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Lagat leads fast mile field with a 3:53.65;
four break four minutes


Haron Lagat, No. 6, begins pulling away down the stretch to win the Lancaster Avenue Mile in 3:53.65. The Texas Tech graduate who runs for the AmeriKenyan Running Club, will run the DRC Half on Sunday (Nov. 4) for his first try at the 13.1-mile distance. He began running professionally about a year ago.

Haron Lagat, a Texas Tech graduate who is running professionally and representing AmeriKenyan Running Club, nudged ahead of the five-man pack about halfway and then broke away the last quarter of a mile to win the Lancaster Avenue Mile in 3:53.65.

Haron Lagat

Men's winner Haron Lagat. The Texas Tech grad will be making his first half marathon appearance on Sunday (Nov. 4) at the DRC Half in Dallas.

Rose Kosgie

Women's winner Rose Kosgie won the Wellstone's White Rock Half Marathon in 2006 and was the world's junior cross country champion in 1997.

Lagat was one of four to break four minutes on the cool morning over the course that features a downhill start of about a quarter-mile and downhill finish of about a quarter-mile. The others who dipped under four minutes included Lagat's teammate Richard Kimeli Kemboi (3:56.85), Pablo Solares of Houston (3:59:20), and Sean McCabe of Stillwater, Okla., (3:59.55).

Rose Kosgie, also an AmeriKenyan Running Club member, won the women's race by blazing to a 4:25.15. She finished about 10 seconds in front of runner-up and teammate Caroline Cheptanui.

Fourteen elites highlighted the first Lancaster Avenue Mile, which brought back the course used by the All Saints Mile, a popular run in the '80s that also issued prize money to lure fast competitors. All beat five minutes. Lagat and Kosgie each won $500, and both will be going to Dallas to run the DRC Half on Sunday (Nov. 4) to try to add to their weekend payday as first place there is $800.

Police officer Mike Deavers, one of the founders of the event, ran with the First Responders in the morning's first heat and won in 5:13.10. The elites were the last heat of the morning and started at 10 a.m.

Deavers said of the course and event: ``It's almost too fast. It's frightenly fast. It goes from steep, to flat, to steep again. I didn't think it would be so fast.''

Yet, Deavers was shooting for beating the 5-minute mark and came up a little slower. ``I think I just went out too hard. It caught up to me. I was really, really feeling it. On that last quarter, that downhill section, I just didn't have anything left.''

But he was happy about his effort and the event. ``Perfect weather. We couldn't have had better. We did great with our sponsors and money for the dogs.'' Proceeds go to help fund the Fort Worth Police Officers K-9 Unit.

James Newsom, one of the masters runners and who has been one of the faster runners in D-FW area, places second in his heat as David Groombridge nosed him out down the stretch with a 4:42.25. Newsom finished in 4:45.25. Even though Newsom has won many races in Fort Worth, he said he never ran in the All Saints Mile.

But he got a taste of the downhill slingshot this time. ``It was this time of the year and I thought I wasn't ready for a mile. I was training for 10Ks and stuff.''

His first reaction to ``How was it?'' was ``It sucked about as bad as I figured it would. No, actually I felt good until the last quarter. In fact, I thought I was going to win that heat. Usually, when I feel that good with that much to go....but I kind of tied up right at the very end.''

Newsom said the key to the race is to not go out too quickly on the first downhill quarter. He said the hardest part is the last stretch. ``You're going downhill, and you're dead.''

starting downhill

First Responders head downhill at the start of the Lancaster Avenue Mile on Saturday morning (Nov. 3). Different categories were run in heats. Police officer Mike Deavers, in front in the blue shirt, won the race in 5:13.10. He helped organize the event, which raised funds for the Fort Worth Police K-9 Unit.