After running two other 10K races in the last week, Kellie Cathey didn't come to Monday's Deseret News/KSL Radio 10K race with high expectations.
"I wasn't planning on winning the race - I hadn't even given it any thought," she admitted afterward.So how do you explain Cathey's victory, which happened to be in a record time - for women - of 31:50?
"I think it helped to have no pressure," said the petite 98-pounder. "I felt like whatever I did was fine . . . I was so relaxed."
Cathey, a 26-year-old from Fort Collins, broke the record of 32:23 she set last year, and broke her personal record of 32:22. Since there was no clock at the finish line, she had no idea of how well she had done.
"I am absolutely shocked, I couldn't be more surprised," she said with a big smile when told of her time.
Cathey blew away the field as she passed her top two challengers, Maureen Custy-Roben and Kathy Pfeifer, at the two-mile mark and never looked back (well, she did look back a few times, but she never had to worry).
Custy-Roben, of Denver, finished second in 33:31, nearly two minutes behind Cathey, while Pfeifer, of Albuquerque was third in 33:48. Pam Witt of Murray, was the top local finisher, in fourth at 34:28, while Cheryl Harper of Orem was fifth in 35:26.
Sharon Frenette was the women's wheelchair winner with a time of 26:58.
"I started off slow, but I felt really good as we went downhill," said Cathey. "But I was fully expecting to die at any time."
The reason Cathey was expecting to wear out was because she had run two 10K races at last week's Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, the last on Friday night (she didn't make the Olympic team). But she decided to defend her Deseret News title, saying, "I didn't have anything to lose. I figured the worst thing I could do was drop out."
While the temperature of 76 degrees at the start of the race was probably the warmest in race history, it didn't affect Cathey, who didn't even notice.
"It seemed so much cooler than last year," she said. "The heat didn't bother me at all."
Although she won a car (a Ford Tempo) last year, she was glad to win another (a Hyundai Excel) this year.
What about next year - will Cathey be back to try for her third straight title and third straight car next year?
"I'm not sure, but I'd like to come back. This is a great race."