Jasen Emmons never could bring himself to quit the University of Oregon's high-pressured track program, but now, at 24, he enjoys running more than ever. That was obvious yesterday when he easily won the Stroh's Run For Liberty IV eight-kilometer road race.

Emmons, a D.C. resident, used a quick spurt to move about 10 yards ahead of a group of six at the first mile, going on to win by 300 yards in 24 minutes 15 seconds.

Woodbridge's James Eastman sprinted the last mile to finish second in 25:22. Glenn McDonald of Fairfax was third in 25:24.

Leslie Cooper of Washington maintained a 5:50-per-mile pace to edge Amy Colvin of Fairfax by eight seconds among the women. She was 47th overall in 29:19. Aimee Harms of Annandale was third in 30:30.

A few fast starters forced a lead pack to establish itself about 200 yards after more than 1,500 runners thundered down Pennsylvania Avenue past the National Theater for the start. By the first mile (4:54), Emmons had a clear lead and those behind him were beginning to string out.

"I don't know why some people start out so fast," he said. "They'll sprint out at the beginning and lead for a while, but that makes the rest of the race so painful."

He followed his first mile with a 4:48 second mile that effectively made it a race for second place. After a third sub-five minute mile down Independence Avenue, he led by more than 200 yards.

"I just wanted to finally win something," he said. "I never did as well at Oregon as I had hoped. You train so hard that by the time the season started you were exhausted."