By David Yon
The value of the home court advantage came through very clearly Saturday. Sarah Docter-Williams got a nice slow start to this race, knowing what second place Heather Butcher did not – that the trip back on this out and back course is much longer than the journey out. Heather, visiting from out of town, led most of the way running smoothly through the hills. But with each hill climbed on the way back, Sarah cut the lead stride by stride. And each step closer to the lead runner fired the competitive juices a little bit hotter. Somewhere between miles eight and nine the lead switched and The Docter moved into first place for good. Sarah broke the tape in a time of 1:04:40, just ahead of Heather’s 1:04:57. These were the fastest women’s times on the course since Sarah ran 1:04:28 to win in 1998. Sarah had the grand prix title locked up before the race started, but she put a nice explanation point on the year by capturing another 30 points to give her 330 unofficially for the year.
Tim Unger took control of the men’s race beating second place Mike Johnson by just over one minute. Tim’s time of 1:00:12 was the first time the winning time was over an hour since the race became a ten miler in December of 1988. In 1988 David Keen set what I believe remains the course record when he won in 51:15. I was unable to find results for 1993. Tim’s first place finish added to his insurmountable grand prix lead as well, giving him 274 points unofficially.
Reid Vannoy captured the master’s title for the men in 1:01:41, while Jane Johnson took the title for the women with a 1:06:20. Phil Yon took the Achilles title in his hand cycle in a time of 1:04:18. One hundred sixty-nine runners finished the race under the expert supervision of race director Dawn Brown.