Ben’s Track Recap

By Ben Payne

It’s been a very brief but fun and memorable track season–my first full season back on the oval since college. After recovering from the Marathon Olympic Trials and overcoming some early injuries/illnesses, I was able to improve my personal bests in the 5k (13:44) & 10k (28:36) and will get to use this valuable training and these race experiences down the road. While the goal was to qualify for next week’s US Olympic Trials in Eugene, it’s looking like I’ll fall just short of that goal (in the 10k: about 10 seconds short, or 0.5 second per lap). It just goes to prove how hard it is to make it to TrackTown & onto Team USA–and that’s the way it should be. It’s really incredible how many talented, devoted, disciplined distance runners our country has to choose from. And I feel blessed to be in the mix this year.
All this being said, I’m excited for my “Plan B”. I’ve been invited by Atlanta Track Club to return this year to again race America’s largest 10k, the Peachtree Road Race, on the 4th of July. It’s hard to believe it’s already been one year since being part of last year’s photo finish…and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Read my thoughts in the article below…

I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to represent the Air Force as part of the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). This assignment gave me the rare opportunity to focus on developing my athletic abilities on a full-time basis.  
I now look forward to transitioning to flying C-21 Learjet’s with the Colorado Air National Guard later this year and continuing my military aviation service…and continuing to run faster on the roads & track!   

Thanks for cheering us on this year!