In the three prior editions of the Austin 10/20, the race has been largely dominated by the Kenyans who have been drawn by the fast course and lucrative prize money. But on Sunday morning at the wind tunnel known as The Domain in north Austin, a few Texans got into the mix.
Although the Kenyans were certainly in evidence on Sunday—Kenneth Rotich, a 24-year-old Kenyan who lives in Dallas was the overall winner in 49:28—the women’s race was won for the second year in a row by an Austinite. Allison Mendez won last year’s 10/20, but this time it was Juliane Masciana who nailed it in 57:25, despite being up to midnight and on her feet photographing a wedding.
More than 5,000 runners turned out for the fourth Austin 10/20 on a mostly flat course (some rolling hills) in and around The Domain on a brilliant spring day. Temps in the low 60s were fine (low humidity), but a southerly wind blew and blew all morning long with gusts as high as 25 mph. The wind was so strong that it blew over a few barriers and stood up most of the field on the long straightaways along Burnet and the MoPac front road.
Standing tall among the lead pack of Kenyans was one Erik Stanley. The former UT All American, now 30, had a good road race season in 2014 when he won the Austin Distance Challenge but Stanley has started a new business (Trail Roots) and hadn’t road raced nearly as much or as well.
But Stanley bravely went out with Kenyans—Rotich, Stanley Boen, Peter Chebii and Henry Lelei—who were taking turns drafting off the much taller Austinite. “I was working hard,” said Stanley who took the leaders out in 4:45, “but I never looked at my watch.”
The Kenyan contingent might have thought Stanley was the designated rabbit as they didn’t offer to share any of the wind-breaking duties. By the fifth mile—the slowest of the day at 5:12 directly into the teeth of the wind—the Kenyans had figured out that Stanley wasn’t going to do anybody any favors.
As the foursome hung in there (Lelei dropped back) in the ninth mile around the IBM campus, it became apparent that the 10/20 would come down to who had anything left for the final half-mile straightaway along Alterra Parkway to the finish. But that final straight is a gradual uphill and was also right into the fiercest wind of the morning.
Chebii faltered and Rotich made the first move on Alterra as a great three-man battle ensued. The three went back and forth with Rotich holding off the other two to win by a second. Although Stanley and Boen were both timed in 49:29, the Kenyan was awarded second over the Texan in a photo finish. Chebii was fourth in 49:40, Lelei was fifth in 50:52 and former UT star Rory Tunningley, running his first major race since last year’s Austin Half (which he DNF’ed), claimed sixth in 51:35. Former Baylor stud Jeff Sadler was seventh in 53:01.
Rotich, who has a 10-mile PR of 46 minutes, said: “I wanted to push the pace more, but it was difficult with the long stretches into the wind. It was a very good race for me and I’m just happy this morning.”
So was Stanley. “I felt like I ran really well. The only thing I didn’t do was race all the way to the finish. I definitely should have finished the race better,” said Stanley who ran 15:40 to win a small 5-K on Saturday, “but I wasn’t ready to vomit afterward.” Still, Stanley’s time was exactly three minutes faster than he ran last year in the same race in much less windy conditions.”
Top master of the morning was 49-year-old Ariel Galvan of San Antonio who was ninth overall in 57:19, three minutes ahead of his wife Liza Hunter Galvan, 45, who was fourth among the women and first masters runner. The second masters guy was newly minted old guy: 40-year-old Kevin Kimbell of Pflugerville who ran 58:23. Third was 47-year-old Michael Budde of Cedar Park in 1:00:43. There was a battle royale for the fourth spot between the incredible John Potts, 57, and 54-year-old Dave Albertson. Potts edged out Albertson by 16 seconds to finish in 1:03:17.
The women’s race was also a battle between friends and former Rogue teammates Juliane Masicana and Mary Goldkamp. Masciana spent Saturday night taking photos at a wedding, but Goldkamp was coming off a Thursday night victory in the steeplechase (10:04, a meet record) in the Texas Relays.
“I’m still a little sore from the Relays,” said Goldkamp, a former Bradley University star, “but Juliane is also little tired from working last night.”
It wasn’t ideal prep for either and the two hung together for the first six miles before Masciana made a little move in an industrial park–sheltered from the wind–and took off. She built a decent lead on Goldkamp, but almost gave it away in the final half mile straight to the finish.
“That final part was really slow,” said Masciana who ran at Cal State Fullerton and has a half best of 1:16:23. “I mean, into that wind and up a hill was a tough way to finish the race.”
But she held on to win in 57:24 with Goldkamp coming in second in 58:03. Florence Mose was third (1:00:25), Galvan was fourth in 1:00:20 and trigal Kelly Williamson took fifth in 1:00:28. Williamson was using the race as the middle portion of a long-run workout as she ran an hour before the race and a few miles afterward.
Galvan was the first masters woman with Donna Mills-Honarvar, 40, second in 1:03:31 and 51-year-old Cindy Salazar claiming third in 1:09:17.
“I’m stoked about my race,” said Masciana who won $1500, including prize money for Travis County residents. “I really haven’t had a chance in a while to run fast until this morning so it was great to be out there with Mary working together.”
Goldkamp was also thrilled on coming back so quickly from the steeplechase. “This race proved my strength,” she said. “Coming out here and running well with the wind and everything after a hard race on Thursday, just shows me I’m on the right track.”
So is the Austin 10/20.
|Chip Time||First Name||Last Name||City||State||Class
|01:00:19.2||Liza||Hunter Galvan||San Antonio||TX||4|
|Gun Time||First Name||Last Name||City||State||Position|