ATLANTA, July 4, 2014 – On one of the coolest days in the 45-year history of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, Christo Landry kept his hot streak alive, winning his third-consecutive title on the roads this year when he took the lead with 400 meters to go to win the race and the men’s USA 10 km Championships in 28:25.
Winning the women’s race and USA 10 km Championships was Amy Hastings, who seized the lead at the crest of Cardiac Hill and never relinquished it, breaking the tape in 32:16 for her first 10K road title. Hastings, 30, was on a streak of her own: the AJC Peachtree Road Race was her third 10-kilometer race in 21 days.
Each of the winners took home $15,000 of the $100,000 total prize purse on a partly sunny morning with a temperature of 67 degrees at the start. It was the second year in a row that the AJC Peachtree Road Race, the largest road race in the country and the largest 10K in the world, played host to both the men’s and women’s USA 10 km Championships.
Asked about her grueling competition schedule, Hastings, of East Providence, RI, said: “I did things like that in college, but it’s been a long time.”
Finishing second for the women was Sara Hall, 30, in 32:28, with Rachel Ward third in 32:36.
After the largely downhill opening miles, a small pack of Hastings, Hall, Ward, and Kellyn Johnson began heading up Cardiac Hill, going through the 3-mile mark in 15:07. Ward—who led for much of the early going in last week’s USATF Outdoor Nationals 10,000-meter race on the track—made a move in the middle of the hill to take the lead, but Hastings would have none of it. At the crest of Cardiac, Hastings took off, quickly building up a 25-meter lead that she would never relinquish.
“Amy stayed really strong on those hills, which is really tough to do,” said Hall.
Hastings said that winning the USA title felt “incredible … but to do it on the Fourth of July, it just feels even better.”
In the men’s race, local favorite Girma Mecheso, who was a high school star in nearby Lilburn, GA, surged at the 1-mile mark, taking a 10-meter lead on the deep field, but Tyler Pennel led a pack of Landry, Aaron Braun, Shadrack Biwott, and Jake Riley in overtaking him partway up Cardiac Hill. Pennel kept up the push, and one by one dropped everyone but Landry. Over the last mile it was a two-man race, with Pennel, the 2012 NCAA Division II 10,000-meter champion who was the seventh American finisher here last year, and Landry together at the turn 800 meters from the finish.
For a moment, it looked as if Pennel would prevail, but 400 meters from the finish Landry put the hammer down. Pennel could not respond, with Landry prevailing for his third-consecutive USA road title in three months, beginning with the USA 10-Mile Championship on April 6 and then, five weeks later, the USA 25 km Championships.
“Coming in, I was thinking it was a very strong field,” said the 30-year-old Landry, who lives and trains in Ann Arbor, MI. “While I knew I could win, I also very well knew that I could get seventh or eighth with the quality of this field. I’m glad I had a good day.”
Pennel would hang on to finish second in 28:30, with Shadrack Biwott catching Aaron Braun at the line for third. Both were given the same time, 28:52.
Winning the men’s masters division was Kevin Castille, 42, in 31:26, with Jen Rhines—making her masters debut after turning 40 earlier this week, winning on the women’s side in 33:04, good for seventh place overall in the women’s field.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 19,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.
About the AJC Peachtree Road Race
The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a 10K event that takes place every Fourth of July in Atlanta, Georgia. The first Peachtree was held in 1970 and featured 110 runners. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is now the largest 10K running event in the world with 60,000 participants. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is perhaps most famous for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, which is handed out to all the event finishers. For more information on the AJC Peachtree Road Race visit peachtreeroadrace.org orajc.com/peachtree.
About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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