LEANDER–It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect way to get the fall racing season underway than the Rogue Rescue Run 5-K on Sunday morning. Clear, even unseasonably chilly and with light winds, the Rogue 5-K was a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summer.

For most of the record field of 325 (nearly double the previous year), PRs and fast times weren’t first and foremost on the runners’ minds. Raising money and awareness for the Texas Human Heroes was.

Fittingly, many of the runners and walkers were accompanied on the 5-K loop course by their canine friends. And even the dogs who didn’t participate in the run, still had fun on obstacle courses and sampling doggie treats back at the start/finish at the Human Heroes HQ off of Crystal Falls Parkway.

Of course, the guys at the front of the pack were all business and, if any one of them had dogs, they were asleep at home.

Right from the starting gun, it was obvious that Alex Moore and Kevin Irwin were the class of this field. Although both are from Cedar Park, the two couldn’t recall racing against each other.

Kerwin, the tall, 43-year-old who ran at Rice, races plenty (and races well), but Moore, a 30-year-old A&M grad, hasn’t. After graduating from Aggieland in 2006, the actuary for New York Life, has lived in Nashville and Houston and is just settling back into racing here.

“I’ve done a few races around Austin,” said Moore who had collegiate PRs of 24:50/30:50, “but they have been mainly smaller races like this one where there aren’t a lot of fast guys who show up.”

He certainly had company on Sunday.

Kerwin took out the pace, going through the fast first mile (with a slightly downhill and tailwind) in 5:15, but Moore was right there, trailed by Michael Trejo, Larry Bright and Lee Toowey.

“I felt pretty comfortable,” said Kerwin who works for Alcatel-Lucent (formerly Motive), “but he (i.e., Alex Moore) was always with me.”

The two passed through the second mile in another 5:15 along a flat section through The Cold Springs development. After leaving the neighborhood, Moore and Kerwin led the field through a section of the course which included a slight incline back to Crystal Springs Parkway.

It wasn’t a particularly hard hill, but along this section that Kerwin faltered ever so slightly and as the duo made the turn back onto Crystal Springs for the 700-meter run in back to the finish, Moore easily pulled away.

“It isn’t like I made a big move or anything,” said Moore, who plans to race the Run for the Water 10-Miler next month, “as much as I just got up that hill a little better than Kevin did.”

Moore cruised through the finish in 16:37 with Kerwin next in 16:50 and Trejo holding off Bright for third in 17:10. Bright, 49, picked up fourth in 17:26 with the 44-year-old Toowey in fifth in 17:35. Mike Burton and Mark Enstone, 49, finished virtually together in sixth and seventh in 17:46.

Kerwin, who is running the IBM Uptown Classic next (October 6 th) was the first masters runner, followed by Bright and Toowey. Wish (21:30) was the first of the really old guys (50+).

The women’s field was dominated by 37-year-old Heather Vickers, a software engineer. She ran 19:31 to easily outdistance Gabriel Anderson who finished second in 21:19.