McGregor Wins U.S. Women’s 10-Mile Championship

Hometown favorite claims her seventh national road racing title.

Written by: Charlie Mahar, Running USA Wire

Katie McGregor won her third USA road title of 2010 and the seventh of her sterling career with a 54:21 victory on Sunday morning at the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, which runs from downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul.

Renee Metivier-Baillie was national runner-up in 54:37, while Alissa McKaig was third in 55:18.

McGregor, 33, who has now won the TC 10 a record six times, fought off a come-back challenge from Metivier-Baillie to add the USA 10 Mile crown to those she’s won on the roads and at 10,000 meters on the track.

Earlier this year, McGregor also won the USA 15K and the USA 25K.

“I’m not super-excited about my time, because I’ve run faster here before,” McGregor explained. “But on a day like today it’s more about racing than about time–with the championship. I’m happy to come away with that.”

In 2008, the first time the race, part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon family of events, held the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship, McGregor ran 53:48 in a losing effort against Kara Goucher.

On Sunday, McGregor, three-time Olympian Jen Rhines and former Colorado University star Metivier-Baillie separated themselves from the rest of the field in the second mile of the race. The ensuing long climb to the Franklin Avenue Bridge spanning the Mississippi River reduced the lead group to two by the three-mile mark–dropping Rhines who would run most of the race alone before being swallowed up by the chasers and finishing 9th.

On the route’s other major climb, at five miles, McGregor gapped Metivier-Baillie and built a 20-meter lead by the top. The hometown favorite, however, couldn’t sew up the race early as Metivier-Baillie caught the McGregor before the 7 mile mark, but was unable to separate herself from the former University of Michigan star despite forcing the pace.

“I was hoping that I could keep going and not worry about it,” McGregor said of her initial separation from Metivier-Baillie. “Yeah, she just woke me up. She was fighting at the point. She had to put on a surge to catch me and she was still pushing it. I had to change gear a little bit, but I got comfortable again.”

The pair ran together for a little over a mile, until McGregor separated herself from Metivier-Baillie a second and final time in the ninth mile. McGregor built on her margin all the way to the finish line.

The win – worth $10,000 – puts McGregor back atop the USA Running Circuit leaderboard. The Team USA Minnesota athlete will contest the two remaining Circuit events: the USA 10K Championships, hosted by the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women on October 11 and the USA Women’s Marathon Championships at the ING New York City Marathon on November 7.

Metivier-Baillie was pleased with her performance, despite the defeat.

“I felt like I gave a good chase,” she offered. “I’m only at six weeks of training, so I didn’t know what to expect. I did try to focus more on this one than the USA 5K two weeks ago. I would have liked another couple weeks–the ninth mile was tough for me–but I felt like I kept my head around it. I’ve done a few longer races, but this is the best I’ve ever felt.”

In the men’s Open race, Matt Downin won in 50:43, followed by Justin Grunewald in 51:12 and Jason Finch (51:24).

Cool starting temperatures, little wind and sunny skies paved the way for a record number of finishers in the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, with 7,017 participants crossing the finish mats.

12th TC 10 Mile: USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Sunday, October 3, 2010

1) Katie McGregor (MN), 54:21, $10,000
2) Renee Metivier-Baillie (CO), 54:37, $6000
3) Alissa McKaig (NC), 55:18, $4000
4) Meghan Armstrong (MN), 55:20, $2000
5) Sally Meyerhoff (AZ), 55:22, $1000
6) Erin Nehus-Vergara (IN), 55:26, $750
7) Katherine Newberry (VA), 55:29, $500
8) Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, 44, GA, 55:36, $275
9) Jen Rhines (CA), 55:41, $250
10) Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz (CO), 56:05, $225

Full race results at: mtcmarathon.org

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