Women: Frith wins by 1:44 margin in Bluegrass 10,000

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJuly 4, 2013 

  • Top 10 female finishers

    Chip time

    1. Emily Frith 37:10

    2. Ashley King 38:55

    3. Varinka Ensminger 38:59

    4. Besty Laski 39:01

    5. Cynthia Arnold 39:07

    6. Shannon Florea 39:33

    7. Michaela Reinhart 39:45

    8. Andrea Richardson 39:59

    9. Amanda Hancoch 40:19

    10. Lisa Hayry 40:23

  • Female records

    Overall 34:44: 1987, Kristy Orre

    Standard Wheelchair 42:09: 1991, Kim Martin

    Crank Wheelchair 35:02: 2003, Whitley Goins

Emily Frith went into Thursday's Bluegrass 10,000 with a simple strategy.

"I just wanted to go out conservative and then just pick it up and see how I felt," she said. "It went pretty well."

Indeed it did as the 19-year-old from Stanford ran through a drizzle to win the women's division of the annual 6.2-mile event in 37 minutes, 13 seconds.

That was 1:44 ahead of runner-up Ashley King's 38:57.

Varinka Ensminger took third, followed by 2012 runner-up and fellow Lexingtonian Betsy Laski.

Frith, a Bellarmine University junior majoring in exercise science, placed fifth in the 2011 Bluegrass 10K. She missed last year's race because of a stress fracture.

Thursday, her cautious strategy unfolded like a charm.

"I wanted to pick it up after the 5K, and then once I got to four miles I heard people just saying 'good job, lady' instead of 'ladies,'" Frith said. "So I was like 'OK, now I really have to go fast so I can maintain this.'

"But it wasn't a big issue for me to win. I just wanted to go out there and run hard, and I did that so I'm pleased with myself. And Andrea Richardson — she won it last year and she was here running — so that really helped me. Because we actually ran together for a couple miles, so that was fun."

Richardson eventually placed eighth, just behind Lexington Catholic 13-year-old Michaela Reinhart.

Runner-up King, 29, is a former Division III (Worcester Poly Tech) soccer player who didn't start running until after college.

The Louisville resident placed fifth last year in 40:27. That was her personal best until Thursday's 38:57.

"Really happy. I've never run a strong 10K. It's been a weakness for me," King said. "So to come out and finally get the sub-40 monkey off my back was really nice.

"Took it out a little easy on the first half, told myself to get up the hill at the 4½ (-mile mark), and then just take it in from there. Managed to pick off a couple people on the way down, and that made it fun."

The drizzle only added to the fun, she said.

"Much, much nicer than last year weather-wise. It felt good; never felt too hot," King said. "Last year was a sweat-fest."

Aerelle Jones and Taylor West, the first female wheelchair competitors since 2008, won their respective divisions.

Jones, 14, took push-chair honors in 44:17.

West, a 13-year-old from Monticello, won the crank-chair division in 50:23.

Jones, a Nicholasville home-schooler, had finished seven 5,000-meter races. But Thursday marked her first try at double the distance.

"It was slick and it was hard because I kept slipping on the rims, so God just pushed me through the end," she said.


Female records

Overall 34:44: 1987, Kristy Orre

Standard Wheelchair 42:09: 1991, Kim Martin

Crank Wheelchair 35:02: 2003, Whitley Goins


Top 10 female finishers

Chip time

1. Emily Frith 37:10

2. Ashley King 38:55

3. Varinka Ensminger 38:59

4. Besty Laski 39:01

5. Cynthia Arnold 39:07

6. Shannon Florea 39:33

7. Michaela Reinhart 39:45

8. Andrea Richardson 39:59

9. Amanda Hancoch 40:19

10. Lisa Hayry 40:23

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