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Cooper Teare, Fotyen Tesfay Win B.A.A. 5K 2024 To Kick Off Marathon Weekend

Cooper Teare and Fotyen Tesfay won the 14th annual B.A.A 5K 2024 on Saturday with a pair of impressive performances. The wheelchair titles went to Switzerland's Marcel Hug and Britain's Eden Rainbow Cooper.

David Monti

B.A.A. 5K 2024 champions Cooper Teare and Fotyen Tesfay
Boston 5-K champions Cooper Teare and Fotyen Tesfay (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

BOSTON — Cooper Teare and Fotyen Tesfay won the 14th annual Boston – B.A.A 5K  2024 – presented Point32Health on the streets of Back Bay here this morning to kick off Boston Marathon weekend.  Teare, the reigning USA cross country champion who represents Nike, used the leg speed that made him a 3:50 miler to win in a sprint finish in 13:38. 

Tesfay, an Ethiopian who won the B.A.A. Half-Marathon here last November, bolted away from the field right from the start to win in a course record 14:45.  Both athletes won $7,500 in prize money, but Tesfay earned an additional $5,000 bonus for setting a new course record.

The men’s race set up perfectly for Teare.  He allowed Kenya’s Alex Masai of Hoka Northern Arizona Elite to control the pace through the first mile (4:35) and stayed tucked in a lead pack of about a dozen contenders.

Cooper Teare winning the B.A.A. 5K 2024Pin
Cooper Teare winning the B.A.A 5K  2024 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

“I got through the first mile and I was like, this is the easiest thing I’ve ever done,” Teare told Race Results Weekly.  “By the time I hit two miles I was like, am I going to finish?”

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That’s because the second mile went down in 4:28, again with Masai on the front.  But in the third mile the pace softened a bit and Teare and the other contenders, like Drew Hunter (adidas/Tinman Elite) and Ben Flanagan (On Running/Very Nice Track Club), got a chance to catch their breath and get ready for the final sprint.

“Really the last K was about just staying in contact,” Teare continued.  “Lalo got about ten meters on us, so that was a little bit scary.”

“Lalo” is Mexico’s Eduardo Herrera (Under Armour) who was the first to show his cards and surge to the front.  Teare was confident in his kick and didn’t want to waste any energy too soon.  So, he methodically worked his way up.

“I tried to just go through the gears one at a time,” Teare explained.  “We got into the final chute and I kind of took the lead coming off that turn and drive it home.”

Teare got a fight from both Hunter and Herrera but was able to hold them off.  Hunter took the runner-up spot just one second behind Teare in 13:39, and Herrera was less than a step behind Hunter and was given the same time in third place.  Flanagan, a Canadian who finished second last year, got fourth in 13:43.

“It’s amazing,” said Teare when asked what it meant to win a big race like this early in the season.  He continued: “Just happy to be here, really.”

Hunter, the 2021 USATF 5-K road running champion, was pleased with his runner-up finish.  He said that he planned to focus on longer distances this year (he ran 27:38.87 for 10,000m last month).

“It was kind of like Lalo made a move, me and Cooper covered the move,” Hunter said.  “Then like we hit that 200 to go mark and it was just like, gauging on how hard to sprint.  Cooper gapped me and the gap kind of stayed the same in the last 200 meters.  I was happy with it.”

Fotyen Tesfay winning the 2024 Boston 5-KPin
Fotyen Tesfay winning the B.A.A 5K  2024 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Tesfay, who represents adidas, ran a completely different kind of race.  She bolted from the start, clipped through the first mile in a brisk 4:43, and the second in 4:47.  She had Kenya’s Emmaculate Achol (Nike) for company through the first mile, but had a five-second lead by the second. From there she simply ran against the clock, or more accurately, her watch.

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“I came to break the course record,” Tesfay said through an interpreter.  “I did, and I’m so happy.”  She added: “I always run by the watch.  Even though I trained very well back home in Ethiopia I always compare my time with the course (record).”

The previous record was set by another Ethiopian, Senbere Teferi, who ran 14:49 in 2022.  Teferi is running Monday’s marathon here, an event that Tesfay says she would like to do some day.  If Tesfay were ever to win the Boston Marathon she would become the only athlete to win the Boston 5-K, B.A.A. Half-Marathon and the Boston Marathon.

“I’m staying with middle distance, long distance (for now),” she said.  “In the future I will definitely run Boston.”

Boston Athletic Association President and CEO Jack Fleming with the wheelchair champions of the 2024 Boston 5-K, Marcel Hug and Eden Rainbow CooperPin
Boston Athletic Association President and CEO Jack Fleming with the wheelchair champions of the B.A.A 5K  2024, Marcel Hug and Eden Rainbow Cooper (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Achol was a clear second in 14:59, followed by another Kenyan, Esther Gitahi, who took third in 15:08.  Gitahi just edged locally-based Annie Rodenfels of the Boston Athletic Association, a steeplechaser who is an excellent road racer, who was given the same time.

Dakota Lindwurm (Puma/Minnesota Distance Elite) who took third at February’s USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon finished 15th.  She used today’s race to break up her training for the Olympic Marathon and work on her speed.

“My legs are on fire,” she told Race Results Weekly moments after finishing.

The wheelchair titles went to Switzerland’s Marcel Hug in 10:18 and Britain’s Eden Rainbow Cooper in 12:04.  Hug also won the race last year.

Over 9,000 runners finished today’s race which was held in nearly ideal conditions with cool temperatures and mostly clear skies.  It was a little bit windy, however, which is typical for Boston in the spring.

About The Author

David Monti

David Monti is the Editor, Publisher, and Founder, of Race Results Weekly, a professional distance running data and news service providing results from over 3000 events annually, and worldwide. He is based in New York City. David Monti, @d9monti - (c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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