- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bernard Lagat stopped Alan Webb’s indoor victory streak at two on Friday evening at the 100th running of the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

After cruising to back-to-back personal-best triumphs last month at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York City and at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games (3:55.18), Webb lined up against American mile record holder Lagat.

The result was the same as the last time they met in the Wanamaker Mile at Millrose two years ago. Lagat crushed Webb.

The odd-sized 160-yard track seems to work in Lagat’s favor and definitely against Webb. In 2005, the then-Kenyan Lagat broke the meet and Garden record with a dominating 3:52.87, a full eight seconds ahead of Webb.

This year, the over-charged Webb again was a non-player in the race at the end. While Lagat duked it out with Australian Craig Mottram to the tape in 3:54 for his fifth win, Webb was more than 10 seconds back in fourth place with a time of 4:04.86. Webb’s training partner, Chris Lukezic, grabbed third in 4:01.48, possibly the first big race that Lukezic has overhauled Webb.

Nearly as exciting to see was Gail Devers, at 40 years young, hurdling away from her much-younger competitors. No, she did not retire after giving birth to her daughter 1 years ago as was greatly speculated. Already the meet and American record holder, the self-coached Devers led from the start and clocked 7.86 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and nearly a full second quicker than the listed world record for women 40 and older (8.71). It also was her fourth Millrose victory in the hurdles, coming 15 years after her first victory.

Meet on Endangered List — Joe Burno, president of Maryland Masters Track Club and a competitive 50-year-old miler, sent out a dire message last week: “As of this morning only 15 athletes had entered the PG Sportsplex Masters Indoor Championships scheduled for February 18th. My entry is in. If you are even thinking of entering, send in your entry now, today, ASAP!!!!

“This has been a great masters Indoor meet in the past. If we lose this meet this year due to lack of entries, we may not get it back. We need all the masters and sub-masters track and field athletes in the Potomac Valley area as well as the rest of the country to step up and enter this event.”

This is the meet with the $35 late fee, not entry fee, which will hit on Feb. 13. And unbelievably, meet officials do not accept personal checks, just certified checks or money orders, which I found out the hard way.

So if you have any inclination to run in this meet, go to www.pvtc.org and sign up now. You don’t have to be ranked in the nation or in the world to compete here, since in the end you’re really racing against yourself and the clock. And it may as well be indoors where it is warm.

An Army of 26,000 — If it is true that No. 2 tries harder, as Avis would have us believe, then the Army Ten-Miler is trying mighty hard. For years ranked second in the world for a 10-mile by number of entrants, Army once again has upped the ante and welcomed in another 2,000 runners, bringing its total field to 26,000 for the Oct. 7 race.

The increase brings Army a bit closer to the largest 10-mile footrace in the world — Dam tot Damloop — which runs from Amsterdam to Zaandam in the Netherlands in September and carries more than 30,000 bodies.

Army officials said that registration opens on April 2 and that by mid-June, the doors already may be closed.

Who’s buying the drinks —Linda Foley (44, from Oak Hill, Va.) and Jean-Christophe Arcas (45, Rockville) won their gender divisions in the 2006 RacePacket Grand Prix series. Each was handed a $500 check at RacePacket’s awards ceremony last weekend at Generous George’s Restaurant in Alexandria.

To be eligible for prize money, you had to complete at least five of the 12 series races last year and finish with the most points earned for placing high at the races.

Love is in the air —The Annapolis Striders kick off the first leg of eight in their 2007 Club Championship Series as well as the first leg of a Kids’ Run Championship Series on Feb. 10 with the Annapolis Striders Valentine’s Day 5K at Kinder Farm Park, Millersville, Md. Check out www.annapolisstriders.org for more information.

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