After all the trashing talking and a strong rain, the skies cleared for another perfect day of race walking at the Penn Relays.
The Men’s race lived up to the hype with Eziequiel Nazerio taking the lead right from the start. Finishing the first lap in 1:39, the Spanish speaking Nazerio had the big boys wondering. Having not received a seed time, he was not factored into the pre race trash talk. Would it all have been for nothing? Not if Allen James, Ray Sharp and Matt Boyles had anything to do with it. The second pack of walkers, lead by Ray Sharp, all started with a conservative 1:47 or slower.
However, after a few short laps, Nazerio faded and fell into the pack. By one mile, Ray Sharp took command with Matt Boyles right in stride, clocking a 7:04 and 7:07 respectively. Following close behind were Nazerio and James. At this point Theron Kissinger settled into 5th place and was never challenged.
From two to three miles into the race, the four were virtually inseparable (clicking off 1:48 laps), with Kissenger hunting from behind. However, as 5K approached, Matt Boyles dropped the hammer with veteran James able to respond. Both Sharp and Nazerio couldn’t match the pace and settle back in a battle for 3rd and 4th.
Having improved the pace to 1:45, Boyles and James separated themselves from the field. In a exclusive post-race interview, racewalk.com was lucky enough to get a quote from the master of Ray’s Walking Yoopernational who said “I just didn’t have the stuff to stay with that young guy!”
Things reached a status quo until Boyles dropped it into another gear, walking a few seconds a lap faster to pull away from James about the same time Nazerio pulled away from Sharp.
While all this drama was unfolding up front, Daniel Campbell lead the junior men to victory with a time of 52:33