Bibb and Pierce Win Spring 5k
Grand Prix Series Race Review: 2016 Spring 5k
Runners line up for the start of the Spring 5k
By Chris Leyen
Arlington, VA--Despite being held on the the last day of winter, runners enjoyed a crisp, cool, and clear morning in Bluemont Park, Arlington. Idyllic race conditions combined with the fast, flat, out and back course along the W&OD trail led to impressive finishes as Todd Bibb and Emily Pierce both claimed convincing victories in the Spring 5k. Behind the leader, perennial participants matched up against several new faces in the second race of the RacePacket Grand Prix in search of 2016 Grand Prix points seeking to claim a piece of the $3,000 prize pool.
Finishing nearly a minute faster than the 17:54 time that was good enough for first place in 2015, Todd Bibb, the 45-year old from Centreville, VA took first place in the men's division in 16:56 putting up the fastest Spring 5k finish since 2012 and winning a free pair of shoes from Road Runner Sports in the process. He was followed by TJ Hoff (36) of Haymarket, VA in 17:36 who out-kicked Travis Bishop (26) of Fredericksburg to claim second place. Bishop finished in 17:43 followed by 42-year old Keith Freeburn (40-49 age group category winner) in 17:49. Craig Chasse, the 2015 Grand Prix overall winner finished 5th, despite finishing in 18:18, 14 seconds faster than his first place finish in 2014.
Earning her way to a new pair of shoes in the women's division, Emily Pierce (40), of Silver Spring, MD took first place in 21:16, finishing over a minute before her next closest competitor, Heather Howes (44) of Port Royal, VA who took second-place in 22:23. Brenda Mackintosh (50) would take 3rd place in 22:40. Mary Lowe Mayhugh (59), the 2015 Grand Prix winner in the women's division would finish 4th in 23:12.Full results are available on RacePacket. Additional detailed result information and finishers certificates available at ItsYourRace. For photographs of this event, visit RacePacket's Facebook page.
The field for the 2016 Grand Prix is beginning to take shape as several of the finishers from the Sweethearts 4ever 4 Miler made the journey up to Arlington to compete in the Spring 5k. In the men's division, a close contest for first place is emerging. Grand Prix veteran Craig Chasse (46) leads Travis Bishop (26), the competitors separated by 20 years and two points. The two share an interesting parallel. Chasse serves as the president of the Potomac Valley Track Club and coaches Track and Field at Madison High School. Bishop is the president of Bishop's Event's a race management company based out of Fredericksburg and coaches football at Stafford High School. RacePacket serves as the exclusive timer for Bishop's Events races. Chasse finished four places ahead of Bishop in the Sweethearts 4ever 4-miler. Although the 5k is the most common distance in the series, as the Grand Prix progresses through the Alexandria Half-Marathon, the Patriot's Run, the Kensington 8k, and the Jug Bay 10k, the short-distance prowess of Bishop will be tested against Chasse's excellent distance running. New faces are also beginning to become regulars. Jim Gregory began running the RacePacket Grand Prix mid-season last year finishing in an impressive 3rd place after 4 second place finishes in the Summer Strides, Wakefield 5k, Jug Bay 10k, and Snowflake 5k. The 43-year old currently sits in 7th place. Keith Freeburn (42) and Ted Puolos (54), both series regulars, are 10th and 11th overall. In the women's division, Mary Lowe Mayhugh (59) and Tami Graf (79) continue to put up impressive series performances, while 44 year-old Heather Howes has emerged on the scene and sits solidly in first place overall after a 10th place finish in the Sweethearts 4ever 4 miler and coming in second in the Spring 5k.