A new rivalry at the Bix-7
What is the Bix 7? It’s the USATF 7 mile Championship race taking place in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, July 24, 2010. Last year nearly 12,000 runners participated in the 35th annual race. The course is famous for the Brady Street Hill, which is about one-third of a mile long with a seven to nine percent grade. The race draws top runners thanks to its championship status and $22,500 prize purse. One unique aspect of the Bix 7 is that a lucky non-elite jackpot winner is given a head start (2.4 mile head start this year). The head start is supposed to create a close finish between the first male runner and the jackpot winner.
In this year’s men’s race, Ryan Hall is the big favorite to win now that 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi has pulled out due to an injury.
An interesting battle is anticipated in the women’s race between Lisa Koll and Molly Huddle. Koll, an eleven-time All-American at Iowa State (a three hour drive away from Davenport), just finished her collegiate eligibility and does not yet have a sponsor, but she continues to be coached by Iowa State coach Corey Ihmels. Huddle, a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame University, now lives in Providence, Rhode Island and is sponsored by Saucony and coached by Ray Treacy.
2010 has been a good year for both Huddle and Koll.
Huddle placed second at the USA Cross Country Championships last February and then placed nineteenth at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, helping Team USA to earn the bronze medal. On the track Huddle won the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational and placed second at the USA Championships in the 5000 meters.
Koll set the collegiate record for 10,000 meters in March (31:18.07) at the Stanford Invitational. She also won the 10,000 meters (by 23 seconds) and the 5000 meters (by 30 seconds) at the NCAA Championships. Those wins give her four NCAA individual titles in her career. At the USA Championships she placed second in the 10,000 meters.
Koll and Huddle, both born on August 31 (Koll in 1987 is twenty-two and Huddle in 1984 is twenty-five) share more than just a birthday. Last Friday, July 16, Koll and Huddle both ran sub-15 for the 5000 meters at the Diamond League Meet in Paris. For both runners it was a big PR and the first time under the 15 minute barrier. Huddle placed eighth in 14:51.84 (:14 PR) and Koll placed eleventh in 14:55.74 (:22 PR).
Fifteen minutes in the 5000 meters has been broken only twenty-two times by twelve different women in US history (four times in 2010):
- 1. 14:44.80 Shalane Flanagan, 2007
- 2. 14:45.35 Regina Jacobs, 2000
14:49.08 Flanagan, 2010
- 3. 14:51.62 Deena Kastor, 2000
14:51.75 Flanagan, 2007
- 4. 14:51.84 Molly Huddle, 2010
14:52.21 Kastor, 2007
14:52.49 Jacobs, 1998
- 5. 14:54.29 Jennifer Rhines, 2008
- 6. 14:55.02 Kara Goucher, 2007
14:55.18 Rhines, 2006
- 7. 14:55.74 Lisa Koll, 2010
- 8. 14:56.04 Amy Rudolph, 1996
- 9. 14:56.07 Annette Peters, 1993
- 10. 14:56.72 Amy Yoder-Begley, 2010
14:56.84 Kastor, 1999
14:58.10 Goucher, 2008
- 11. 14:58.48 Lauren Fleshman, 2008
14:58.51 Rhines, 2007
14:58.79 Jacobs, 1997
- 12. 14:59.20 Marla Runyan, 2004
14:59.69 Flanagan, 2008
Although both Huddle and Koll have had excellent running careers with numerous accomplishments to be proud of, their breakthrough race in Paris elevates their fans’ hopes and expectations. They have gone from being seen as very good American runners to two of the best in history. Huddle and Koll should now be mentioned with Flanagan, Goucher, Yoder-Begley, Rowbury, Willard Pierce, and Wurth-Thomas…that is American women who are running fast and ready to take on the world.
Be sure to check out this rivalry as it moves from the track in Paris, France to the roads of Davenport, Iowa.