- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2002

Andre Williams secured his second Georgetown Classic 10K title in the last 200 meters. Atalelech Ketema secured her first title in the first 200 meters.
Arlington's Williams, one of America's best distance runners, finished in 30:23, just four seconds ahead of former Reebok Enclave teammate Peter Sherry of Great Falls, Va.
Ketema, an Ethiopian who has been living in Washington and winning races here since July, led from the start and ended in 33:30, besting the event record of 33:53 set last year by Russian Elena Paramonova. Gaithersburg-based Russian Zivile Balciunaite trailed in 34:12.
Both Williams and Ketema received $500 gift certificates for their efforts at the 23rd annual event yesterday, contested on a perfect morning for road racing.
Under clear blue skies and cool, dry conditions, some 3,120 starters flowed down M Street from Georgetown into downtown Washington. More than 2,600 finished.
Ironically, the Georgetown Classic 10K is no longer run much in Georgetown. Aside from the staging area at the start and finish and a 10-block section of M Street, runners were led through the streets of downtown Washington, almost to the Capitol and back.
And sadly, this race used to attract more than 4,000 runners a decade ago, when restaurant sponsors in Georgetown chipped in to throw a formidable post-race party that kept runners in Georgetown for hours.
Pressure from the Georgetown neighborhoods and area churches has forced the race from the hills of Georgetown. The post-race festivities have been curtailed to bagels and muffins as sponsors have disappeared.
Williams likes a post-race party as much as the next guy, but he particularly enjoys winning a race in a fast time. He quickly moved out in front with Sherry, frequent racer Edmund Burke and Ethiopian Nigusu Urge hanging with him after two miles in a fairly slow 9:57.
The leaders passed the staging area for the procession to honor fallen firefighters on Constitution Avenue, drawing a smattering of cheers as well as some tunes from a bagpiper. They passed three miles in 14:53, near the Capitol, before heading back down Constitution toward home.
For the last mile, it was a classic duel between two runners who have trained together and raced against each other for more than a decade. Williams, the 5,000-meter specialist, against Sherry, the marathoner who a week ago dropped out of the Twin Cities Marathon after 16 miles.
"[Sherry]'s been training for the marathon," said Williams, who manages the Georgetown Running Store just blocks from the finish. "He hammered me for a 4:35 last mile. Pete just took off with three quarters of a mile to go. I said 'All right, I've got one move left.' I had to save face for my customers."
"It was fun," said an upbeat Sherry, 34, a Georgetown University grad and 1991 Georgetown 10K champion.
"I like America," said Ketema, who won the Rockville Rotary 8K just after arriving in Washington in July and is preparing for the Army Ten-Miler. "For training, Washington is very low, Ethiopia has high altitudes."
Casey Smith, 23, of Arlington, was third in 35:28.
The prize money for the first time was focused on the masters competitions. Jim Hage of Kensington was top male in 32:38 and Lee Dipietro of Ruxton, Md., was top female in 36:18, fourth overall. Both 44-year-old athletes pocketed $500.


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