The 28th Annual Elmwood Classic ended with a 10 year old course record being broken by Lafayette native, Kevin Castille. Castille, an American record holder in various master’s events, has become a regular fixture at the Elmwood Classic, driving down each year to attempt to break the course record and collect the $1,000 bonus. For ten years, Castille has attempted to break the record, coming within 5 seconds, but never going under the infamous time, set by Kenyan Muriuki Ngatia ( 29:42). Before this nail butting event, runners came out for 3 different races, making the Elmwood Classic one of the few races that this occurs without conflict.
The beginning of this race morning started off with the residual of the cold snap, which hit the area the week before. The first event, the kids 1/2 mile was underway at 8:15. Fifteen year old, Madison Boudreaux, won the race in a time of 3:06, nearly 30 seconds ahead of 2nd place. After the tape was broken, infant strollers and competitors of the smallest stature continued across the line, wrapping up the half mile raceanticipa.
For the 5k, fourteen year old Noah Wilkens, won in 19 minutes and Mandeville’s, Caroline Smith, was the women’s champion, finishing in 22:30.
As the 10k race started, anticipation built and all eyes looked to Kevin as he sprang from the line and settled into clip that carried him through the first miles at 4:46, 4:46, 4:43 and 4:47. However to get the record, he would have to be faster. The fifth mile was 4:49, and the spectator s in the pace truck began to wonder if he was fading. Tom Sawyer, lead biker for the race, gave Kevin extra encouragement, in an attempt to get him to the finish line. In the first album mile, Kevin began to dig deep, and in a rare occurrence, it seemed he even began to grimace. With 600 meters to the finish, the cheers from the crowd started to come into hearing’s range as he began to increase his pace even further and kick. Tom started yelling the countdown, “30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10, 5 until the record!” Once Kevin broke the tape, Chuck George immediately yelled the last mile was 4:34, making his time of 29:39 a new course record! Finally breaking the record, Kevin was overcome with a smile knowing this race finally belonged to him. This race was one for the record books, making the quest for a new record something to ponder when and if it would be broken again.
For more photos from The 2014 Elmwood Classic check out our facebook album here.
Full Results from Sunday’s Elmwood Classic posted on New Orleans Running Systems here.