Monday, November 15, 2010

The Race For Jeff

Abiyot Endale(sub 4:00 Miler), Steve Hallinan, Demesse Tefera(former Olympian), Rod Koborski, Gurmessa Megressa, Steve Magness....the FAST names were endless going into the Veterans Day 10K on Sunday, November 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. Not to mention my speedy roomate, Joe, as well as a few other GRC guys who have all run 30-31 min 10Ks, in addition to some Pacers runners like sub 31 guy Bert Rodriguez. This field was STACKED. And there were to be fast times today. In addition to Steve Magness, representing =PR= were me, Dave, and Dustin. I was aiming for under 33 minutes today for the 6.2 Mile Race. Last year, I had run 33:53, and was 16th. So, realistically I was shooting for top 10 this year(which got money). I warmed up with Dave and Dustin and got to the starting line feeling tired from the funeral but so motivated to run at the same time. I had gotten home the night before around 11:00 driving back from NY-and then got up at 5:00 AM the next morning. But the adrenaline was there. I was needing a good race today-for my cousin, my friend, Jeff.


The Gun went off. I went out conservative, making sure not to go too fast, for I realized that the field was MUCH more loaded than last year. 10 guys surged to the front. I saw Joe, who was not too far ahead near the 1 Mile mark-dangerous for me-Joe is clearly on another level than I am right now-and going out with him at his pace for the first mile would be too fast too early. I stayed calm and went through 5:15 the first mile-perfect. Andy was running with me at this point and we both went through the 2 Mile in 10:32(5:17 split). After that, Andy dropped back a bit and I was on my own-so I started focusing on catching a few guys up ahead. One of them was Dustin-who I wanted to run with since he was aiming for 32's. I up to him and another runner who was dropping off the pace. I went through the HALFWAY 5K in 16:30. 33 FLAT pace. Ok, gotta run the second half faster, this is what I am good at. We made the 180 degree turn around. Dustin was sticking with me as we caught an African runner who actually stuck with us. We were now a pack of 3. Dustin and I tried to work together to reel in more runners up ahead(as well as drop the African guy-cause lord knows what he had in store the last 800 meters of the race). We hit 4 Miles in 21:10ish. A little more than 10 Minutes of pain left, I thought. I got hungry to catch more runners. I was leading the pack of 3 and kept pushing the pace. Dustin and I could not drop the African guy. He was hanging on. 5 Mile split was 26:30 something. 1.2 Miles left. I started making my move, I felt the African guy hurting a bit. I was strong. Dustin was hanging off my shoulders. Come on, I thought, you GOT this. I wasn't sure if I was on pace or not to break 33. I was starting to think I was going to run 33:10 or something. Then, the last 800 meters, The african surged ahead of me and Dustin, and we could not match his turnover. Dustin and I ran together trying to reel him in. Then Dustin surged. I was running just a few meters back from him. Alright, probably not going to break 33, I thought...

6 Miles. .2 TO GO!!!

THEN, I thought of Jeff-I forgot about the pain. I still had the strength in my legs, my body had MORE to give. GIVE IT!!! I yelled out loud, THIS IS FOR YOU JEFF!!! The crowd cheered-and with that suddenly my turnover changed and I ran faster, and faster, AND FASTER-the last 10 seconds were like one long moment of sheer joy and pain and everything else in between-all wrapped into one. It hurt-but it felt so good at the same time. I ran my heart out.

The clock read 32:58.


As I crossed the line, I bent over on my knees, exhausted, and started to cry. Joe(who ran a great race in 31:15), held me up. I cried while he hugged me. YOU DID THIS FOR HIM, he said. I saw Beth who came with her Mom, and hugged them both. I was happy, and I was happy to do this for Jeff.



1 1/88 1 Abiyot Endale 24 BRONX NY 29:35 4:46 14:44

2 2/88 3054 Steve Hallihan 24 WASHINGTON DC 29:54 4:49 14:52

3 1/223 2714 Demese Tefera 27 WASHINGTON DC 30:03 4:51 14:51

4 1/191 2180 Gurmessa Megerssa 31 WASHINGTON DC 30:12 4:52 14:58

5 2/223 3016 Rod Koborsi 27 WASHINGTON DC 30:23 4:54 14:57

6 3/223 21 Steve Magness 26 VIENNA VA 30:31 4:55 15:02

7 3/88 13 Frank Devar 22 ALEXANDRIA VA 30:40 4:57

8 4/223 18 Will Viviani 28 ARLINGTON VA 30:46 4:57 15:27

9 2/191 14 Bert Rodriguez 31 ARLINGTON VA 30:51 4:58 15:27

10 5/223 12 Joey Wiegner 28 ROCKVILLE MD 31:15 5:02 15:37

11 4/88 16 Paul Guevara 24 ALEXANDRIA VA 31:38 5:06 15:40

12 5/88 17 Jerry Greenlaw 22 BOWIE MD 31:42 5:06 15:47

13 6/88 10 Ryan Hanson 22 ROCKVILLE MD 31:49 5:08 15:47

14 6/223 1447 Carlos Renjifo 27 COLUMBIA MD 32:00 5:09 15:48

15 7/88 3146 Seife Gelletu 24 WASHINGTON DC 32:34 5:15 15:48

16 7/223 5 Beruk Deberework 27 WASHINGTON DC 32:51 5:18

17 8/88 15 Dustin Whitlow 24 ARLINGTON VA 32:56 5:18 16:30

18 8/223 7 Chris Sloane 27 ROCKVILLE MD 32:58 5:18 16:30

19 9/223 3 Dave Miller 27 ROCKVILLE MD 33:28 5:24 16:47

20 10/223 1262 Charles Love 25 MADISON VA 33:41 5:26 16:40

My Next Race is on November 25-The Turkey Chase 10K on Thanksgiving Day.

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