For the past four years, the winner of the women’s Bluegrass 10,000 was from outside of Lexington, and that streak continued in Tuesday’s 41st annual race as Fairfax, Va., native Rochelle Sceats-Basil won the 10-kilometer race in 37:39 (6:04/mile pace).
This is Sceats-Basil’s first time running the race. Sceats-Basil, who was 20th overall, said she only ran the race because she was in the area visiting family in Louisville
“We came out from northern Virginia for the long weekend and saw this was happening and thought we’d stop by,” Sceats-Basil said.
Sceats-Basil also enjoyed running in front of the Lexington crowd for the first time.
“It (the crowd) was fantastic. I really thought the back end of the course was going to be empty, but I was very wrong,” Sceats-Basil said. “There was a band all the way out at mile four, tons of people I guess in the median so it was a lot of fun.”
Sceats-Basil started off on a slower pace than usual and worked her way up to the front as the race progressed. She said she was running in fourth place for the first couple of miles.
Sceats-Basil didn’t take the lead until the final mile, and she cruised from there to her first Bluegrass 10,000 victory. The humid conditions was a reason to why she started off slower than usual, she said.
“I think a few of the other girls might’ve started off a little faster and I just kind of — I kept the same pace and just kind of picked people off right until I think almost the last mile,” Sceats-Basil said.
Sceats-Basil finished 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Michaela Reinhart, who ran the course in 38:09. Reinhart is a Lexington Catholic high school graduate who will be running for Duke University next season.
Alexa Lua of Richmond was third with Lexington natives Alyssa Montgomery and 33 year-old Batsy Laski rounding out the top five.
▪ The top masters finisher was Matt Hoyes, who is 43 and from Bardstown. Hoyes finished 18th overall in a time of 37:22.
▪ Gina Naehr, 42, was the top female masters finisher in 104th place, completing the course in 42:44.
Team competition winner
For the first time in the race’s 41-year history, there was a team competition and the John’s Striders team took home the top prize.
Placing was determined by the team’s five fastest runners’ cumulative time, and the John’s Striders team’s time was 3:05:59.
Two of the top-six finishers, including overall winner Zack Beavin, were on the John’s Striders squad.
Chris Leach: 859-231-1326, @chrisleach250
Top women’s finishers
1. Rochelle Sceats-Basil, 37:39
2. Michaela Reinhart, 38:09
3. Alexa Lua, 38:51
4. Alyssa Montgomery, 39:12
5. Betsy Laski, 39:43