Sinclair and Tesfaye Named Co-Athletes of the Month

9/14/2018
 

USATF-New England September Board Meeting

Boston, MA

2001 Beacon Street Room 206


On an early fall eventing the members of the USATF-New England gathered around a conference room table to discuss who should be named our August 2018 Athlete of the Month. After hearing about the amazing races ran by David Sinclair and Semehar Tesfaye, the board felt that both athletes deserved recognition, and voted unanimously to name both as co-athletes of the month.

Sinclair, an established runner for the Green Mountain Athletic Association, was crowned the USATF National Champion at in the National Championship 50k Trail race at Ragged 50k. He will race on behalf of Team USA in the International Trail Championships next June.


Semehar Tesfaye of the Greater Boston Track Club smashed the course record at the Craft Sportswear New Hampshire 10 miler in 57: 13! This is the second course record that Semehar crushed in New Hampshire this summer. Her first came from an amazing effort at the Ribfest 5 Miler.   


Interviews:


David Sinclair, Green Mountain Athletic Association:


1) Could you tell me a bit about your race and victory at the Ragged 50k Trail Championships.  Could you tell me a bit about your mindset heading into the race i.e what you were hoping to accomplish, any goals you had set for yourself?

I knew the race was a national championships and a qualifier for the worlds team so I knew it was going to be a competitive race, but I came in confident that I could compete for the win and qualify for the worlds team. I came into the race feeling rested and ready to go but made a smart pacing strategy my number one priority as I felt I started too fast in the previous 50k race I had done. I started the race running around 10th place and slowly moved up to around 4th over the first 11 miles. I caught the leaders on the more technical parts a few miles later and felt good so I decided to take the lead around mile 16. The pacing strategy paid off and I felt full of energy and was able to push all the way to finish not sure how close behind the competition was.


2) Your time of 4:17:36 seconds is a course record. Can you speak about this? How do you do it/ how does this make you feel?

I was pretty surprised to get such a quick time and set a new course record. I planned on being out running for at least 4 and a half hours so I was surprised to reach the top of Ragged Mountain in just over 4 hours and only have a mile and a half left down the ski trails. I think its going to be a tough time to beat in the future, but would like to come back again and try.

2a) You have been selected to represent Team USA in the International Trail Championships. Can you talk about this achievement?

I really excited to represent the USA in Portugal next June for the International 50k Trail Championships. Making the team was my major goal for the race. It will be my second USA Team as I ran in the World Long Distance Running Championships back in June in Portugal where I had a tough race but the team earned the silver medal. It's quite an honor to run as part of a team for the USA.

3) What is your favorite event to compete in?

I really enjoy any trail races in beautiful places. This year was my first year trying a 50k and it's my favorite distance so far. I was a cross-country ski racer in high school and college and have gotten into more and more trail races the past two years and am loving the trail running scene. I also do some road marathons but really enjoy getting out on the trails and find the training much more exciting.


4) What are some of your favorite things to do outside of running?

I love to spend as much time outside skiing, biking, hiking, and swimming as possible.


5) What’s up next for you? Any races on the horizon that you will be running in?

I've already done a few more trail races over the end of the summer including the Pikes Peak Marathon and Under Armour 50k at Killington. I'm running the Hartford Marathon in October and also hoping to do The North Face 50 Miler in San Francisco in November as my first 50 mile trail race.

6) Is there anything else you would like to say?

I also had a few exciting mishaps during the race. I ran into a mama bear and her cub a few feet off the trail at one point. It gave me quite a scare and got me moving a bit quicker with a shot of adrenaline just as I was starting to get tired 23 miles into the race.I'd like to recommend the Ragged 50k as an excellent and well run race for anyone interested in trying a trail 50k.


Semehar Tesfaye, Greater Boston Track Club:


1) Could you tell me a bit about your races at the NH 10 Miler and Bridge of Flowers? Could you tell me a bit about your mindset heading into the race i.e what you were hoping to accomplish, any goals you had set for yourself?

1st was Bridge of Flowers. I ran this race in 2016 and won. Since then I have been asked to come back several times each year. Last year, I couldn't run it. This year, I committed to run it in June not knowing I would be moving right before it. It was one of those races, that I said I would go and forced myself to go. I felt pretty happy that I still got 3rd place.

For the NH 10 Miler, I tried to train as much as I could before it. I did my research on the course, which really helped me out. Before the race, I knew what the course record was, and I thought about what it would take to break it. During the race, breaking the course record ended up being my main motivation. Because of it, I was able to focus and run well.


2) This is the second course record you have set in a USATF-NE Grand Prix Road Race. Can you speak about this? How do you do it/ how does this make you feel?


Similar to the NH 10 Miler, for the 5mi race, I knew the course and I knew what the course record was. I thought about what it would take to break it. I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I say, "If I get to this point, under this time, I will try to break the record". It is not a must but it is a motivation. For both races, I had a really good start, and I was well under record breaking pace, and the record just gave me the motivation to keep up the pace and finish strong. For me breaking a record is more meaningful than winning. Winning is great, but you need a good time as well. A record is a way to compete with the past and present, as well as yourself.  


3) What is your favorite event to compete in?

My favorite event to compete in and watch is the marathon, although it is such a demanding event in terms of training & a huge risk. Nobody wants to try so hard and fail.


4) What are some of your favorite things to do outside of running?

I like working on huge jigsaw puzzles; even though I usually don't have the time to. On my free time, usually, I play SimCity & watch thriller movies.


5) What’s up next for you? Any races on the horizon that you will be running in?

I will finish off the Grand Prix races as a good training for California International Marathon.

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Please email any comments, questions, or inquiry to Tommy Mazza at tmazza@usatfne.org