40-year-old Castille could be among favorites in Bluegrass 10,000

Castille ran 28:57 on a track in April

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJuly 2, 2012 

  • Bluegrass 10,000

    When: Wednesday

    Start times: 7:20 a.m., crank wheelchair division; 7:25 a.m., wheelchair; 7:30, 10,000-meter runners and walkers; 8:15, Mile Fun Run

    Where: Downtown Lexington

    Register: Last-chance registration and packet pickup is Tuesday, 3-7 p.m., at Parks and Administrative offices in Lexington, 469 Parkway Drive. No race-day registration.

Trying to pick the winner of Wednesday's 36th annual Bluegrass 10,000 is an error waiting to happen.

After all, entries don't close until Tuesday night.

Yet, there would seem to be little doubt as to who will be the most intriguing contender: Kevin Castille, who will run the race for the first time.

Having become a member of the masters division (age 40 and up) on March 17, the Nicholasville resident (he moved there last year) has established himself as the elite runner of his age.

In little more than three months, Castille has traveled coast to coast while shattering national age-group records for 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He won national masters titles for 8,000 meters and the half-marathon. He beat runners of all ages for the West Virginia 5,000-meter title.

Just back from a visit to his native of Lafayette, La., "I almost feel like I'm traveling for the race," Castille said.

He said he'll treat the Bluegrass like all his races. He has not run the course nor, he said, has he seen it.

"It's one of my things," he said. "I don't like to know what the course is. It's whatever. Kind of like the weather; you have to race it whatever it's laid out to be. It will be fun no matter what."

Castille's record 10K of 28 minutes, 57.88 seconds, on the track at Stanford University in April, dropped the American masters record from 30:04.

A sub-29 effort Wednesday would smash the course record of 29:14, set by Mark Nenow in 1983.

That's not to say such track speed will convert to a road course with rolling terrain.

Competition might help, though.

"I'm hoping that somebody shows up," Castille said. "Because it's so much harder to run on your own. And, of course, if the expectations are for you to win, it's a little harder than having somebody there to push you because you know you have to push yourself. I would be elated if they had three or four guys up there. That would actually be more relaxed than being up there by myself."

When Berea College graduate Stuart Moran came from Asheville, N.C., to win last year's Bluegrass, some thought it a marvel that the winner was within two weeks of his 35th birthday.

Castille could take that "old man" status to another level. Mind-boggling, right?

"Not really. Because you take away the age factor, I really feel like any race I go to these days I'm considered one of the favorites," Castille said. "Because I always race at that level, not the 40-year-old competition level. ... My expectations are higher. Anytime I show up, I'm going to race with the top group, no matter if they're 19, 20, 30. It will be fun."

As registration continues, several top 10 finishers from a year ago have entered.

On the men's side, that includes Antonio Marchi and Daniel Morgan.

Marchi, out of Henry Clay High School and Berea College, placed fifth in 33:39 last year.

Morgan, the 2010 Bluegrass winner out of Boyle County High and Furman University, placed seventh in 35:24 last year.

Top women returning included 2011 runner-up Andrea Richardson, the former Scott County High and University of Kentucky standout. She finished last year's race in 38:17.

Also back are Amy Carwile, eighth last year in 40:51, and Amanda Hancock, 10th in 41:50.

Two-time defending champion Kim Grieshaber, out of Woodford County and the University of Louisville, had not entered as of Monday, according to race officials.

■ Greg Queen of Lily will be after his eighth consecutive victory in the hand-cycle wheelchair division. After a record 19:14 on the regular Bluegrass route in 2010, Queen rocketed to a 17:52 finish a year ago on a course that was changed due to construction.

Queen has nine Bluegrass titles in all, having won the push-wheelchair division in 1998 and 1999.

■ According to race officials, several family members will be running in memory of Dick Robinson, who died last August from injuries suffered in a cycling accident.

Robinson, 71, was one of eight individuals to have completed every Bluegrass 10,000. Wife Christie, who also has run every Bluegrass, will continue the tradition.

Six others could extend their streaks to 36 years: Bob Barnes, Robert Henthorne and Mary Witt Wilson of Lexington; Frances Ross of Versailles; Ken Catron of Winchester, and Tim Bailey of Owingsville.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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