GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Fernando Cabada (Bristol, Va.), overwhelmed the men's field, setting a pending U.S. 25 km record of 1:14:21 as he won the men's title at the USA 25 km Championships. Turena Johnson Lane (Muncie, Ind.), claimed the women's title in 1:28:42. The championships were hosted for the eleventh time by the Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday.
Temperatures in the low 40's and the threat of rain met athletes at the start of the 29th annual event. A large pack opened with a casual first mile of 5:05 before Cabada and eventual runner-up Julius Kibet of Kenya began to assert themselves as the main contenders turning in a series of 4:40 to 4:50 miles to steadily pull away from the field that included defending open champion Simon Wangai.
As Cabada, a senior at Virginia Intermont College, and Kibet made their way past half-way, Kibet looked to be in control as the pair turned in a 4:37 eighth mile but Cabada who was intent on winning the title outright began to talk to Kibet as he matched him stride for stride over rolling hills through 12 miles.