- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

The security for yesterday's 18th running of the Army Ten-Miler was as intense as any road race ever in the Washington area.
The Pentagon parking lots were turned into secured zones and the record 11,985 starters were required to pass through airport-style metal detectors to gain access to the race site.
A Park Police helicopter circled the course throughout the morning while police maintained a heavy presence on the ground.
Army Ten-Miler officials, who agonizingly canceled last year's race on the heels of the September11 attack on the Pentagon, were not taking chances with a sniper on the loose.
The world's largest 10-mile footrace went off yesterday without incident. But concerns about the sniper did scare away a number of the record 18,400 entrants who had signed up before registration closed on Aug.30.
Others shrugged it off and were treated to excellent racing conditions, with overcast skies and temperatures in the 50s.
"All week long, I went back and forth about coming down here with the sniper and all," said Martha Merz, a longtime Washingtonian who moved to Mystic, Conn., in 1999 when the Navy relocated her husband. "Yesterday morning, I decided to come here.
"Driving in the dark to the race this morning, I thought about the sniper," said Merz, who was second among the women. "Then when I was running, I didn't think about it at all. I'm glad I came here."
Both Army 1st Lt. Ryan Kirkpatrick and Arlington's Casey Smith were glad they ran, too. The Boulder, Colo.-based Kirkpatrick ran away with the men's race in 48:35 while Smith dominated the women's field in 58:21.
Kirkpatrick also said he didn't think about the sniper during the race. He had other concerns.
Shortly after the first mile, on the Memorial Bridge, Kirkpatrick made his move. It seemed very early, in retrospect, even to him.
"The first mile was slow [5:03] and I thought people would go with me," said Kirkpatrick, an aspiring star on the Army's World Class Athletes Program (WCAP). "For the rest of the race, I was running scared."
Behind Kirkpatrick were three of his WCAP teammates, two runners from the rival Fort Carson team Sammy Ngatia and Teddy Mitchell, who went 1-2 in a grudge match in 2000 as well as two runners from the Italian Army.
Kirkpatrick continued to pour it on down Constitution Avenue from the Lincoln Memorial past Union Station and around Capital Hill, sporting an 18-second gap on a six-pack through five miles in 24:25.
Back up Constitution Avenue to the 14th Street bridge, Kirkpatrick appeared untouchable and ahead by 45 seconds over a pack of three consisting of Army 1st Lt. Scott Goff, Army Specialist Christopher England and Sgt. Sandu Rebenciuc, all three his WCAP teammates.
"We weren't working together," said Rebenciuc, a 33-year-old from Lafayette, Colo. "[England and I] were leeching off [Goffs] pace."
Kirkpatrick sped home alone, as race officials hurried to set up the finishing tape. The tape accidentally broke several seconds before Kirkpatrick made it to the finish. He immediately turned to cheer on his teammates.
It was a three-way race for second. With a half mile to go, Goff kicked away from England and Rebenciuc. Goff, who was 13th in 2000 and 21st in 1999 (52:07), ended in a personal best 49:06. England (49:13) and Rebenciuc (49:28) followed.
"We brought five WCAP guys and four placed," said Kirkpatrick, who was fifth in 2000 in 50:05 and hopes to qualify for the 5,000 meters in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Mitchell and Ngatia, both dealing with the aftereffects of running 2:24 at the Twin Cities Marathon on Sept.29, never were in contention, placing seventh and ninth, respectively.
Smith, a 23-year-old certified public accountant, has been slowly increasing her race distances as she contemplates competing at next year's Chicago Marathon. She was right on the numbers yesterday, with such a solid and steady pace that her first half was 29:10 and her second half was 29:11.
Smith couldn't see any other women among the men who surrounded her, but she did have an idea that she was leading from early on.
"I heard some people yelling at the 1-mile mark 'First woman,'" said Smith, who was second at the Georgetown Classic 10K two weeks ago.
Neither Merz nor Liz Scanlon, who followed Smith from the start in that order, saw any other woman competitor throughout the 10-mile course.
"I didn't see Casey at all," said Merz, 40, who said she was excited in 1998 to place sixth here and yesterday broke Patti Shull's masters record of 1:00:10 set in 1998.
Scanlon of Alexandria was third in 1:00:19.

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