ZAP 10k Records Go Down

Amanda Vestri and Ryan Ford had 1 thing on their mind at this past weekend’s meet in Los Angeles: run fast. And they did just that, with Amanda taking down a 13 year old ZAP 10k record and Ryan shaving 2 seconds off his own club record.

The Ten, a track meet set up for Olympic and Olympic Trials qualifying times, had pacers for each event along with Wavelight technology – a blinking light strip setup around the track that lights up at the designated pace.

Amanda took to the track first in the women’s The Road to Tracktown section, which was designed to lead athletes to Olympic Trials qualifying times. Within the first lap, Amanda took up residence behind the 2 pacemakers and rode the inside of lane 1, content to follow the pacers. As the opening half passed in 16:00, the lead pack had been whittled down to less than 10k.

Amanda continued to follow, looking smooth and running consistently between 1:16.5 – 1:16.8 second laps of the track. With just over 2 miles to go Amanda decided she was ready to push. She swung wide on the backstretch, passing the pacemaker and setting out on her own. Her move to the front immediately separated her from the final 2 competitors in the lead pack as she ripped off the fastest lap of the race to that point, 1:15.5. She followed that up with another 75 second lap and would never look back.

From that point to the bell with a lap to go Amanda’s lead grew, up to most of the straightaway by the final lap. Covering her 2nd 5k in 15:54 Amanda blasted her way to a 14 second personal best and lopped 20 seconds off the long standing ZAP record with her 31:54 finishing time. While she didn’t achieve the automatic qualifying standard of 31:30, her time sits 14th on the descending order list from 2023-24, with all the major 10k’s between now and the Trials having been run. The field size at the Trials is 24, so while she feels good about her mark, the plan was always to run another 10k in May to take another step forward.

Dan Schaffer and Ryan Ford took to the track as soon as Amanda finished. The pace for their race was scheduled to be 27:40, and with 32 men on the start line it took a few laps for everyone to find a place to run smoothly. Ryan and Dan both fell into line in the back 1/2 of the field and tucked in for a long ride to the 2nd half of the race.

As the race unfolded, small gaps began to form within the group and Ryan did an excellent job of moving up to go around athletes falling off the pace. As the race progressed he steadily moved up in the pack, passing 5k in 13:56. Dan ran a bit further back, feeling like he needed to dial the pace back a bit to have a strong 2nd half.

The pace surprisingly picked up in the middle of the race, and even though Ryan picked up the pace he still found himself stuck by himself between two packs. He did his best to continue to run steady and catch the group in front. Battling the entire way, Ryan was able to close well and knock 2 seconds off his personal best and break his own ZAP record with his 28:07 performance. He worked his way up to finish 11th. Dan battled throughout as well, clocking 29:05 in his first ever 10k.

All 3 athletes will be back on the track in April, stay tuned! You can find the full results of the meet here and a couple of good post race interviews with Amanda here and embedded below.