SALT LAKE CITY — Few are more familiar with the rush of victory than Patrick Smyth, an All-American out of Notre Dame and first place finisher in last year's Deseret News 10K.
With a finish resembling that of his 2011 performance, Smyth rounded the final corner alone, nearly a minute ahead of the competition to claim another title with a time of 28:41.2.
"It's always nice to get a win," he said. "Especially back in my hometown, Salt Lake."
Smyth, who grew up in the valley and starred at Judge Memorial High School, recorded a faster time in last year's race (28:10.6) but was pleased with Tuesday's performance, as it was his first big race after a hip injury in March.
The 25-year-old was training for the U.S. track trials in June when he suffered a stress fracture in his hip socket. The injury put him out for all of April and forced him to rely on cross training.
"I had to get back really slowly," he said. "I ran a bit quicker last year, but this is a really good starting spot for me."
Smyth, who runs professionally for Nike, is looking forward to the Chicago Marathon in October and saw the Deseret News 10K as great preparation because it draws the best runners in the state.
Brett Hales, the second place finisher with a time of 29:33.8, stuck with Smyth for as long as he could before settling into his own pace.
"I came in with the mindset, Patrick is going to do his thing," said Hales, a Weber State alumnus and All-American in the Steeplechase. "He pulled a gap and knowing what he can do, I didn't want to go out to early with him and die. I gave him the respect he deserves as a runner and I'm glad I did. It took everything I had to come in."
Hales, 25, kept an impressive 4:46 mile pace and was pleased with his finish. He hopes to continue running as he has dedicated the last six years of his life to the sport.
"I'll just be running unattached, looking to see if anyone's out there that wants to give me a chance," he said of his future plans. "I'll be doing school, but I'm also dedicated to running."
Scott Keate, 35, finished third (29:38.6) officially despite confusion on the course in which five or six runners were sent the wrong way.
The mishap shortened the course about a quarter of a mile for the pack of runners who were a couple minutes behind the leading pack for much of the race.
Brad Nye, a Davis High track star and national indoor champion with a mile time of 4:08, was among those sent the wrong way and was frustrated with the mistake.
"Everyone wants to run as fast as possible, especially on a course like that. And we wanted official times," he said. "Overall, it's just unfortunate."