Gillian File, a 23-year-old nurse from New Zealand, beat 2,100 other women to the finish line of the 10-kilometer Bonne Bell run around East Potomac Park yesterday.
File was clocked in 36 minutes 56 seconds over the 6.2-mile course in a race with the largest field of women runners ever to compete in Washington. They ranged in age from 6 to 61.
File, wearing No. 1 as the top seed, led start to finish on the course that covered two laps around Hains Point. After the first lap she was at least 30 yards ahead of a pack of runners, and she had stretched that to 50 yards at the end.
Next in line were Laura Brewer, 19, of Fairfax with a time 37:47 and Marilyn Bevans, 29, of Baltimore, 37:52.
File, employed at a medical center in her home country, said, "I was quite pleased with the race. I have only run in one other 10k before and that was in Atlanta last week." File won the women's division of that event. File came to the United States earlier this year, courtesy of a tea company in New zealand, so that she could run in the Boston Marathon. She decided to stay. "I want to get more experience running longer distances, it will help me prepare for the Women's World Championships this September in Germany.
Not all of the runners in yesterday's race were in File's class.
Fran Jaques, 51, of Annapolis, who has been running for just one year, competed because she recently placed second in her age division of a race at Severna Park. "It kind of spurred me on," She said before the start.
Jaques finished the Bonne Bell in 68 minutes, smiling all the way.
Washington running enthusiast Henley Roughton and daughter Robin ran together during the entire 6.2 miles, finishing in 42:42 to win the mother-daughter title. CAPTION: Picture, Gillian File, No. 1, hits East Potmac finish line. By Ellsworth Davis - The Washington Post