By Nancy Betress, Montgomery County Road Runners Club
The 27th running of the DARCARS Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest 8K on Saturday provided spectators an exciting race right to the finish line with Christopher Mills of Falls Church, VA edging out Eyob Alemu of Washington, DC by 4/100 of a second.
The race began with 12 to 15 men in a pack until the two-and-a-half mile mark. At that point, four men broke from the pack. In the last mile, Mills and Alemu stayed close together with Mills taking the lead. He thought he was alone and didn’t see Alemu pulling close on his right but was able to pull out the win.
The weather was rainy and about 15 degrees cooler than in past years—a fact that pleased runners and the race committee.
Mills said the weather didn’t make a difference for him. He trained for one-and-a-half hours for 10 days for the event.
On the women’s side, Ethopian Aziza Aliyu took first in 26:54. Aziza lives and trains in New York, NY. This was her first time at Twilighter. She was in a pack of runners until the three-mile mark where she pulled away on her own until the finish line.
David Swope of New Windsor was the wheelchair winner in 23:47.
Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio presided over the runfest's opening ceremonies in Rockville Town Center. City Councilman Tom Moore and his wife ran in the event.
Runners were treated to live band music while running on the campus. Vendors, music and refreshments greeted runners after they crossed the finish line.