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In 10K, the late shall finish first

Clearwater woman conquers Avon field despite skipping warmup.

By JEREMY RASMUSSEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000


TAMPA -- Maybe showing up for a race five minutes before the start is not the best strategy, but it worked for Clearwater's Judy Maguire in the Avon Running-Tampa 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) event Saturday at the University of South Florida.

Maguire had to stop three times during the race to tie her shoes but passed second-place finisher Lisa Webb around the fifth mile and stayed in front to the finish.

"I was late, I had no warmup and I never properly tied my shoes," Maguire said. "I tried to make up time by sprinting. I guess it gave me a lot of extra adrenaline.

"This was the first and hopefully last time this is going to happen in my life. I'll just call it an experiment."

Maguire, 42, is a fitness director for the Church of Scientology. She was eligible to win the master's division but ended up overall winner with a time of 36:45.

Webb, 35, from London, finished 26 seconds behind. Laure Blume (37:32) was third.

Webb was on holiday for two weeks and decided to race after reading about the event on the Internet. She won the 10K championships in Sanford, England, in October.

"It was good fun," she said of Saturday's race. "I kind of died around the fifth mile, and (Maguire) took advantage. This was certainly a flat course compared to what I'm used to in England. I don't particularly like hills; so, I thought it was excellent."

Maguire said it made her feel good to beat younger runners, even though she has toned down her training lately.

"I've been training on my own the past few years, and I've found I need to be very conservative to continue running at this level," she said.

Maguire had a successful year, finishing as the top master in the Gasparilla Road Race, Gulf Beaches Marathon and Los Angeles Marathon. With her Avon win, she earns a trip to the Avon Running national championships Dec. 10 in Phoenix.

Masters winner Elaine Nicholson and Avon rep Patricia Banks also earn trips to Phoenix with their respective wins.

The Avon Running circuit was established to allow women the opportunity to pursue elite racing, moderate running or simple fitness running in unified events.

Ironically, 5K winner Kit Van Allan of Pinellas Park was running late -- so late she missed the 10K race and had to run in the shorter one.

"I decided to go shorter because I thought the 10K started at 8:30," Van Allan said. "There was a girl behind me on my heels the whole way, so that pushed me. It turned out to be a great race."

Van Allan finished with a time of 20:13, outpacing second-place finisher Beth Galvin-Yalowich (20:40) of Tampa.

The event also a was fundraiser for the Centre for Women, raising more than $5,600.

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