Thursday, June 24, 2010

Geoff Hopfner takes first at Robert Hamilton

Nice work Geoff....

The retro-themed Robert Hamilton Memorial Race served up a classic finish in the sunshine at Edworthy Park on Sunday. (And if you have ever met Geoff, you would understand that a retro-themed race suits him)

The 10-miler turned into a two-horse race between Geoff Hopfner and Marc Collie, who jostled for the lead right from the start.

"We were together the whole race," said Hopfner. "(Collie) was up for the first six miles. I led from six to eight and he led right up until nine and a half."

With the finish line in sight, both men stepped on the gas. In the final few yards (this is a retro race so we'll stay away from metric) the course took them off the pathway and onto the grass. Hopfner, his face a picture of concentration and effort, edged ahead and was first home. Hopfner and Collie's times, recorded the old-fashioned way, were an identical 53:31, drawing gasps of admiration from the 5-milers who were waiting in the finish area.

"I wasn't sure how it was going to figure out. I wanted to stay with him for as long as I could and hope for the best," said Hopfner, a 28-year-old accountant. "It felt pretty good."

Hopfner, who won Melissa's last year and is a familiar face in the local running scene, was third in the 2008 Robert Hamilton 10-miler with a time of 57:06.

"The distance is pretty good for me," said Hopfner, a former triathlete who decided to concentrate on running about five years ago. "53 minutes - that's a (personal) best for me."

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