Brian Duff is a fast runner, but he can’t outrun his dog.
Duff and his Weimaraner, Kaydom, won the Platinum Performance Dog Mile on Sunday at the 17th Hoka One One State Street Mile in Santa Barbara, Calif., crossing the finish line in a blistering 4 minutes, 13 seconds. That’s believed to be the fastest known human-dog mile performance ever, breaking the previous mark of 4:15 set by Josh Helton and his dog, Bro. The female human-dog winners were Mary Jones & Nala (5:17) of Ventura, Calif.
The crowd-pleasing human-dog race was just one of the highlights of the day. Thomas Poston of Goleta, Calif., and Alycia Cridebring of Davis, Calif. won close races in the men’s and women’s open division on the gradual downhill, point-to-point course in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara. Poston won the men’s race in 3:53, edging Scott Bauhs (3:53) and Darius Terry (3:54) to claim the $1,000 winner’s prize. Cridebring was the big star of the day, tearing up the roads in 4:23 to break the women’s course record by 10 seconds. In addition the $1,000 first prize, Cridebring also took home the $1,000 course record bonus.
“At our 17th running, we had an incredible record-setting day not only racing-wise, but also with 1,200-plus participants, and it is always great seeing the smiling faces of the finishers and spectators, humans as well as dogs,” said race director Megan Rheinschild. “A big ‘thank you’ goes out to our title sponsor Hoka One One, our volunteers, city officials and everybody who made this year’s event one to remember.”
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In the men’s Elite Mile, like recent editions, there was a large contingent together throughout the race, hitting 440 splits of 57 seconds, 1:57 (halfway) and 2:55. Poston, 23, a recent UC-Santa Barbara grad, surged in the final meters, letting out a victory scream as he edged Bauhs, last year’s fourth-place finisher, at the finish line. Terry, the UCSB assistant track coach, followed right behind, clocking 3:54 for third. An event record-tying six men went under the coveted 4-minute mark, with Aric Champagne (3:55), Nick Scarpello (3:58) and Derek Thomas (3:58) rounding out the top six.
“The crowd really lifted me in the final stretch, it was like magic,” Poston said. “At the end, I really went for it because I’m shutting down my season after this race, so I gave it everything that I had.”
With the deepest women’s elite field in the State Street Mile’s history, the longstanding course record would be challenged, and the top women did not disappoint. Like the men, there was a large group together from start-to-finish, hitting the halfway point in 2:11. At the end, Cridebring produced the best finishing kick to edge recent UCSB grad and 1500-meter school record holder Tori Tsolis, 4:23 to 4:24, followed by Kristen Findley and defending champion Tracee van der Wyk in 4:29, respectively. All four women were well under the previous course record of 4:33.
“This is my second road mile and second victory, so I’m pretty happy. I knew the field was good and we pushed each other all the way to the finish. It was a great day to race in Santa Barbara!,” said Cridebring, a UC-Davis grad and SRA Elite athlete who is looking to qualify in the 5,000 meters for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials track championships in Eugene, Oregon.
In the elite masters races (40and older), Jerome Vermeulen, 49, from Simi Valley, Calif. and defending champion Nancy Thomas, 46, from San Francisco, won overall titles in 4:18 and 5:01, respectively. Vermeulen also claimed the top age-graded male Masters title (97.86 percent)—edging Colorado’s Todd Straka (4:20, 97.10 percent)—as did Thomas for the women (94.52 percent), both pocketing $175.
Divisional race records were set by Aidan Scott, 10, of Solvang, Calif, 5:24 and Amanda Gable, 10, Goleta, Calif. (6:30) in the new 10-and-under division, as well as Cory Smith, 37, of Santa Barbara (4:16) in the men’s 30-39 division.
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