Black picks up his 14th win at Labor Day road race

It was the same result as usual Monday for Alan Black in the Macon Labor Day road race.

But it was also a little more special.

Black, who won the 10k event last year for the sixth time, had trained extra hard to reach a goal of going under 15 minutes in the 5K race this year.

Taking advantage of constant pressure from second place finisher D’Andre Smalley, a college runner at Emmanuel, Black took an early lead and held on for his 8th win in the 5K with a time of 14:57. Jacob Burgamy, a state championship runner in the GISA at Brentwood finished third, while Chris Mayer came in fourth.

“D’Andre pushed me the entire race and that’s exactly what I needed,” said Black, who ended up winning by 12 seconds. “It took a lot of miles, speed work, and determination to get under 15 minutes, and it has been my goal to be able to go under 15 minutes at this race, because I just don’t’ know too many other 40 year olds who have done it. I knew that D’Andre had been below 15 minutes before, and I knew I had to be in the lead because those young guys are usually very strong at the end.

"Winning this race never gets old. The course is just great and the crowd really helps me push myself. I was so happy at the end of the race that I almost cried. It’s a great feeling to set a goal and be able to achieve it.”

The women’s 5K winner was Holly Ortlund, 40, of the Atlanta Tracks Club, who easily outdistanced second place finisher Kristie Poole by a minute and a half. Ruthie Powell finished third and Madison Stokes ended up in fourth.

“I came here because I heard it was a great race and a very flat course, and I wanted to see if I could get a best time,” said Ortlund, who lowered best time by 10 seconds. “You really can’t find this type of course around Atlanta and a lot of my team comes here every year, and I am glad I decided to join them. It was a great place to test the legs out.”

The winner of the men’s 10K was Jesse Prince from Warner Robins, who won the race for the first time with a time of 33 minutes and 13 seconds.

“I was hoping to go 32 something, but I caught a cramp around the three or four mile mark and that probably slowed me down a little,” said Prince, who ran at Perry High School before heading to Valdosta State, where he is a senior. “I came home for Labor Day and decided to run this race to see where I was right now, and I pretty much wanted to win it, so even though I wasn’t quite as fast as I wanted to be, I am happy to win.”

The women’s 10K winner was Deanna McCurdy, who won the race for the third time.

“This was my slowest time yet, but the body just doesn’t bounce back as quickly as it used to," said the 40-year-old McCurdy, who is coming off a triathlon in Boulder, Colorado just four weeks ago. “I don’t really focus on running as much as I used to since I started to do triathlons, and I just signed up for this race at the last minute. But once I got here, and saw all the people lined up cheering, well I guess that’s why I come back to this race. It is really a great atmosphere and a lot of fun."