As expected, Tuesday's seventh running of the Deseret News-KSL Radio 10,000-meter road race was strictly a Colorado affair. Never mind that July 24 is supposed to be a Utah holiday. It was the Coloradans who were doing most of the celebrating.
The top three finishers in both the men's and women's races live in Colorado, three of them in Fort Collins. In all, they hauled two new cars and more than $3,000 in prize money back to their home state.Kellie Cathey (Fort Collins by way of Arkansas) produced what was easily the day's most impressive performance and in the process reestablished her dominance here. Not only did she win the women's division in record time, but she beat all but 16 of the men's entries. Cathey turned a time of 31:37, breaking her own course record by 13 seconds, to claim her third victory (and third new car) in four years. For the record, she owns three of the four fastest times in the DesNews-KSL race. No other woman has won the race more than once.
For the record, Libbie Johnson (Fort Collins) and Martha Tenorio (Boulder out of Ecuador) finished second and third, respectively.
Jon Sinclair (Fort Collins) became the only two-time winner in the history of the men's race Tuesday, but only after outdueling Don Janicki (Louisville, Colo.) and Silvio Guerra (Alamosa, Colo.) in what was believed to be the closest finish in the history of the race. Sinclair sprinted past Janicki, whom he had stalked for several miles, with a quarter-mile to go to beat his rival by six seconds. Curiously, Sinclair has won the race for two consecutive years with the exact same time, 28:16, making him the eighth fastest performer in the race's history.
And where were all the Utahns? Ed Eyestone, whose course record of 27:39 seems plenty safe, and Doug Padilla were in the Goodwill Games. Paul Pilkington was in Liberty Park, resting for several upcoming races. Dave Andreasen, the Salt Lake Classic champion, finished 10th. Larry Smithee, a former BYU runner, was sixth. Alvaro Palacios, the two-time DesNews-KSL Marathon champ, and Dave Chipman, a former standout BYU runner, finished out of the money. Perhaps someone should talk Henry Marsh out of retirement, except, oops, he's still trying to beat a bum rap for failing to appear for a drug test.
Speaking of which, on Tuesday The Athletics Congress officials conducted drug tests on the top finishers. TAC, which tests races randomly, had informed Deseret News officials a couple of weeks in advance that they would test this year's race. They also bound them to secrecy, so that athletes would have no warning of the test.
With nine-time champion Demetrio Cabanillas in the race, along with defending champion Gordon Hyde, the 21st Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon figured to be a close race all the way to Liberty Park. It didn't happen. Hyde, a 27-year-old Orem resident, became the first man to win back-to-back titles since Palacios did it in 1985 and '86. Cabanillas, 35, dropped out of the race near the 20-mile mark.
Mariam Mamami, a Bolivian, might have pressed Hyde to the finish but had to make two pitstops in the stretch. Hyde, who won by 16 seconds, clocked 2:29:02, the slowest winning performance since 1975.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Tuesday's marathon race was a fifth-place showing by 50-year-old Robert Nelson, who was timed in 2:43:54.
In the women's race, Lori Hutchison, a 26-year-old West Valley resident, claimed the most lopsided victory of the day. She beat her nearest rival by a whopping 16 minutes even while running a modest 3:02:53, the slowest winning time in the last 12 years.
Given the performances of recent years, one must wonder if anyone ever again will approach the course records set by Cabanillas (2:16:57 in 1982) and Jane Wipf (2:45:35).