By James Moreland
For the Washington Running Report
Below, runners charge the final meters to the finish line. Above, the finish arch awaits.
In its fourth year this little race is starting to gain momentum. The first two years the winners of the race barely broke 19:00 on a course that, while never flat, has no hills of consequence. In the second year, hometown legend Ted Poulos measured the field and ran just fast enough to win in 18:42. Take note that Sarah Spalding finished only one second later to keep things interesting. Then in 2010 some very fast runners entered the fray. Michaela Courtney easily set the women’s event record in a sparkling 17:22 that was sixth overall a stride behind Craig Clar. Poulos who has a PR of 15:48 settled for a division win in 18:32. Mark Drath lowered the bar beating runner-up Christopher Pruitt by a 100 meters in 15:44. Finishers nearly doubled to just short of 300 finishers.
Now for 2011 the race was offering a 7-day Wyndham Worldwide Vacation for the overall winners as well as for a random winner. This helped the race to a record 360 finishers on a cool, breezy morning that started to spit rain just moments before the start of the event. Philippe Rolly, 39, who once possessed 29:00 10K speed returned after finishing third last year. He improved to 17:07, which was all alone again in third place. The battle for the top prize came from runners nearly half his age.
Ethan Rissell, 22, has not been on the radar in a year or so but he battled all the way to earn the runner-up spot in 15:23. Andrew Benford, 23, of Richmond showed what a powerful runner he was triumphing in an event record 15:09. One tired runner coming off a slower than normal race mused that nobody would beat 20:00. Back in March on the track Benford had set a PR 13:59.99 to break 14 minutes by the slimmest of margins.
Standing at the starting line there were no women revving up to dart out onto Old Dominion for the nearly mile climb, albeit a mild elevation change. Then at a half mile Win Persina, 51, who usually starts easy, started pushing the pace. Maybe she had noticed that grandmaster women, such as Cindy Conant at the Kensington 8k last week, have been winning it all. Maybe she felt she would like that vacation. Whatever the reason, she pulled away from everyone to win handily in 21:26. Mimi Comer, 13, of McLean was next in 22:14. Fourth place Jen Norris, 40, started back in the pack otherwise she may have caught third place Kristin Novak. The final half mile contains two steep, though short humps but the way Norris tore over them, they might as well have been flat.
The final 200 minutes is a lovely downhill that leads around the final corner with the finish line right away there. The weather was not a problem during the race but it sure was nice to be able to shelter inside the little courtyard a few yards away after the race. And of course there was food and drink.
Maynard Weyers, 75, looked smooth and relaxed as he glided home in 27:36. That was nearly a minute and a half faster than his Run for the Door 5k just two weeks before.
After the race, tags like were torn off bib (like in the olden times) but this time they were deposited in that little green bucket. Everyone would get a chance for the 7-day Wyndham Worldwide Vacation.
Overall Female Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Win Persina Washington DC 51 20 21:26 21:26 6:55/M Overall Male Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Andrew Benford Richmond VA 23 1 15:09 15:09 4:53/M Female 19 and Younger Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Mimi Comer McLean VA 13 28 22:07 22:14 7:08/M 2 Megumi Chen McLean VA 15 42 23:01 23:01 7:25/M Male 19 and younger Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Sam Hutton Annandale VA 15 7 20:10 20:15 6:30/M 2 Wesley Fouse Annandale VA 16 8 20:11 20:15 6:31/M Female 20 to 29 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Kristin Novak Arlington VA 27 39 22:54 22:55 7:23/M 2 Martha Mishkin Fairfax VA 28 69 24:37 24:47 7:56/M Male 20 to 29 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Ethan Rissell Alexandria VA 22 2 15:23 15:23 4:58/M 2 Douglas Hickeg 28 4 17:41 17:41 5:42/M Female 30 to 39 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Luise Rodriguez Germantown MD 39 44 23:14 23:18 7:30/M 2 Genta Branstetter McLean VA 39 54 24:12 24:28 7:48/M Male 30 to 39 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Philippe Rolly McLean VA 39 3 17:07 17:08 5:31/M 2 Andrew Howley Arlington VA 34 6 19:54 19:55 6:25/M Female 40 to 49 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Jen Norris McLean VA 40 40 22:57 23:06 7:24/M 2 Cynthia Hutchings McLean VA 48 52 24:03 24:05 7:45/M Male 40 to 49 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 David Fouse Annandale VA 45 13 20:43 20:46 6:41/M 2 Kevin Morin McLean VA 49 14 20:58 21:00 6:46/M Female 50 to 59 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Pat Leighton Falls Church VA 52 83 25:21 25:30 8:11/M 2 Carla Freyvogel McLean VA 54 89 25:32 25:33 8:14/M Male 50 to 59 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 John Bacon Arlington VA 55 12 20:35 20:36 6:38/M 2 Robert Salmon McLean VA 50 24 21:46 21:49 7:01/M Female 60 to 69 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Gwen Davies McLean VA 67 205 31:56 32:01 10:18/M 2 Sharoos Newton Chantilly VA 65 317 43:23 43:38 14:00/M Male 60 to 69 Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Tom Noonan McLean VA 63 56 24:16 25:10 7:50/M 2 Les Irby McLean VA 61 74 24:51 25:14 8:01/M Female 70 and Older Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Ellen O'Brady Woodbridge VA 75 184 30:55 30:55 9:58/M Male 70 and Older Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace 1 Maynard Weyers Alexandria VA 75 134 27:34 27:36 8:54/M 2 Bendy Viragh Washington DC 77 239 33:35 33:42 10:50/M
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