot more spread out. Senayet Getachew from Ethiopia won the race with a time of 20:53. Her teammate, Medina Eisa, 7 seconds behind. Kenya’s Pamela Kosgei came in third with a time of 21:01.
The men’s 12k had a very close finish. The top 3 finished just 2 seconds apart. Like the women, the men’s race started out very close with the 60 in a tight pack. After the second lap they spread out with the top 15 creating a smaller pack.
In the end, Ishmael Kipkurui and Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot from Kenya finished first and second only 1 second apart. Ethiopia’s, Baki Diriba came in third just one second off Cheruiyot.
Overall, in the women’s race, Ethiopia won with 15 points. Kenya and the United State in second and third with 22 and 54 points.
In the men’s race, Kenya took first as a team with 22 points. Ethiopia close behind with 23. The United States got 81 points to lead them to third.