Cowtown 10K winner finds some perspective in running

Posted Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Fort Worth

Tags:

A

The winners

Men’s 10K: Antti-Pekka Niinisto, Flintstone, Md., 31:16

Women’s 10K: Emily Van Dyken, Fort Worth, 37:50

Men’s 5K: Dereje Hailegiorgis, Arlington, 15:00

Women’s 5K: Jessica Smith, Trophy Club, 18:21

Boys 5K: James Sheriff, Wichita Falls, 18:51

Girls 5K: Cryslan Tucker, Holliday, 19:50

Today’s races

7 a.m.: Half marathon, marathon, ultra marathon

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Emily Van Dyken returned from a trip to Hungary in need of some soul searching.

She did it through running.

A pianist from Washington who moved to the area to earn a master’s degree from TCU, returned from the former Soviet bloc unsure where her education would lead her.

“Some things [with music] didn’t work out, so I really felt pretty lost,” said Van Dyken, who settled in Fort Worth. “I didn’t know what to do. Running was something I loved. I started running six days a week just to see if I was any good at it and started getting faster.”

Van Dyken was better than any runner in the field of female runners at the Cowtown Marathon 10K on Saturday, covering the 6.2 mile course in a personal-record time of 37 minutes, 50 seconds.

That was better than Fort Worth resident Kristin Garcia by about a minute and a half.

Before Van Dyken’s identity as a born-again Texan was revealed, the only recognizable face across the finish line was the mayor herself.

A self-described “plodder,” Betsy Price, a cyclist at heart, strode through the course in 1:28:37.

The fastest of the day was Antti-Pekka Niinisto, a native Findlander now of Maryland who blazed a course record in 31:16.

Brent Pouslen, a Canadian-turned Fort Worthian, was second at 33:21.

While the February morning chill nipped at all the feet of those who still run outside to get a newspaper, the runners praised both the weather and course, which started uphill but flattened as it progressed. More than 13,000 participated in the 5K and 10K races.

Dereje Hailegiorgis of Arlington and Austin Christian, one of a wagonful of Oklahomans who make the trip every year, were tops in the men’s 5K race, finishing in 15:00 and 15:51.

“I was with him the first mile, then he was gone,” said Christian, a runner at East Central University in Ada, Okla.

Jessica Smith, 35, of Trophy Club, topped female runners in the the 5K with a time of 18:21. Lauren Brandon, 27, of Fort Worth was next at 19:24.

Brandon is a professional triathlete. Smith, in her second appearance at the Cowtown, will be back today participating in the half-marathon.

“I’m really excited” about the personal record, said Van Dyken, who ran her first marathon in 2009 but became “serious” about running the next year.

“I think I went as hard as I could, but it didn’t feel that hard. I think I have a really good spring ahead of me.”

And a music career, too.

Van Dyken is refocused and ready to re-engage her first love as a professional pianist, employing the master’s diplomacy over those delicate steel wire strings.

The break she needed is over. This composer and improviser has set up some concerts in April.

She’s poised to make music every bit as beautiful as her stride was on Saturday.

“Coming from music I was very disciplined and goal oriented,” Van Dyken. “In running, I had something again that I could work for and that I loved and see myself get better at.

“So that was neat for me. The more I did it the more I got hooked on it.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Kansas City3Bottom 6th | Box
San Francisco2@theBallpark | TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Three. Series tied, 1-1.
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «117Final | Box
Orlando92
New York80Final | Box
Toronto «83
Minnesota1114th Qtr 0:04 | Box
Chicago109TV: CSN-CHI
San Antonio824th Qtr 2:20 | Box
Houston87TV: CSN-HOU, NBA TV
Miami944th Qtr 5:05 | Box
Memphis88TV: Sun Sports
Phoenix473rd Qtr | Box
Utah51
Sacramento81st Qtr 7:50 | Box
LA Lakers7TV: TWC SN, D
Denver 10/24 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: CSN-Bay
Portland 10/24 10:30 PM ET
LA Clippers TV: FSN-PT, NBA TV
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «3Final(SO) | Box
New Jersey2
Tampa Bay43rd Prd 11:12 | Box
Winnipeg1TV: SUN, TSN3
Vancouver22nd Prd 12:47 | Box
Colorado2TV: TVA 2, SNE, SNO, SNP, Alt
Carolina02nd Prd | Box
Edmonton0TV: SPSO, SN-W
Columbus01st Prd 14:33 | Box
Anaheim1TV: FSN-OH, FSN-PT
Full Scoreboard