The task for Wilson Komen at yesterday's Veterans Day 10K was to learn how quickly his body could recover from a marathon. With a decisive victory in 30 minutes 25 seconds at West Potomac Park, the 27-year-old Kenyan got some promising results.
"I felt very good," Komen said. "I feel like my body is getting stronger."
In his first race since running the Baltimore Marathon on Oct. 15, Komen, who lives in the District, won yesterday's race by 15 seconds over Zintu Meaza of Alexandria.
In the women's race, former Oakton High and American University standout Samia Akbar won impressively, clocking a 34:05 to win by more than a minute over Germantown's Marina Bychkova (35:10).
A month ago, the 23-year-old Akbar finished first in the unofficial Army Ten-Miler, and her time yesterday was a personal best for a 10-kilometer road course. Akbar ran cross-country and track in college, where she earned all-American honors as a senior in 2003.
In the past year, Akbar has devoted much of her time to training while working part-time as a substitute teacher in Fairfax County and at a running store.
"I like these road races because you can see your times and see how much you're improving," Akbar said. "I feel like I'm getting stronger."
Yesterday's race, which started in West Potomac Park near the Tidal Basin, drew more than 1,200 runners.
Komen, a frequent top finisher at area road races, said he is going to run a few more races in the next few weeks to determine if he is strong enough to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Dec. 11. He is hoping to make up for what he saw as a disappointing 2:20:28 fifth-place finish in Baltimore, where he was hampered by a leg cramp in the 23rd mile.