On Sunday night, two-time U.S. Olympian Molly Huddle broke three American records in one run at a high school track south of Boston. Huddle ran for 60 minutes, breaking, in order, the national 15,000m, 10-mile track and one-hour records. Before Sunday, each of these records belonged to former Ottawa Marathon champion Nancy Conz, who in 1981 ran all three on the same day (just like Huddle), also at an event in Massachusetts. With her big result, Huddle added to her long list of accomplishments in the sport (which already includes the American 5K and half-marathon records, among others).
The conditions on Sunday night were far from ideal for Huddle, and she spent her hour of running in the rain. That clearly didn’t affect her too much, and she cruised to her three new records, smashing each of Conz’s previous marks.
In her 1981 record-breaking race, Conz’s first big result came after 15,000m of running, when she posted a time of 53:06. On Sunday, Huddle ran a blazing-fast 50:07.82, just shy of a sub-50-minute result. This works out to 3:20 per kilometre up to that point, and she still had just under 10 minutes and two more American records ahead of her. Back in ’81, Conz ran a 10-mile split of 55:58, which, once again, Huddle shattered, running 53:49.9. Finally, six minutes later, Huddle set her third record of the night, covering 17,930m in 60 minutes to beat Conz’s 39-year-old record of 17,273m.
Congratulations to @MollyHuddle for breaking THREE (pending) American Records:
1) One Hour Run
2) 10 Mile Run
— KT Tape (@KTTape) November 2, 2020
After the run, Huddle posted to Instagram to write about her “Power hour on the track.” It has been a strange year for everyone, and many athletes have been unable to compete since before the pandemic, but Huddle writes that challenges like the one-hour run have helped her to keep focused and training.
“Trying to put fun, unique, local challenges on the calendar this season to get through the grind,” she wrote. “It’s been hard to push myself and nothing feels smooth or easy the last few months, but having some specific goals gets me out the door working harder than I would otherwise.” Huddle also paid tribute to Conz, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 59, writing that she was a “tenacious” athlete and a “New England legend.”