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.US National 12K - Post-Race Quotes


Sam Chelanga, .US National 12K Champion

On the race overall

“Actually I was just thinking, ‘you give everything.’ And I love running with Tyler because it’s like dueling, and I guess that’s what’s exciting because then it kind of finished the way we expected. Given how the 10 Mile went with Tyler, which was kind of a sprint to the finish. I think we went out slow, so you knew halfway through it was going to be something like it was there.”

On the close, sprint finish for first and second

We picked it up, but with everybody we were matching up, so I just had to try to save it for the last 100 meters. Once I saw the (finish) line, I just pushed and I could hear Tyler right there. It was really like just go all out until you can’t.”

Tyler Pennel, .US National 12K second place

On the joking at the press conference that it would be a close finish, and then it actually happens

The race went out really slow. My goal was just to kind of sit and relax as much as I can and just race the last 2K. Come in as relaxed as I could at 10K. We got there, and Sam started pushing and other people started pushing. Then I got to the front and was just kind of gradually picking up throughout the whole race. With 600m to go, Sam went and then I went with him and I pushed. He went with 200 meters to go, and that’s when he got a few meters on me. Last whole last 200 meters I was just barely gaining on him, but I couldn’t quite catch him at the line.”

On the finish living up to the hype

“I know that’s definitely the most fun is when we are just out there racing. It was slow from the beginning, so I knew it wasn’t going to be terribly fast, as it was last year. It still, I know, was an exciting finish. I was a fun race to run. That’s part of it. I do like to put on a show for everyone and make it exciting for them, too.”

On preparation for the marathon trials

“This whole fall has been good to me. I have had a couple of top-five finishes. I won a race and had a couple top-two finishes, so it’s been a good confidence booster. This whole year has just been a good building year for me. I started off with a couple rough races. I was just building off summer, and this is a confidence booster for this fall. Hopefully, I can keep building and everything continues to get better and that includes the marathon in February.”

Shadrack Kipchirchir, .US National 12K third place

On running with the pack up until the finish

“Yea, it was really frustrating. The pace was really honest. To make a move with that pace was really an adjustment. It was a solid pace. When we closed 10K, I had no gas to take the lead from that. I decided to run with them as long as possible.”

On his race plan

“By 8K or 10K, my main aim was if someone goes to just stick by them because I feel like I was sprinting the whole time. I was trying to hang on as long as possible. Those guys are good. I raced against Sam when I was in college, and I was excited to race against them today.”

Molly Huddle, .US National 12K Champion (third consecutive title in this race)

On the race overall

"I tried to go out around where I did last year, 5:05 to 5:10. My legs are a little tired, so I was trying to stay within myself. It was hard to grind out there alone. I was worried about them coming back on me. I slowed down a little bit.”

On when she separated from the field

“It felt like it was before the mile. Last year they went out with me in 5:10, so I thought that was strange. I was worried that there might be a surge around halfway for them to catch me. I was just looking behind me a lot."

On winning the third year in a row and be

“It’s definitely special to come back. For three years the race has been going on to be able to come away with the win. I know it takes a lot to be healthy and to be firing on all cylinders that long. I’m really happy with the opportunity USATF gave us with this race. It’s a great season ender.”

Sara Hall, .US National 12K second place

On competing at this point in the season or this time of year

“This actually starts my season after a long break. I think I just soaked up that rest like a sponge. I think I really needed it.”

On the race overall

“I didn’t know what to expect coming off the Chicago Marathon three weeks into training after a break, but I knew I was fresh and I knew I had all that strength behind me. I just was trying to hang on after the first mile. It felt really fast based on marathon training. I felt more comfortable as the race went on and by the end, I felt like I had a lot left was just trying to time my next move.”

On how it felt to have a sprint finish

“It felt really good. When you’re doing a lot of marathon stuff, you don’t quite have that sprint finish, so it was really fun to finish that way. I was thinking of my kids watching the live feed this morning. I knew they were up early to watch and cheering me on.”

Alisha Williams, .US National 12K third place

On the race overall in the chase pack

“I kind of figured Molly was untouchable, so we were just battling in the chase pack and it was a fun race. It was one of the ones where nobody was really falling off. You had a huge group, so it was really exciting. There would be a surge, and then we would respond to the surge. It was just real racing out there. I battled with Sara (Hall) all the way to the finish line. With Kim (Conley) and Brianne (Nelson), we were battling all the way down the hill. It was just one of those fun days where you just get out there and give it your all.”

On USATF Running Circuit and how it prepares her for next year

“I think road racing is a great opportunity to just practice racing. For me, I think road racing helps me to fine tune what my plan is and it kind of gets you used to racing more and get used to your schedule. It builds a lot of strength really helps on the track. Molly is a great example of that. I like to incorporate a lot of road races into my schedule, and it’s a good opportunity. Financially it helps people stay in the sport.”

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