West End 4k Delivers on Downtown Race Excitement
When Callum Hawkins, an elite 10,000 meter runner from Scotland, came to Boulder on Tuesday, he found lodging with former marathon world record holder Steve Jones. Thursday, Hawkins did his household proud by outkicking Stephen Pifer to win the West End 4K. Hawkins clocked 11 minutes 42 seconds for the roughly 2.5 miles, four seconds up on Pifer, a former mile star at the University of Colorado. Ryan Poland was third in 11:57. “It was tough,” said Hawkins, a 28:49 10K runner, “with the uphill, altitude, heat, and Pifer pushing the pace.”
In the women’s race, Laura Thweatt, another former Buff and the 2015 U.S. cross country champ, pushed the pace on the first of the two laps that started and finished on west Pearl Street. It was, she said, “a rust-buster” her first race since the March IAAF World Cross Champs. Thweatt has been back training for six weeks after taking time off to let a foot injury heal, and was passed by two young Japanese elites in town training with elite coach Yoshio Koida. Recent high school grad Azusa Sumi, 18, who has already run 15:17 for 5000 meters, won in 12:50, followed by Sakura AC teammate Mirai Waku (13:07) and then Thweatt (13:21).
Local firm Stryd took the corporate team challenge by sweeping the first four spots in the men’s division. New race director Henry Guzman pronounced the race a success and a tune-up for the Aug. 12 Pearl Street Mile, the final event in the Downtown Race Series.
“I want to bring back the magic,” said Guzman, owner of Flatirons Running Events. “It was really exciting to see the quality of runners out there.”
Added Thweatt, “Always in Colorado there is going to be fantastic competition when you show up for a race.”
Full results can be found on BoulderRoadRunners.org/results