Compiled from the Lynchburg News and Advance from Emily Brown And Will Collier
Throughout the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler
event, which included the 10 Miler Relay, 4 Miler and 4-Mile Walk and the 10-mile race, over 3300 area residents and runners from across the country braved the hills and warm temperatures to accomplish their goals.
The Genworth Virginia 10 Miler, the RRCA National 10 Mile Championship, saw another historic turnout in its 44th year thanks to the efforts of Race Director Jeff Fedorko and the expertise of dozens of organizers and more than 1,000 volunteers. Olympian Molly Huddle was the special athlete guest for this year's race, and she served as the official race starter.
The pack of more than 40 elite runners entered in the 10 mile race used the hill-filled course to test themselves against some of the best competition in the country, with Kenyan Benard Ngeno taking the title in his 10 mile debut.
Ngeno jumped out to an early lead and kept his foot on the pedal throughout the race, taking a few peeks back at the trailing field about midway through to realize he was in good position. He ran the course at a 4:45-mile pace.
“It was not bad. It was good,” Ngeno said of the course. “I was used to training on [hills], so I was strong. This was a challenge, though I was prepared.”
Ngeno was challenged briefly by Kubuku in mile 8, but Ngeno closed out and held on to a solid lead. Kubuku finished in 47:39, 14 seconds behind Ngeno.
Julius Kogo, the four-time 10 Miler champ and one of the favorites ahead of Saturday’s race after finishing fourth last year, came in third at 48:17.
Elkahah Kibet was the top American finisher with a time of 48:25.
Ethiopian runner Biruktayit Degefa finished first among the women Saturday with a time of 54:31, beating Monicah Ngige by 55 seconds. Saturday marked the first 10 Miler for the two.
Raleigh, North Carolina, resident Sarah Rapp, a former Virginia Tech athlete, was the top American woman, finishing sixth in 57:40.
What began as a lone 10-mile race in 1974, expanded in 1999 with the
addition of the 4 Miler and gained race diversity in 2010 by adding of
the 4-Mile Walk. Rod Dixon holds the course record with a time of 46:50, set in 1981, and Anne Audain holds the women's record with a time of 53:47, set in 1984.
“Jeff has done a really good job,” 25-year race participant Steve Morris said. “I would say that he is one of the reasons the race is where it is today. His passion for running has really helped people and kept this all rolling, I truly believe.”
In the five years of working with the 10 Miler, Executive Director of the Road Runners Club of America Jean Knaack said Fedorko’s work has built the race into a “great event.”
Knaack said she loves what the race has grown to. “Obviously the 10 Miler drives the race and the advertising,” Knaack said. “But being out watching the participants of the 4-Mile Walk is fantastic. It is an asset to the race, because it really does provide the opportunity for everyone in the community to participate.”
“The whole race weekend is a great testament to the City of Lynchburg being an RRCA Runner Friendly Community.” Knaack said.
Congratulations to the 2017 RRCA 10 Mile National Champions
Open Male: Benard Ngeno of Kenya with a time of 47:25
Open Female: Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia with a time of 54:31
Masters Male: Julius Kiptoo, age 40, of Kenya with a time of 52:33
Masters Female: Catherine Phillips, age 42, of Lynchburg, VA with a time of 1:10:20
Grand Masters Male: Brian Kelleher, age 50, with a time of 1:07:24
Grand Masters Female: Pam Rickard, age 55, of Rocky Mount, VA, with a time of 1:19:10
Senior Grand Master Male: Preston Evans, age 61, of Madison Heights, VA, with a time of 1:10:07
Senior Grand Master Female: Layne Ferguson, age 60, of Moneta, VA, with a time of 1:32:39