A June 12 Sports article incorrectly said that Tatyana Chulakh broke the course record in winning the Lawyers Have Heart 10K. Charlotte Thomas set the course record of 34 minutes 42 seconds in 1992. Chulakh's time was the third-fastest in the event's history. (Published 6/28/2005)
Kenya native and District resident Wilson Komen wore a wonderfully simple smile as he cooled down from his victory in the 15th Lawyers Have Heart 10K yesterday in Georgetown.
And why not? The past four months have given Komen a lot with which to be pleased. He's fast becoming a fixture at the top of the leader board in local and national races.
In February, Komen won the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham and in mid-April he finished 16th in the Boston Marathon. Last month, the 28-year-old won the Connect the Dots 3.5-miler in West Potomac Park. Next came his biggest victory at the Green Bay Marathon May 21 when he set a course record in 2 hours 17 minutes 32 seconds. Last weekend, another triumph: He won the National Race for the Cure 5K.
Yesterday, running Lawyers for the first time, Komen came within nine seconds of the event record. He came loping down K Street alone -- second-place finisher Mikhail Khobotov of Russia was nowhere in sight -- and broke the tape in 30:27. Khobotov (31:25) finished just ahead of David Berdan of York, Pa. Fairfax's Philippe Rolly, who won last year's race, was the top local finisher, taking fourth in 31:49.
Russian Tatyana Chulakh set an event record in winning the women's race in 35:34. The 23-year-old, who trains in Gaithersburg, finished more than two minutes ahead of Arlington's Genevieve Kiley and broke the mark of 35:42 set by Baltimore's Charlotte Thomas in 1992. Alisa Harvey of Manassas took third in 38:07.
The hot and humid conditions that accompanied the 2,164 finishers probably cost Komen the men's event record. For the second year in a row, the course ran west on M Street and onto Canal Road before making a U-turn and looping back.
The heat "slowed me down a little bit. I felt a little hot," said Komen, who said his next big race likely will be the Chicago Marathon in October. His personal best for 10K is 29:35. "After three miles I looked back and didn't see anyone."
Berdan, Khobotov and Komen ran together for the first two miles, before the Russian and Kenyan broke away. A mile later, it was all Komen.
"It was way too hot," said Berdan, 24. "It probably slowed everybody down by about a minute."
Chulakh's victory was her first in the D.C. area.
"From the very beginning I started off fast," she said through an interpreter. "I could see no female runners behind me so I slowed down a little bit."
For their victories, Komen and Chulakh each won two roundtrip airline tickets, a watch and a $100 gift certificate. Race organizers said this year's race produced a record of more than 3,500 registrants in the 10K race and 3K run/walk. Proceeds benefited the American Heart Association.