Runners earn negative splits thanks to wind

At risk of romanticizing the past, but in George Washington’s day, he likely had too much to worry about — building a nation — to be concerned with politics. He surely wasn’t worried which way the wind was blowing. [button-red url=”http://results.bazumedia.com/event/results/event/event-2556″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]The runners who gathered in Alexandria for the George Washington Birthday 10k classic, on the other hand, had no choice but to worry. The first 5k led straight into some wild gusts, including up a hill before the turnaround. That gave runners an extra boost and led to a lot of negative splits. Arlington resident Jillian Pollack guessed she ran about 45 seconds faster on the way back.

“It was definitely a lot easier on the way back, but I guess we were earning it on the way out,” she said, noting her legs were numb five minutes after finishing the race.

Pollack chose the race because it was one of few 10ks that looked good in her scheduled run up to the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA half marathon. She was one of several Capital Area Runners who raced.

Men’s winner Joseph Tessema, of Springfield, ran his first 10k road race and won it in an even 31:00, splitting 15:22 at the half and being one of a few runners not to report a negative split. Falls Church’s Matt Barresi followed in 31:54.

“After three minutes, nobody else was moving fast enough so I had to go alone,” he said. “It was a little windy but I just tried to keep myself going.”

Pacers Events elite coordinator Dustin Sweeney was impressed by Tessema’s poise on the course.

“He looked like a 13 minute 5k runner out there,” Sweeney said. “He was so smooth and relaxed.”

Women’s winner Claire Hallissey warmed up for the race by bicycling to the course from home in Arlington. She ran 35:34 to win over Alexandria’s Barb Fallon Wallace’s 37:27.

Hallissey is focusing on the New York Half Marathon in March, and was chagrined to have run roughly the same pace as she had for a half marathon and 5k in the last few weeks. She was, however, glad have been running throughout the week, after spending time cross training.

Georgetown University freshman Robert DePaolo decided to race so he could get at least one effort under his belt before he tackles the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon. He decided to run a half marathon in the prior summer.

“I think I paced myself pretty well,” he said. “I think this half is going to go alright.”

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