The fourth try was the charm for Christine Ramsey, who broke the tape at the Pike’s Peek 10k Sunday morning in 34:43.
The Baltimore runner debuted here in 2008, finishing 5th in 36:19. Four years later, she returned, running more than 90 seconds faster but finishing two spots lower. Last year, another solid showing got her 11th.
Enter 2014. This morning, two miles in, Ramsey, 31, found herself in the lead pack with about half a dozen women all running well under six minutes per mile. “I felt pretty strong, so I picked it up,” she said. “They were still pretty close behind me, but nobody went with me.”
[button-red url=”https://www.mcrrc.org/pikes-peek-10k-8″ target=”_self” position=”left”] 10k Results [/button-red] At mile 4, Ramsey surged again, holding onto a slim lead over Alexandria’s Lindsay O’Brien, on the way to a new personal best of 34:43 and a $500 pay day. “It was great because we pushed each other,” she said of her competitors.
Ramsey, as of late, has been more focused on reaching the finish line of her PhD program than on trying to win races. She recently turned in her dissertation; the defense is in two weeks. “So it felt good to have a good race,” said Ramsey, who will move to New Haven, Conn., soon to start a post-doctoral position.
All but 70 seconds separated Ramsey from Selamawit Lemma in 5th. O’Brien was 2nd; it was her second-straight sub-35-minute showing here. Columbia’s Julia Roman-Duval was 3rd in 35:05, followed by Loring Crowley of Winston Salem, N.C., in 35:23. Kensington’s Cindy Conant, 53, was the top master in 38:08.
On the men’s side, Nahom Mesfin, running his first Pike’s Peek, took the lead early and never looked back. He was all alone, pumping his arms on the long downhill to the finish line and waving to the crowd, winning in a net time 28:28, 22 seconds off Julius Kogo‘s event record set in 2011.
Mesfin, a former Olympic steeplechaser, is living in Alexandria, and is transitioning to longer races, he said. To that end, he recently returned from a four-month training trip to his native Ethiopia.
Early in the race, Mesfin questioned the feedback he was getting from his watch, he said. He was seeing kilometer splits in the low 2:30s, but the pace felt a slower than that, he said. “I was not in a good mood.”
Less than a half hour later, his mood had changed.
“I am so excited, and so happy,” said Mesfin, who had been disappointed with his performance at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run earlier this month.
Baisa Moleta, also of Alexandria, was 2nd in 29:04, followed by Dereje Deme of Silver Spring in 29:09. Gurmessa Megerssa, a Washington, D.C., resident via Ethiopia who reigned supreme over the local roads in 2006 and 2007, closed hard down the final straight to clock 29:19. Getachew Asfaw of Silver Spring rounded out the top five.
Bethesda’s Conrad Laskowski, 7th in 30:12, ran with the lead pack early on alongside Gaithersburg’s Chris Sloane, 8th in 30:33.
“I was trying to run under 30,” Laskowski said. “Came up a little short, but I am happy with it. It’s a PR.”
Philippe Rolly, 41, of McLean, was top master in 31:37.
Downhill, fast, and cool
For Pike’s Peek, runners start on Redland Road near the Shady Grove Metro station, make a quick left on Route 355 and bee-line it south past the White Flint station, where a big downhill covers the last .2 miles. “It is probably the fastest 10k you can get without going on the track,” Ramsey said.
That, as it happens, is only part of its appeal. In addition to professional-level competition, former race director Jean Arthur can only remember two years when this Montgomery County Roads Runners event had bad weather. This year, the temperature was cool, and the way the finish line banner was flapping, you knew the wind was at runners’ backs.
“I ran it for the first time last year, and I thought it was so good I came back again,” said Brian Carlson, a nine-time marathoner who started running in 1988. The Reston Runners member, who is 67, likes the net-downhill course. Plus, he said, “It’s a very well-run race.”
“You know it’s net downhill, so you know you’re going to get a pretty good time,” said Jody Gil, who came close to achieving her goal of breaking 53 minutes.
Gil ran with her longtime friend Jared Sher for six-plus miles. “He turned on the guns at the end,” she said.
Leland Hao ran the race with his son, Kelvin Hao, 11. It was Kelvin’s first 10k, and the smile on his face afterward suggested he’ll have no problem finishing the Disneyland 10k in late August.
When Kelvin’s younger sister was hospitalized for cephalitis, he met other kids his age fighting a rare childhood disease called ataxia-telangiectasia, also referred to as Louis-Bar syndrome, Leland Hao said. In Anaheim, Calif., Kelvin’s race will raise money for the A-T Children’s Project, which seeks a cure.
The race had a wave start to accommodate about 2,500 participants, and for the first time offered pacing teams. Bethesda’s Danny George, typically a 36-minute 10k runner, helped about 10 runners meet their goal of breaking 45 minutes.
“I just wanted to stay even and give them a little head start,” George said. “That way, once they got to the top of the hill, they could just coast right in.”
