Runners from more than 25 states gathered in Lynchburg to battle the hills Saturday. Lynchburg's Bill Fastabend continued his amazing streak Saturday. Bill was one of only three men to have completed every Virginia 10 Miler. "I had no idea when I started 37 years ago that it would turn into something like this. But I really feel blessed and honored to be able to participate this many years," Fastabend said.
More than 2,500 broke from the start for the 10 and 4-mile races, largest field in 15 years. Former N.C. State star Bobby Mack led a threesome into Riverside Park. But Kenya's Benson Cheruiyot broke away between mile 6 and 7. Cheruiyot said, "I like running side-by-side with somebody. So when I was running alone, I was just pushing, assuming I'm running with somebody."
Cheruiyot won in 49 minutes, 23 seconds, a winning margin of 50 seconds. Former Rustburg star Donnie Cowart finished fourth. "It was beautiful. Like I couldn't have asked my body any better to run it any better Saturday. The plan worked," Cowart said.
Renee High of Virginia Beach wins in her first try in the 10 Miler. Lynchburg's Sally Ford took second. High said, "My coach has run this race before and he didn't win it. So I get to call and tell him that I won it, so."
Race Director Jeff Fedorko says he's thrilled with Saturday's turnout, a race that was shaky at best on tired legs is now surging again, regaining some lost luster. "The 10 Miler is back, there's no doubt about that. With more than 25-hundred registered runners for just the 10 and 4-mile events, we just couldn't be prouder of that number, " Fedorko said.
And the Color Guard completed its 10th 10 Miler.