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Army Ten-Miler: Sendeku breezes; Dengera surges late
Question of the Day
Sendeku, a 27-year-old Ethiopian who trains in Antioch, Calif., toured the 10-mile course from the Pentagon parking lot around the national monuments and back in 47 minutes, 51 seconds. Dengera, 30, a Turkish citizen born in Ethiopia and residing in Washington, completed the distance in 56:35.
“I just went to win the race because I am going to participate in the Baltimore Marathon [in six days],” said Sendeku, who was second here last year some seven seconds slower. “I came to support the Army and the Wounded Warriors program. [Army Ten-Miler] has no prize money. It is more than the prize money. I’ve very glad to run for the Wounded Warriors.”
Augustus Maiyo, a Kenyan-turned-American, and Robert Cheseret, both 28-year-olds with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program training at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, chased Sendeku in vain, finishing second and third, respectively, with the same time of 48:21.
Frankc De Almeida and Clodoaldo Da Silva rounded out the top five, leading another strong showing by the Brazilian army team, which also placed 2008 Army champ Reginald Campos Jr. (seventh in 49:11) and Cicero Da Rocha (eighth in 49:21) in the top 10.
By two miles, streaking down Constitution Avenue, Sendeku already was 19 seconds in the lead.
Sendeku said he was enjoying the pleasant racing conditions — upper 50s, light breezes and sunny skies- as his margin grew to at least 38 seconds when he passed through the midpoint in 23:24 and the 10 kilometer mark in 29:16.
Dengera, a familiar face around Washington racing circles, was more than happy to chill in a pack with her two younger teammates Serkalem Abrha-Biset and Shiferaw Tiringo-Getachew. The three took turns with the lead, passing through five miles in 28:18 and 10 kilometers in 35:14 with just one uninvited guest - Amanda Rice.
Rice, a U.S. Navy lieutenant at Bethesda Naval Hospital, started dropping off the pace around seven miles, just after Denerga ingested an energy gel and then surged. But the 22-year-old Rice got back in the game and hung close to the three-pack until the nine-mile mark. She ended up fourth in 57:17.
Suddenly, the strides of the three Ethiopians quickened and the faces got serious. When Denerga made her move with 800 meters to go, neither Abrha-Biset nor Tiringo-Getachew could respond.
“I’m still tired from the marathon I ran two weeks ago in Montreal,” the 24-year-old Abrha-Biset said.
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