Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Battle to the End Williams Wins by 2 Seconds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Battle to the End Williams Wins by 2 Seconds

Article excerpt

For the past four years, the winner of the Gate River Run was

obvious by mile 5. But for the first 6 miles of yesterday's

9.3-mile race, no one wanted to take the lead or push the pace.

A pack of about 20 runners broke away early, but the lead

changed frequently among Keith Dowling, Jimmy Herald, John

Sence, Tim Hacker, and Rod DeHaven. The pace was stuck between 4

minutes 40 seconds and 4:45 -- about 20 seconds slower than

years past -- when Todd Williams jumped to the front.

Williams, who won his fourth USA 15K Championship yesterday --

his 29th birthday -- in 44 minutes 6 seconds, moved between

third, 13th and 20th places.

"I didn't know what was going on," said Herald, who used the

race as a training run for an upcoming marathon and eventually

finished seventh in 44 minutes 42 seconds. "I was surprised I

was leading. I'm not afraid to lead; I was just surprised. I was

like, `What are these guys doing?' "

They were all waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

"When do you think the race is going to start?" DeHaven said

jokingly to Hacker as they passed mile 6.

Less then 1/4-mile later, his question was answered.

"I'm sitting there listening to that, thinking to myself,

`Yeah, they're right. Who's going to go?' " Dowling said. "I

wanted to be the one going. No one else was doing anything. I

looked around, and everyone else was content to wait. I didn't

want to wait any longer."

Just past the 10K mark, Dowling pulled ahead.

Initially, no one followed. But seconds later, as the runners

turned onto Olive Street in St. Nicholas, Williams emerged

behind Dowling and stayed there.

"I had to surge to catch him," Williams said. "Once I caught

him, I knew that I was feeling pretty good."

Williams remained behind Dowling going up the Hart Bridge. …

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