Kenyans Top Men’s Race at Austin 10/20; Texas A & M Runner Tops Women’s Field

Kenyan runner John Gathaiya took the men’s race. Photo by Shannon Madigan.

It’s not too often that someone runs 10 miles in 48 minutes in Texas, but that’s what happened at the final Austin 10/20 race at the Domain on Sunday. The 10/20—so named for the 10-mile distance and 20 bands along the route—is (or was) one of the few remaining races in Austin to offer prize money—in this case, a total prize purse of more than $5,000. Modest by any rod race standards, but enough to draw in a number of elite runners.

About 3,000 runners competed, with a strong Kenyan contingent dominating the men’s field. Under 67 degree overcast skies and a steady breeze, Kenyan runner John Gathaiya out-legged fellow countryman Paul Getembe for the win. Former Texas A & M track and cross country standout Hillary Montgomery topped the women’s field, holding off Kenya’s Margaret Maina.

At the gun, Mexican runner Jesus Torres moved to the front, setting a scorching four minutes and 47 second per mile pace. But Gathaiya, a cagey runner, allowed Torres to break the wind, drafting him until mile three. At that point, he took the lead, and by the 10K mark (30:03) had built a solid 200-metere lead. Getembe passed 10K in 30:17, moving into second place ahead of Torres, who was a full 20 seconds back.

Gathaiya, who trains in Grand Prairie, broke the tape in 48:18, more than a minute ahead of Getembe’s 49:15. Torres pulled up in third, posting 49:48. Kenyan runners Abinet Adraro (50:14) and Benjamin Metto (50:40) took fourth and fifth.

“The wind was very strong today,” commented Gathaiya after the race.

Hillary Montgomery won the women’s race, posting a sizzling 56:32. Photo by Shannon Madigan

In the women’s race, Maina, who lives in Dallas, set the early pace, clicking off the miles at a 5:30 pace and leading Montgomery at the 10K mark by some 15 seconds. But Montgomery, averaging 5:39 a mile, made up the ground in the last four miles, building a 32-second lead on Maina by the finish—56:32 to 57:04. Bree Schrader took third in 1:03:00, ahead of Ethiopian Marta Markos in 1:01:15, with San Antonio’s Liza Hunter-Galvan rounding out the top five in 1:04:29.

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