Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Charlottesville Ten Miler

Yesterday was the Charlottesville Ten Miler. It was a gorgeous spring morning -- clear blue sky overhead and perfect sunshine.

I usually focus on the trees as I am running down Preston Avenue, but this year I was particularly struck by the beautiful green and white right at the beginning, on Alderman between U-Hall and the Track.

I was happy with how I felt - I was a minute or two slower than last year but both my legs and lungs felt good and I very much enjoyed all the positive energy.

It sounds like the men's finish was a classic; this is from Marc Lorenzoni in today's Progress:

Like two brothers locked in an epic battle to show who is the mightiest in the family, teammates Charlie Hurt and Bob Thiele went toe-to-toe through the streets and over the hills of Charlottesville before Hurt (52:02) pulled away in the last half-mile for an 11-second victory at the 34th running of the Charlottesville Ten Miler.

The 2008 champ successfully defended his title on a sunny — and very windy — day, but not without the biggest road fight of his storied racing career. Thiele, the former Charlottesville High standout and UVa All-American, gave Hurt everything he could handle for the first nine miles of the race. Very little real estate separated the two for the first 90 percent of the race as they ran together step for step up and down the many hills of the course.

Former Western Albemarle and William & Mary star Hurt threw in several surges along the way, but couldn’t shake the tenacious Thiele until he dropped it down one more time as they made the final turn onto Alderman Road with less than a half-mile to go. Thiele, who had responded to Hurt’s surges with several counterpunches, wasn’t able to answer as Hurt pulled way for his narrow yet impressive win.

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