By Brenda Barrera
May 19, 2012
For the Washington Running Report
“Yup, I’m 40,” the message on overall champion Kevin Castille’s shirt said it all. It was an impressive day for the 40 and older crowd at the Run for the Dream 8K in Williamsburg VA which also served as the USA Track & Field Masters 8K Championships. A total of 1,536 runners completed the 8K race on the rolling course on the historical Colonial Williamsburg and College of Williams & Mary. And 143 national-class runners competed in the separately scored Masters Championship division.
Having just turned 40 this past March, Castille is having an exceptional year. The Louisiana-native now residing in Kentucky is tearing up the roads and also the track. He captured the masters crown at the Carlsbad 5000 (14:57), set a U.S. Masters 10K record at the Stanford University Invitational (28:57) and set a new course record at today’s race with his 24:19 finish.
“The conditions were ideal,” said Castille who led the whole race and had set a goal to run faster than 24:00. “But it’s hard to get into a groove when the course has a lot of turns like this.” Alexandria’s Chris Juarez, 41, was second in 25:16 followed by Mark Andrews, 41, from Rochester, NY. Ray Pugsley, 43, from Potomac Falls, VA and racing for the Baltimore Washington Athletic Club took the fourth spot in the Masters competition in 26:02.
The women’s masters competition was almost a repeat of last year. Chris Kimbrough, 42, from Austin, TX and the 2011 USATF Club Cross Country National Masters Champion defended her 8K Masters title. She took the crown in 28:08 but as with 2011 was challenged by former William & Mary All-American Sonja Friend-Uhl who now resides in Brentwood, TN. Friend-Uhl finished in 28:19. The margin was closer than last year when they finished 1-2 in 28:18 and 28:56, respectively.
“I felt pretty good for the first 3 miles and didn’t pass Sonya until 3 1/2 miles,” said Kimbrough who received extra motivation from her uncle who drove up from Suffolk to cheer his niece.
Susannah Kvasnicka from Great Falls, VA has been on hiatus the past few years due to injuries but it is hard to sit on the sidelines when you turn 40. Kvasnicka said she is excited to get back into racing shape and kicked off her return with an overall win at Cassidy Turley Race for Hope 5K on May 6 and in today’s contest she took the third spot with her 29:35 finish.
Charlottesville’s Thomas Adam, racing for the Ragged Mountain Racing Team, finished fourth overall with his 25:55. The youngster in the talented field at just 25-years old, is not going to be competing in the masters category for awhile but he drew inspiration from competing with the older crowd.
“I liked seeing more experienced runners still competing and still enjoying the sport,” said Adam.
Among the finishers was Andy Scales, 45, who completed the 8K in a kilt. He admitted last year at this time he was sitting on his couch and weighed 330 pounds. The accountant and volunteer fireman decided it was time for a change and adopt a new lifestyle which included walking in the evening.
“It took me a month before I could even run a mile,” said the Saluda resident who now weighs 285.
Actor Joe Mantegna, in town as the guest host for Colonial Williamsburg’s special “A Salute to the Nation” made an appearance at the awards presentation. Afterward, several of the participants mentioned they were eager to get off their feet as they would be returning to the starting line again for Sunday’s half marathon, part of the Patriot’s Challenge.