If this was the final race for the IBM Uptown Classic 10-K at The Domain—and in all likelihood it was—it couldn’t have been a more perfect send off for the 19th annual running of this event. On a morning that must have been created by the running gods (clear with a temp of 57 degrees, low humidity and almost no breeze), nearly 2000 ran and said farewell to the fast north Austin course which has served this race so well.

Leading the way were the two classiest runners in the field: Erik Stanley, who was the overall winner in 30:46, and Betzy Jimenez, who earned her third consecutive IBM victory, in a course record 35:20.

Stanley, the 28-year-old Rogue runner, was well off the men’s course record of 29:15, set last year by Eric Chirchir, but that didn’t seem to matter to the former UT miler. “I just wanted to jump into a race like this,” said Stanley, “to have some fun and see where I am.”

For the past year, Slanley has been dipping his toes into ultramarathons (a 100-K and 50-miler) and after the Bandera 50, Stanley injured his hip flexors and, by his own admission, it took him three or four months just to get back to running normal again. “It’s been over a year since I ran shorter race like this one,” said Stanley, “so it was great to be competitive my first time out.”

The tall, bearded Stanley was certainly competitive. He was smack dab in the middle of the lead pack—going through the first mile in 5:04—which included Moses Luevano, the former Boerne HS runner who competed at Stephen F. Austin University, and Paul Morris, the former Columbia University runner, who grew up in Massachusetts.

Luevano and Morris traded the lead through the first 5-K, until Luevano took over. “Moses looked really solid,” said Stanley. “I just wanted to stay patient and not force the pace.”

But just past the four-mile mark, Stanley put in a small surge and Morris fell way back as did Luevano. A 4:50 mile by Stanley ended the suspense and he went to win in 30:46 with Luevano second in 31:09 and Morris, who hadn’t raced since April, in third in 31:20.

“I definitely got tired in the final mile,” said Stanley who intends to run the entire 2013-14 Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge series, “but I was a little less tired than Moses and Paul were.”

Top masters runner was 49-year-old Larry Bright who ran 36:52. Second went to Lee Toowey (37:13) and third was Chris Kime in 38:09.

Masters age group winners were Toowey (40-44), Bright (45-49), Gordon Alexander in the 50-54 (38:45), Greg Baxter in the 55-59 (38:15), Jimmy McIntire of Bastrop in the 60-64 (42:39), Vance Taylor in 65-69 (47:33), Mike London in the 70-74 (54:35) and Cedar Creek’s ageless wonder John Perkins in the 75-70 (50:13.

The women’s race was strictly a cakewalk for Betzy Jimenez. With almost all of the top area women either running the Chili Pepper Cross Country race in Arkansas or a fall marathon, the only competition Jimenez had was with the other men—and the clock.  Despite running a paltry 35-40 miles per week while in med school in San Antonio, Jimenez wanted to better her course record, set two years ago in her first road racer after graduating from UT.

“To be honest, I didn’t want to just hang out with the girls this morning,” said Jimenez who ran 16:34 in the national 5-K road champs two weeks ago in Providence. “I don’t run 10-Ks very often {in fact, this was her first since last year’s IBM} so I wanted to make this a good one.”

Mission accomplished.

Jimenez went out with a group of the faster men, passing the first mile in 5:31. The only woman even in sight was Jennifer Harney who has been overcoming a chronic injury and running in her serious first road race in several months.

But Harney is primarily a marathoner and even in optimal shape, she doesn’t have the wheels to challenge the younger, faster Jimenez who ran unpressed to finish 12th overall and lower her record to 35:20.

“I felt this was a pretty good effort for me,” said Jimenez. “I had a few ups and downs on the course (her fastest mile was 5:25 and her slowest, between miles four and five, was 5:44), but I never gave up and allowed any of the guys to come back on me.”

Harney, the 38-year-old mother of two boys, claimed second in 38:20 and Karen Saenz was third in 38:53. Carissa Fleskes of Round Rock was fourth in 38:58 and Lauren Haney was fifth in 40:08.

The top masters runner was Ruth Mallory of Round Rock in 42:42. Masters age group victories were claimed by Ivi Kerrigan of the 40-44 (42:55), Mallory in the 45-49, Kim Heide in the 50-54 (43:40), Anne Quiroga in 55-59 (45:39), Chula Sims in the 60-64 (55:05), Judith Reader (65-60) of Corpus Christi (68:15) and Jody Kehle in the 70-74 (78:19).

This was the first race in the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge series. Next up is the Gazelle Foundation Run for the Water 10-Miler on October 27th.