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Saturday, September 23, 2000 -- Lynchburg, VA
One Valley Bank Virginia 10 Miler/4 Miler
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [10mi 1-300] [301-600] [601-872] [By Class 00-34] [35-44] [45-99] [4mi O/A] [By Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17]

Race Start
Ready to race the streets of Lynchburg
The loud speakers set up on Langhorne Road and all around Lynchburg, Virgina's E.C. Glass High School came trumpeting to life early Saturday morning. The announcements welcomed the slowly gathering crowd to the 2000 edition of the annual Virginia 10 Miler and 4 Miler. Soon the area would be swarming with hundreds of runners as well over a thousand participants would not be deterred by a light morning rain. The announcer summed up the weather conditions quite well and "sixty-five degrees with one-hundred percent humidity" seemed like fine conditions for a run.

This event, which started in 1973, now attracts a formidable contingent of top runners who vie for their share of a $16,000 prize purse, up from $6,000 in previous years. But, what brings most of the people out to run the challenging hills of Lynchburg, including a 1.5 mile climb at the finish, is the festive atmosphere and southern hospitality that is served in huge doses.

Peter Githuka
No one could match the speed of Peter Githuka
Beginning with a Friday evening running clinic hosted by Bill Rodgers, a former 10 Mile winner and Olympian, the fun didn't end until late Saturday night with the Holiday Inn Select post-race party complete with a live band. Much of the credit for creating such a great event is given to former race director, Gary Taylor. His tragic passing in late June of this year had race organizers dedicating extra time and energy in his honor to see that everything was just as he had envisioned.

At 8:30am, on Saturday morning, the starting line was busting with all the 10-mile and 4-mile participants eager to let the racing get started. And, without delay, the starting gun was fired signalling the beginning of the main event.

Just a little over two hours later, well after the first finisher, quite a bit behind all the 5-minute and 6-minute milers, and... well, actually just about the last to reach the finish line, was a smiling Margaret Hagerty. Hagerty started running at the young age of 64. Now, at the age of 77 she is one of small group of women who can claim to have run a marathon on every continent including Antarctica. The Virginia 10 Miler was just another feather in her cap as she enjoyed all the Lynchburg hospitality and was soon filling her mind with plans for her next race. Hagerty certainly represents the spirit of the Virginia 10

Olga Kovpotina
Olga Kovpotina sprints towards the finish
Fast forwarding back to the front of the race, the familiar face of Peter Githuka, the 1999 10 Mile winner, was all that was seen. Githuka quickly set a pace that no one else could match and went on to take the win in an amazing 47:32, almost two-minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

The race for second had Zebron Miano and Segera Jared attacking around mile five. By mile seven Miano had started to put a gap on Jared and went on to a 39:25 second place finish. Jared recorded a third place time of 49:34 with Reuben Chesang (49:52.0) out sprinting Josh Cox (49.52.9) to grab fourth overall.

In the women's competition, Catherine Ndereba didn't appear to have too much difficulty holding off her rivals. Ndereba finished 12th overall and first among the women with a time of 52:02.

10 Miles of Fun
Everyone was having fun, we'll tell you all about it shortly...
Not far off her pace were the Russian pair of Olga Kovpotina and Irina Suvorova. The women battled together until around mile eight. At that point Kovpotina began to gain an advantage and Suvorova, still recovering from a recent illness, was content to let her go. Kovpotina found the finish for second place with a time of 55:25 with Suvorova taking third at 55:59, 14th and 16th overall, respectively.

Winning the 4-mile race was Lynchburg's own Bruce Kite taking a commanding win in 19:33. The first female finisher, and another Lynchburg resident, was Heather Sagan with a time of 23:42.

There were many, many more awards given out at the awards celebration that quickly followed the end of the race. With an elaborate spread of food and refreshments, not to mention live music, everyone was made to feel like a winner. If you haven't had a chance to experience Lynchburg at its best, we'll see you at the 2001 Virginia 10 Miler and 5 Miler.