By Chris Lotsbom
BOSTON (24-Jun) -- New Zealand's Kim Smith set a course record at the second annual B.A.A. 10-K here today, clocking a time of 31:36, the fastest time in the 50 States thus far this year. Improving from her second place finish a year ago, Smith leaves Boston bound for the London Olympics with a great amount of confidence.
"I'm in heavy marathon training, so it was definitely a good day," said Smith, who lives nearby in Providence, R.I., and didn't taper much from her marathon buildup for today's race.
After a lead pack of three went through 5-K in 15:58, Smith began to pull away, leaving Ethiopia's Aheza Kiros and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop behind. The 30-year-old sensed that the two East Africans were hurting.
"Kiros pushed the fourth mile a little bit. I went with her and then I felt she was tiring a little bit so then I surged a bit and dropped her. I like to run alone and push on, so that kind of suited me," she said.
By five miles (8 km), reached in 25:25, Smith had a 12-second lead. At nine kilometers, Smith's lead had grown to 15 seconds, thanks in part to energy gained from the crowd support along the route.
"It's pretty cool there, you get to run past all the 10-K runners going towards you," she explained. "It felt like a lot of people were cheering for me. I think I had a little more support than the other girls."
Reaching the finish in 31:36, Smith broke Caroline Kilel's course record mark from the inaugural B.A.A. 10-K by 22 seconds. Behind, Kiros finished second in 31:58 and Cherop third in 31:57.
"Definitely this was an exciting race. I am happy with how it turned out," added Smith post-race, clad in her pink Reebok kit.
Smith says her run today bodes well for the Olympic Marathon on August 5 in London.
"I was pretty tired this week," she said. "I'm surprised that I ran as well as I did today, but you never know how you are going to feel in marathon training."
Not only did Smith earn the win, but she leaves Boston atop the leader board of the B.A.A. Distance Medley, the three-race series that awards $100,000 to the male and female with the lowest cumulative time after the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Half Marathon.
Now ahead of Kiros by sixteen seconds, Smith is in great position heading into her specialty -- the half-marathon.
"That was my aim for today." said Smith. "I think as the distance goes up, I probably have a little advantage on her. Definitely my favorite distance is the half-marathon."
On Friday, Smith shied away from answering any questions about the $100,000 grand prize. Today, though, she hinted that if she won, the money could go towards paying for her wedding. She will be marrying Patrick Tarpy after the Olympics.
"I've got a wedding to pay for, so that would definitely help with that," she said with a laugh.
When Tarpy heard of this, he didn't complain.
"It'd be nice if she won, not just for the money," he said with a smile. In between laughs, Tarpy jokingly added, "though I want to buy a new bike. I've been helping her in workouts, so I think I deserve most of the credit. Maybe she can repay me with a bike."
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Updated on May 19, 2013, 3:50pm