Dan Schaffer appeared to be in mid-season form in his season debut last weekend at the US 5k Championship, while teammate Amanda Vestri continued her hot streak.
Men’s US 5k Championship Recap
The US 5km Championships were held as part of the NYC Marathon weekend, with the 5km taking place on Saturday morning and finishing in Central Park at the marathon finish line. Dan Schaffer took 21st place a year ago and was hugely successful in reversing his fortune in 2023. The men’s race was tactical through an opening mile of 4:39, then the pace began to pickup as the field passed 2 miles in 9:00. The slow start ensured that the bulk of the field was still in contention as the race entered in the final mile.
Dan had been tucked in behind the leaders throughout the opening 2 miles. With about 3/4 of a mile remaining Dan made his first appearance at the front of the pack, primed to cover a hard move to the tape. As the pack entered the final mile the pace remained steady with over a dozen men in contention. Taking the course tangents, Dan found himself out front as the pack entered the final 600m and he began to bring the pace forward slightly.
With 400m to go Muhammed Ahmed and Morgan Beadlescomb hit the front and Dan covered, creating separation from the rest of the field. Beadlescomb, a 13:08 5,000m performer, pulled clear for the win while Ahmed held on for 2nd. On the final 100m uphill finish Dan got nipped for the podium, but had no regrets about covering the move for the win. His finishing time was 13:47, 26 seconds faster than a year ago.
Women’s US 5k Championship Recap
The women’s race played out very differently with an assertive pace set from the beginning. Amanda passed the opening mile under 5:00 and was attached to the chase pack back in 9-10th place. She continued to relax back in the pack, moving through 2 miles in a swift 9:58. The final mile of the course is the toughest, and with a mile to go Amanda began to go to work. She slid up into 6th place, holding that position for much of the final mile before crossing the line in 7th place. Her time of 15:38 was an outright 5k personal best, faster than her track best of 15:42.
Dan and Amanda will both be back in action on December 2nd where they will be trading in the rolling streets of New York City for the banked 200m indoor track of Boston University. Amanda will be looking to lower her track, and overall, 5k while Dan will be taking a crack at his PR of 13:36.