Kogo, Wright Win 12th Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K

The first finisher was an Army Staff Sergeant who was given a 1.9-mile lead.

From: Running USA

RICHMOND, Va. – (April 2, 2011) – The 12th Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by MARTIN’S went off with a bang on Saturday morning with a record 41,314 registrants – many of whom were wearing black and gold to support the local Virginia Commonwealth University men’s basketball team as they take the court tonight in their NCAA Final Four game versus Butler. Kenya’s Julius Kogo took first place in 29 minutes, 2 seconds. The 25-year-old Kenyan finished just five seconds ahead of the runner-up Tesfaye Dube, who clocked in at 29:07, while countryman Abiyot Endale of Ethiopia (29:18) captured third place.

For the women, Megan Wright, of Edmonton, Canada, defended her race title in 33:12. Wright, 29, currently lives and trains in Morgantown, West Virginia. Following closely behind her were Kenyans Hellen Jemutai (33:37) and Divina Jepkoegi (33:43).

Although Kogo and Wright finished atop the standings, leading the pack today was AT&T Dash for the Cash contestant Joe Pena, a 35-year-old Staff Sergeant in the 392nd Army Band. Pena is originally from Texas, but is currently stationed at Ft. Lee in Hopewell, VA. Pena was selected at random from over 30,000 people registered for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K on February 1, and was given a 1.93-mile head start based on his past race results. He took home the $2500 prize after beating out the elite runners to the finish line by only 12 seconds. This is the fourth year in a row that the AT&T Dash for the Cash contestant claimed the prize.

Prize money was also awarded to the top three males and females that live and train in the Richmond area. Jon Molz (31:06), Jay Wyss (32:18) and Joey Wingo (32:20) were atop the local finishers on the men’s side, while Maria-Elena Calle (34:49), Rena Chesser (35:26) and Maureen Ackerly (38:01) took home the prize money on the women’s side.

With a record registration of 41,314 entries, and a record finishers’ tally of more than 33,000, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K continues its rapid growth. The morning began with another 1,900 children ages 5-12 participating in the Virginia 529 Kids Run.

“To have more than 40,000 people is pretty impressive,” said Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer for Runner’s World Magazine. “I love how [the Sports Backers] continue to add on year-by-year by just a little bit to keep the infrastructure in check. And, it’s like a rite of spring. I come here every year just to watch it happen. It’s such an unbelievable setting.”

Thirty-five bands performed today along the 6.2-mile course, providing entertainment to all in attendance. Nineteen spirit groups rallied participants with cheers and encouragement through Hirschler Fleischer’s spirit contest. Over 70 groups and individuals ran in costume for the Richmond Times-Dispatch Dress Up & Run contest.

The 2012 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by MARTIN’S will take place on Saturday, March 31. Registration is scheduled to open on December 1, 2011.

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