Two Olympic hopefuls set course records Saturday in the 34th Great Cow Harbor 10k in Northport, but came by their marks in very different ways.
Mohamed Trafeh of Duarte, Calif., the men's winner the past two years, trained recently in the hills of his native Morocco to aim for the Northport record and went out aggressively, winning by nearly a minute. His time of 28 minutes, 17.4 seconds, eclipsed the old mark of 28:22 by U.S. Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall in 2006.
Women's winner Janet Cherobon-Bawcom of Rome, Ga., said she knew she had a healthy lead over Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor and the rest of the field, but with just about a 10th of a mile left, she heard race director Will Fodor yelling. "He said, 'You've gotta go! You can get the course record!' " She sprinted for the line, finishing in 32:26.4, better than the 32:32 mark set in 1994 by Jane Omoro of Kenya.
Both got not only $3,500 for winning, but also $5,000 bonus checks for setting course records. Cherobon-Bawcom said she had no idea about the bonus and was delighted to hear the news from friends after the race. Trafeh knew about the bonus, but said he was more motivated to beat the mark by Hall, whom he admires. "That's history," he said.
Trafeh, 26, is the reigning U.S. half-marathon champion. Cherobon-Bawcom, 33, a Kenyan who became a U.S. citizen in 2010, won the U.S. 20-kilometer championship two weeks ago in New Haven. Both athletes plan to train for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials before the 2012 Games in London.
Frank Corrigan, 27, of East Northport, was the top Long Islander in the race, finishing 13th (31:38). Lindsay Cunningham, 29, of Babylon, the top local women's runner (37:00.7), was 12th among women and 45th overall in a field of 4,401 runners.