GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Shannon Swords of Landstuhl and Jessica Jacobs of Grafenwöhr repeated Saturday as USAREUR 10-Miler champions. It will probably be the last time they wear the crown.
Swords won the event for the third straight year in 56 minutes, 8.71 seconds, and Jacobs took her second straight in 62:47.42. Both will leave the command before the 2005 edition of the annual qualifier for October’s Army 10-Miler in Washington, D.C.
“It’s a good way to go out,” said Jacobs, who said she’s looking forward to anchoring the USAREUR women’s team in D.C.
“It’s the best,” she said of the D.C. event, which expands from 18,000 to 20,000 runners this year. “There are so many people to push you along, and the course is flat and fast.”
The key to doing well in D.C., Jacobs said, is getting ahead of the pack.
“You have to make sure to get up front,” said Jacobs, who won her seniors category for runners 26-32 years of age by just under 10 minutes and broke her record of 63:19 on a course she described as “deceptive.”
“There are a lot of gradual hills,” she said, “and on a day like today (little breeze and bright sun) the weather got hot really fast.”
For the second straight year, Jacobs defeated Landstuhl’s Jacqueline Chen for the women’s overall title. Chen, the 2002 overall champion, won this year’s masters title for runners over 33 years in 66:53.53.
Swords, running in the seniors category for runners 30-39, was above his 55-minute winning time of last year, and faces an uncertain status as a USAREUR runner for the October event. He is changing stations this summer.
If Swords can’t run for USAREUR, the Army-Europe men’s team will turn to open champion Jason Galus to anchor its effort. Galus finished in 57:08.78 Saturday and will be joined on the team by four other sub-60-minute men: seniors Robert Zuch of Heidelberg (57:33.23) and David Montano of Dexheim (57:43.78), open runner-up Benjamin Martinelli of Heidelberg (58:53.22) and master’s champion Michael Buley of Vicenza, who topped the 40-and-older runners by more than 10 minutes with a time of 58:19.92.
Buley is looking forward to heading the USAREUR delegation in D.C. for the second straight year. Like Jacobs, he’s not worried about having to run down the field of 20,000 in D.C.
“The bigger field just adds to it,” he said. “We have decent times, so we’ll start near the front. If we didn’t, we’d have to be like Crocodile Dundee running over people’s backs.”
Buley, who said he’s been running seriously but unofficially since he was 12, said the team aspect of the USAREUR and Army 10-Milers appeals to him. Saturday, he anchored Vicenza to the team championship.
“I missed out on teams in high school and college,” he said, “so now it’s become really important to do them. Running’s an individual sport, but being part of a team provides camaraderie. It’s nice to represent Vicenza and be part of a great running community.”