(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Eugene, OR, July 27, 2014 -- For the first time in as long as she could remember, Delilah DiCrescenzo came to Oregon with little to no anxiety. Entering today's Eugene Half-Marathon with a relaxed mentality, the 31-year-old member of the New Jersey/New York Track Club claimed victory going away in a new event record of 1:16:15.
"I'm happy with it all and all. It was more like a really good, competitive workout was how I was viewing it," DiCrescenzo told Race Results Weekly moments after crossing the finish ahead of Canadian Kimberley Doerksen (1:16:51) and former University of Oregon Duck Bronwyn Crossman (1:17:19).
Staying calm while a group of women took the race out at a clip under 6:00 pace, DiCrescenzo settled into her perfect rhythm. Looking at the race as a progressive long run, DiCrescenzo simply clicked off the miles one by one. In the ninth mile, she'd separate from the field, increasing her tempo just as she had planned.
Entering historic Hayward Field alone, DiCrescenzo rounded the Bowerman Curve before breaking the tape. With her mark, the Columbia alum betters Bria Wetsch's event record of 1:16:58 from 2011.
DiCrescenzo chose to race here knowing it would be a chance to travel with her New Jersey/New York Track Club teammates who competed in last night's Run TrackTown High Performance Meet. Racing while the IAAF World Junior Championships are being held here was the cherry on top, a fun and celebratory atmosphere that DiCrescenzo thoroughly enjoyed
"I really came out here because I really wanted to participate in this week, with the [NJNY TC] 4x800's doing so well yesterday and Kyle [Merber] and Ford [Palmer] doing really well in the mile. I thought it was a great opportunity," she said in between coughs, battling a slight cold and allergies. "I haven't been traveling with the team that much since I haven't been focusing on track this year, so this really fit well into the plan."
DiCrescenzo continued: "It's amazing to be at Hayward Field where I'm not overcome with overwhelming anxiety. Normally you're here for the Trials or a really big meet and you're just having panic attacks. This just felt like a celebration of running for all distances, all ages. It's been really fun to be able to participate."
In the men's half-marathon, 42-year-old Kevin Castille of Lafayette, LA, used a strategy just like DiCrescenzo, running comfortably through the early miles before making a decisive move around 8.5 miles.
"We were so conservative, so slow in the first half that I was waiting for the pace to pick up in the second half. When it didn't I just kind of went," said Castille. "I'm 42, I always have to watch out for the young guys unsure of what they are going to do. I just got out there and held it together. It was a nice day."
Winning in 1:05:28, Castille reminisced about his time spent living here, when he trained with Olympian Marla Runyan and Matt Lonergan in the mid-aughts.
"To win so many years later, I love this area. It's awesome," he said.
Jeremy Freed of Beaverton, OR, and Dan Kremske of Eugene rounded out the top three, 1:05:42 and 1:05:49 their times.
Race organizers estimated about 2,000 starters for today's half-marathon.
Photo: Delilah DiCrescenzo after winning the 2014 Eugene Half-Marathon in an event record 1:16:15. Photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly.