Suzanne Girard of Georgetown University has developed into such a dominant runner that often she must train by herself because no other woman on her team can challenge her.
But the practice did her good yesterday as she sped away from more than 800 women in the eighth annual Moving Comfort 10-kilometer road race at East Potomac Park.
Girard, a 20-year old junior, broke her course record of 34 minutes 15 seconds set last year by completing the 6.2-mile course in 34:06.
Cindy Dalrymple, 41, one of the premier masters runners in the country, placed second in 34:47. Dalrymple, who recently moved to Washington, D.C., bettered the masters division course record of 37:37 set in 1979 by Trudi Rapp and narrowly missed breaking her own masters record of 34:44.
Cynthia Lorenzoni (35:39) of Charlottesville, Susan Crowe (35:43) of State College, Pa., and Jennifer Colgrove (35:48) of Buffalo completed the top five.
As Girard and Dalrymple led the group around Hains Point and passed the two-mile mark along the Potomac River in 10:46, Girard gradually pulled away from Dalrymple and built a 10-yard edge. Another 50 yards back, Colgrove joined Lorenzoni as they began to close the gap on Crowe.
At the midway point, Girard's 5,000-meter time of 16:58 was 19 seconds ahead of her course record. Girard was running alone as she maintained a 20-yard margin over Dalrymple, but that distance changed dramatically during the second half of the race.
"I run alone a lot," said Girard, who led the Georgetown University team to victory over the Rock Creek Running Club in this event. "But it's tough during the race when you're ahead to push, push, push."