Jon Sinclair ran the Woodies Fair Lakes 10K road race for the prize money and J.P. Ndayisenga ran to help out the organizers.
Sinclair, a professional road racer from Fort Collins, Colo., and Ndayisenga of Fairfax, a student at George Mason University, ran a near carbon copy of their duel last year in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, Sinclair needing a burst of speed over the final 100 meters to win by a split second, 29:10 to 29:13.
John Glidewell pushed the leaders through two miles in 9:20, before fading to finish third in 29:32.
Coming off a long recovery period after a tough summer of competition, Alisa Harvey, a Jefferson High School graduate, was hoping for an easy race before returning to Tennessee for her last year of study. She got more than she bargained for from Darlene Beckford, who pushed the pace for five miles before pulling away to win the women's race, 35:31 to 35:33.
Lori Taylor, formerly of Annandale, now a graduate student at Virginia Tech, hung with the leaders through three miles (17:15) and finished third in 36:41.
In addition to his appearance fee, Sinclair earned $1,000 for less then a half hour's work. But he didn't necessarily like it.
"I hate running races like that; I said it at Cherry Blossom and I'll say it again," said Sinclair, 30. "It's frightening because it's out of my control. It's like a roll of the dice."
Ndayisenga, 24, looking for a spot on Belgium's summer Olympic squad, wanted to drop the per-mile pace below the 4:40 average of the first two and surged at 2 1/4 miles. Sinclair was the only one able to match his pace and the two pulled away from the crowd of five that left the field of nearly 1,000 in the first half mile of the race. Ndayisenga forced a 4:35 third mile before easing up through a 4:48 fourth mile.
"I just hung on and let him do all the work, which he did graciously," said Sinclair. "He could have rolled over and made me take the pace. He almost broke me between the second and third mile."
Like Harvey, Beckford, 25, of Cambridge, Mass., is aiming for a spot on the 1988 U.S. Olympic squad in the 1,500 meters. And like Harvey, the intensity of the race took her by surprise.