On a cool but humid day at the Bluegrass 10,000, former University of Kentucky athlete Zack Beavin defeated a field of 2,976 entrants to win the 41st annual race in Lexington.
Beavin finished the 10-kilometer course in 31 minutes, 36 seconds (5:06/mile pace) and defeated three-time winner and defending champion Antonio Marchi by 15 seconds. Beavin pulled away midway through the race to win his first Bluegrass 10,000.
“It was tough out there, just the humidity was kind of smothering but it was fine, it was a good race, good crowd,” Beavin said.
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It only took one mile for Beavin and Marchi to separate themselves from the other 2,974 runners, and the duo covered the distance in less than five minutes, which would have been sub-31:00 pace. The runners eventually settled down to a slower pace.
As the duo came down Vine Street between miles one and two, Beavin opened up a gap of 10 meters over Marchi. Marchi would close that gap and the pair was side by side at two miles.
After the two-mile mark was where Beavin opened up the race. At the halfway point, Beavin led by more than 20 meters and maintained the lead all the way to the finish line.
“I’ve raced Antonio (Marchi) plenty of times, he’s a really tough runner and likes to take it out fast, I knew that so I just kind of let him do his thing and pull me along a little bit,” Beavin said. “Then around halfway through the race I see how I feel and just kind of assess the situation.”
This was Beavin’s first run at the Bluegrass 10,000 after three years of running on UK’s cross country and track team. Beavin, 23, now plans to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and chase the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials standard.
Marchi, 28, has run workouts with Beavin and was not surprised to see his friend do well.
“He’s faster than I am, he’s better at this distance, I mean I’m happy with my performance, it was fast for me but sometimes there’s competition and sometimes you can’t win all the time,” Marchi said.
Former University of Louisville runner Ernest Kibet finished third, just one second ahead of former Tates Creek High School star and UK signee Alexander Mortimer. Austin Anderson of Danville rounded out the top five.
Despite the wet and humid conditions, 2,705 runners finished the race.
▪ Rochelle Sceats-Basil of Fairfax, Va., was Tuesday’s top female finisher, covering the 10 kilometers in 37:39 and coming in 20th overall. Former Lexington Catholic standout Michaela Reinhart was the second woman to cross the finish line, clocking 38:09.
Queen wins 13th in a row
Greg Queen of Lily in Laurel County won the hand-crank wheelchair division for the 13th time in a row. Queen, the course record holder, finished in 18:47, which was his fourth fastest time on the course.
“The first couple of miles the roads were really slick so on the corners I had to go slower,” Queen said. “I knew my time was going to be really good this year and I know it would’ve been better if it was dry, but I’m happy with what it was.”
Aerelle Jones of Nicholasville won the push-rim wheelchair race over nine-time champion Paul Erway in a time of 34:09. It was Jones’ first Bluegrass 10,000 victory.
Top overall finishers
1. Zack Beavin, 31:36
2. Antonio Marchi, 31:51
3. Ernest Kibet, 32:01
4. Alexander Mortimer, 32:02
5. Austin Anderson, 32:51
6. Dustin Mitchell, 33:58
7. Levi Foust, 34:14
8. Glen Mays, 34:28
9. Kevin Ryan, 35:14
10. Tony White, 35:37