By Brenda Barrera
May 20, 2012
For the Washington Running Report
What is a classic race? It is an event that is judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding and the NCB Capital Hill Classic 10K is just that – a quality event with a long tradition that dates back 33 years with proceeds benefiting the Capitol Hill Cluster, a public school with three campuses.
Ideal weather conditions greeted runners on Sunday as the number of participants increased from last year with 2,149 runners finishing the 10K.
The honor roll of winners for this classic May race include: Kean, Wardian, Gramsky, Endale, and Wilson. Well, it took local standout Gurmessa Megerssa, 32, a few tries with runner-up honors in 2009 (30:56) and 2010 (31:31) but for 2012 he was finally able to add his name to the list of talented winners with his 31:37 finish.
Australian Alex Dreyer, 22, a 10,000M specialist out of Eastern Kentucky University, took the second spot in 31:54. Washington DC’s Wilson Komen, 34, won the race last year in 32:23 but had to settle for third this year despite a faster finishing time of 32:05. It should be noted Komen also did the double. He ran the accompanying 3K, winning his age group in 9:35.
If Navy Lt. Amanda Rice is at the starting line, expect a standout performance. The 28-year-old dental resident based in Rockville, MD has been heating up the local competition since she arrived from the west coast. Rice handily won the women’s race in 36:31 and certainly did not hide her enthusiasm. Rice finished almost a minute ahead of DC youngster Sheetaye Beneie, 19, who crossed the line in 37:30. Kaitlin Sheedy, 29, also from Washington, DC took the third spot with her 40:36.
The 3K event is a great introductory distance for newbie runners and attracted close to 500 runners this year. The shorter distance also serves as an opportunity for the swifter to test their leg speed. John Kingstedt, 19, from Huddinge, Sweden won in 8:54 and Tiringo Shiferaw, 27, from Washington DC was the first woman in 10:42.
10K Awards Listing Age Group Awards Based on Net Times MALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 Gurmessa Megerssa 32 Washington DC 31:37 2 Alex Dreyer 22 Perth Australia 31:54 3 Wilson Komen 34 Washington DC 32:05 FEMALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 Amanda Rice 28 Rockville MD 36:31 2 Shetaye Beneie 19 Washington DC 37:30 3 Kaitlin Sheedy 29 Washington DC 40:36 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 1 - 14 1 Willem Lensink 14 Falls Church VA 44:19 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 1 - 14 1 Page Harrison 13 Washington DC 53:22 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 20 1 Haydn Borghetti-Metz 15 Rogersville TN 36:02 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 20 1 Rebecca Hinch 19 Leesburg VA 47:45 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 21 - 29 1 Richard Andrews 25 Washington DC 33:28 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 21 - 29 1 Jennifer Leehey 26 Washington DC 41:18 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 39 1 Colin Fishwick 34 Willoughby OH 33:13 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 39 1 Erica Solway 30 Washington DC 41:01 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 49 1 John Zimmerman 45 McLean VA 35:05 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 49 1 Kerry Rodgers 43 Washington DC 42:50 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 59 1 Christopher Ryan 53 Washington DC 37:52 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 59 1 Blake Rushin 50 Vienna VA 48:33 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 69 1 Spider Rossiter 60 Washington DC 40:07 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 69 1 Nancy Avitabile 64 Bethesda MD 51:09 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 79 1 Ralph Bayrer 72 Washington DC 1:02:29 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 79 1 Tami Graf 75 Lusby MD 1:08:15
3K Awards Listing Age Group Awards Based on Net Times MALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 John Kingstedt 19 Huddinge 8:54 2 Eshetu Tjlahun 32 Washington DC 8:59 3 Seife Geletu 30 Washington DC 8:59 FEMALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 Tiringo Shiferaw 27 Washington DC 10:42 2 Monica Kingstedt 50 Huddinge 11:44 3 Dionis Gauvin 37 Washington DC 11:58 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 1 - 14 1 Adam Schans 13 Washington DC 11:10 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 1 - 14 1 Anne Ryan 13 Washington DC 13:18 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 20 1 Otto Kingstedt 17 Huddinge 9:22 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 20 1 Laura Montermann 19 Falls Church VA 16:51 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 21 - 29 1 Tripp Southerland 27 Washington DC 9:22 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 21 - 29 1 Kristy Carter 21 Olathe KS 13:55 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 39 1 Wilson Komen 34 Washington DC 9:35 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 39 1 Rachel Smith 32 Silver Spring MD 12:23 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 49 1 Tom Mahr 47 Washington DC 12:32 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 49 1 Elizabeth Festa 45 Washington DC 14:49 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 59 1 Anders Kingstedt 53 Huddinge 13:10 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 59 1 Linda Rotunno 52 Washington DC 14:10 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 69 1 Robert Weiner 65 Accokeek MD 14:49 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 69 1 Sarah Burke 60 Washington DC 19:40 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 79 1 Lance Bush 77 Washington DC 15:38 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 79 1 Carol Kelly 71 Washington DC 28:15