The Slowest Heps’ Race Ever


When Josh Yelsey ran well at the ING New York City Marathon, I harkened back to his Heps’ 1,500m victory in 2005. Brown graduate Jordan Kinley, who ran in that event, was kind enough to detail his recollections of the race:

I was in that (in)famous Heps 1500m final back in 2005 where the pace went out slower than the women’s 10k the previous night (Caroline Bierbaum and Lindsey Scherf duked it out). I believe I finished seventh or eighth and am obscured just over Yelsey’s right shoulder.

It had been really windy the entire weekend and the Columbia track has really long straights. In the prelims, whoever touched the lead before 700m didn’t make the final. During the final, nobody wanted to lead but everyone wanted to be near the front. We hit the 400m around 75, the 800m around 2:33 and then the pace picked up. I believe the split between 800m and 1100m was 45 seconds and then things really heated up.

Everyone was still in contention with a lap to run. On the backstretch guys started jostling for position as we fanned out to lane 4. Oliver Tassinari (334) slipped through on the inside when a hole opened up with Ben True, Bruce Hyde and Josh Yelsey still up front. There were spiked feet and elbows everywhere the final 100m as everyone looked to hit the line first. I remember being so close to the front, but having too many bodies to run through or around to make up any ground.

The final 400m was completed in about 53 seconds for the leaders while I was about 54 seconds. If I recall correctly, without looking at results, everyone finished within 1.5 seconds of Yelsey who snagged the win from arguably bigger kickers in Tassinari and Hyde.

After the race, many in the crowd commented on the high entertainment value of the last two laps and the ridiculousness of the slow early pace. To this day it remains one of my fondest memories of Heps behind Pat Tarpy’s victory in the 10k.

3 Responses to “The Slowest Heps’ Race Ever”

  1. Mary says:

    Does anyone have a video of this race?  That would be cool to share.

  2. Sam says:

    Please no video.  I don’t need to be reliving that experience.  If I recall I was in the lead with 250 to go and then ended up DFL.

  3. Josh Yelsey says:

    Here’s the video my Dad shot of the race.  Thanks for the revival.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypYOYt2OnVE