Here in DC, the Cherry Blossoms are already at a delicate beauty. And today we had our internationally renowned Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race. It was exciting to see!
The last time I looked, the results still weren't in. But I do know that Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia posted a world record today. (Dropping the chase group at MP 3.) I was on the Memorial Bridge at MP 3 and I saw her go by. She was by herself and the rest of the elite women pursuing her were already 30 yards back. Over the bridge in Virginia, they ran around a traffic circle and came back to the District via the same bridge. This time time the small pack pursuing her was 50 yards back. You go, girl! And she did, into the record books.
I was there to watch my NYCM running buddy, A., run the race. She had a hard fall and winter, recovering from a stress fracture in her foot. It was her first race since her layoff and she was placed in a seeded corral because she's pretty fast. She went by me on the bridge at a little over 22 minutes and I shouted out in encouragement, Go, A., you're doing 7:10s! Her look was withering. Try 7:40s, she shot back. Never lie to a woman.
Think racing isn't exciting? I next set up at MP nine and a quarter. Well before fifty minutes, four elite men came flying by, bunched together in a loose ball. Who would break out and win? Would the people three minutes down the road be treated to a finish worthy of the 2005 NYCM? I still don't know and I can't wait to find out.
(Above: The elite men charging homeward a little after the ninth mile. They are overtaking an elite woman who started ten minutes before them. One of these four would win in under fifty minutes. Which one?)
A. came by and finished at around 1:15:40 or so, a great time in her recovery from injury. When she passed me less than a mile out, I chased her for a moment on the sidewalk alongside the road and shouted at her to go! Beat those men around her! Good move (another withering look). Thus alerted, the men sped up. Think racing isn't exciting to watch? She ran a great race. (A. and Jake training in DC during the cold snowy winter for the 2007 Cherry Blossom Run. Jake pulled out at the last minute. The weather conditions during the race were ideal.)
By the time A. came by, my friend Jeanne had long since come and gone. I'm sure her finishing time was fantastic too, especially since she is coming back also, from recent surgery. I can't wait to get her official time.
(Not Born to Run pursuing the leader in the 2007 Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race just before she got serious and threw off her warm-up clothes. Go to her blog to view her finishing push.)