They stood side by side after yesterday's Vince Lombardi Memorial 10K race at Georgetown University: Frank Shorter, the former U.S. Olympic marathon gold medalist, and John Doub, a relatively obscure figure but twice defending champion.
Yesterday, Doub made it three in a row, pushing himself to an early lead up the 35th Street incline. He kept well ahead of second-place finisher Shorter, who looked over to Doub afterward and said, "Way to go, John. You ran the hill really well."
Doub, 29, won with a time of 30:52.56. Shorter, 38, finished in 31:13.67.
"I knew I would probably have to run under 31 minutes to win," said Doub, an electrical engineer from Waynesboro, Pa. "You always have to respect a guy who was in the Olympics."
Doub began to pull away at the two-mile mark, while Shorter was in third place. By the time he turned around at the halfway point, at MacArthur Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, Doub had a sizable lead. Shorter passed Tim Gavin of Damascus, who finished third at 31:20.18, but he never was a threat to catch Doub.
Shorter said that until recently he had been too busy running a sportswear business and doing commentary for NBC to train diligently. Now, he's getting back into shape.
"I'm just starting to train hard again," he said. "Last year, I would have been eighth or ninth. It's frustrating, but I'm getting stronger every week. I run a lot of races because I feel like running them."
Ena Guevara-Mora of Toronto was the top female finisher in 35:47.07, about 2 1/2 minutes ahead of Cathy Ventura-Merkel of Arlington.
The race was held to raise funds for the Lombardi Foundation, which distributes funds to cancer-related organizations in the Washington area. Lombardi, a former head coach of the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins in the NFL, died of cancer in 1970.