As some of the top guys warmed up together before the start of the 29th annual Chuy’s Hot to Trot 5-K on Saturday morning, the big question was: “Where’s David?”
The answer was forthcoming: David Fuentes, the defending champ at Chuy’s, was all alone at the front of the column of the more than 2500 runners and walkers who wound their way through the South Austin course.
The same could be said for the defending top woman—Chris Kimbrough—who wasn’t exactly alone (she was running with a bunch of guys), yet she was well clear of any of the other women.
Both Fuentes and Kimbrough easily defended their Chuy’s titles on Saturday. Fuentes—the 25-year-old St. Ed’s grad from Boerne—won a major 5-K for the second week in a row, this time in 14:47.9, while Kimbrough took the women’s crown by an even bigger margin in 17:00.
Fuentes had a simple game plan for Chuy’s. “Basically,” said Fuentes, “I tried to do what I did last week at the Bun Run: Sprint. I wanted to go out hard and not let up at all.”
Good plan, but the execution wasn’t quite perfect in the harsh blanket of humidity that covered South Austin. Still, after warming up by himself, Fuentes bolted to the lead in the first 400 meters and by the first mile (a smoking 4:38) on Convict Hill, was well clear of Mizuno teammate Matt Kutugata.
“My legs just couldn’t go with David,” said Kutugata, 22, who graduates in two weeks from UT. “I wanted to go with David, but he was awesome this morning.”
That he was. Without anyone to run with, Fuentes battled the clock on the long William Cannon straightaway…and the clock won. Although his winning time of 14:47.9 was a course record on the five-year-old course and tied his PR (set at the Bun Run in 2010), he was a little disappointed he hadn’t run faster.
“It was so hot this morning,” said Fuentes who will next race in the USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth on June 16th “and it got to me. In the last mile, I kinda lost it a little with the heat and smell of bacon and Mexican food.”
After all, the race was sponsored by Chuy’s, but Fuentes’ final mile slowed a bit to a 4:51 and he lost whatever shot he had at improving his PR.
“That’s OK,” said Fuentes. “I probably could have gone a little faster, but I’m happy the way I’ve been running and this was a good final test before my half marathon.”
Chuy’s was also a final test run of sorts for Kimbrough. The 42-year-old mom from South Austin missed last week’s Bun Run as she and her husband Doug took a much needed vacation to New York City—no kids—to see some Broadway shows and sightsee.
“I’ve never been to New York,” said Kimbrough who has won Chuy’s twice before, “and always wanted to see it. Plus, I got to run in Central Park which was very cool.”
There was nothing cool on Saturday morning about Chuy’s as the humidity effected everyone. Still, Kimbrough was less bothered by it than most and her training has been going well as she attempts to peak in two weeks for the USA Masters 8-K Road Champs in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“I’m very excited to test myself there,” said Kimbrough. “I wanted to use Chuy’s as my last workout.”
Some workout. Kimbrough’s time of 17 minutes was only two seconds slower than her winning time last year and just nine seconds off her PR of 16:51, also set at the Bun Run several years ago.
“I’m OK with my time,” said Kimbrough. “I felt good this morning and wanted to get out fairly quick and go from there.”
Kimbrough cruised the first mile in 5:25 and even though her coach Carmen Troncoso was in the field, she no longer has the wheels to compete with Kimbrough (few do) who basically ran even splits of 5:25 the entire way to finish ninth overall.
Troncoso, the 53-year-old wonder, finished second in 18:51 with Anita Perez of San Antonio third in 19:17 and 44-year-old Jennifer Fisher running a superb 19:24 for fourth. Sarah Mark was fifth in 19:25 and Mandy Olivares was sixth in 19:38.
Chasing Fuentes in the first mile was Kutugata, the IBM 10-K champ, but he was never really in the picture. Kutugata, who will next run the Congress Avenue Mile, claimed second in 15:43 with John Gonzales third in 16:10. Chris Stelzer of Houston was fourth in 16:27 and Jesus Mata, who was fifth in 16:34, led the high school parade of Cedar Park runners.
Top masters runner was 40-year Sean Lilley in 18:07, one place ahead of Scott McIntyre, 50, in 18:10. Carl Clark, the 48-year-old stud from San Antonio, was third masters in 18:12.
David Schwaim, coming off a Boston Marathon meltdown, rebounded with an 18:26 to outdo his teammate Eric Storey (40-44) in 18:46 with Daniel Shell third in 19:08. Clark took the 45-49s with Chris Gunderson second and Mike Woo third in 19:08.
The old guys were paced by McIntyre, Gordon Alexander, 50, in 18:25 and Felix Rippy, 50, in third in 18:52. Chris Gunter took the 55-59 title in 20:48.
The really old guys were led—as usual—by 60-year-old John La Claire. The UT professor ran 19:53 in his final tune-up before San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers.
“It will be a lot cooler there,” said La Claire.
That’s a certainty.