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Kim Smith wins BAA Half

Kim Smith wins BAA Half Marathon 2012

Kim Smith wins BAA Half Marathon 2012

BAA Half Marathon, White Stadium, Franklin Park, Boston – 7 October 2012

New Zealand distance runner Kimberley Smith won the Boston Half Marathon this morning in a time of 1h 10m 57s. By winning the race, Smith also collected US$100,000 for the best overall combined times in a three-race series that features the Boston 5K and 10Ks, run earlier this year.

The Providence, RI resident went into the event with a 16-second lead over Ethiopia’s Aheza Kiros on the B.A.A. Distance Medley leader board. After competing in the marathon at the London Olympic Games where she finished 15th, Smith had to make sure she balanced recovery and training in the build-up to this morning’s race.

Smith explained, “I had a week off [of training] after the Olympics and then slowly got back into [training]. I had to get back into training quicker than I usually do after a marathon. But luckily my legs felt pretty good, so the training was going pretty well.”

Keeping that in mind, Smith ran conservatively in the early miles. She ran with Kiros and Hellen Jemutai (KEN) through five miles in 28m 5s. Working together as they did in June’s 10km race, Smith and Kiros ran side-by-side until about nine miles into the race. It was at that point that Smith began to pull away.

“I went out really, really conservatively,” Smith said after the race.

“[Kiros and I] both were throwing in some surges after about half way. I think at about the nine-mile mark, I threw in one last surge and got away. I got a bit of a gap and then just kept it going.” By mile 10, Smith built herself a 15-second lead over Kiros and never looked back.

Pouring it on at the end, Smith went on to win by nearly two minutes, taking home the B.A.A. Half Marathon win, the B.A.A. Distance Medley crown and a $100,000 prize. Her winning time was only five seconds shy of the event record, set in 2010 by Kenya’s Caroline Rotich.

The 2005 graduate of Providence College was a local favourite and was welcomed by cheers from the crowd in Franklin Park. “[Franklin Park] definitely feels like a home course for me,” Smith said with a smile. “This was always my favourite cross country course in college. I think I heard some people on the course saying, ‘Go Friars!’ I always like running in Boston, so coming here was a great end to the series.” The race was a brilliant homecoming for the 30 year old former Papakura athlete in her first race since the Olympics. Next up for Smith, who was recently married in September, is the ING New York City Marathon on November 4. She said that she’ll honeymoon after that.

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