North Carolina duo surprises men’s field at 40th annual Cap 10K


Runners from Zap Fitness-Reebok racing team post 1-2 finish, led by Andrew Colley.

If anyone knew that elite runners from the North Carolina-based ZAP Fitness-Reebok team were coming into Austin for the 40th edition of the Statesman Capitol 10,000, it was a well-kept secret.

By the end of the iconic road race, though, there was no hiding ZAP Fitness runners Andrew Colley and Johnny Crain. They surprised such local standouts as Raymond Joseph, J.T. Sullivan and Erik Stanley by leading the Cap 10K from start to finish, with Colley breaking the tape in 30 minutes and 30 seconds, a mere two seconds ahead of his teammate.

Joseph finished third in 30:59, and Sullivan, who raced for Stanford before moving to Austin in 2013, took fourth in 31:27. Stanley, the Cap 10K champion in 2015, placed fifth in 31:29.

“Our coach Pete Rea told us to hold back for the first 5K and just see where we were at,” said the 26-year-old Colley, a former North Carolina State runner. “We wanted to feel out the hills and really get some good work in, and the second half we just wanted to roll. Luckily we felt good, and the crowd got us going for the last part of the race, which was really cool.”

Colley and Crain, 24, paced the field of some 21,000 runners north on Congress Avenue through a five-minute opening mile. Turning left onto Trinity Street, the pair began to pull away from a pack that included Sullivan, Stanley and a pair of University of Arkansas distance-running alums, Joseph and Rio Reina.

As the group climbed the hills on 15th Street and Enfield Boulevard, only Joseph could stick with the Zap Fitness pair as they cruised through two miles in 10:06 before hitting 5K mark in 15:43, shortly before they turned onto Winsted Lane.

Many a Cap 10K has been won or lost on the stretch shortly after the race’s midpoint, and sure enough Colley and Crain threw in a 4:41 mile to shake Joseph for good. By the time they hit the five-mile mark in 24:32, Joseph was just a speck in the distance. At that point, the only questions remaining were: Could one or both Zap Fitness runners dip under 30 minutes and would it be Colley or Crain who broke the tape first?

A sub-30 finishing time would have required a 4:30 final mile, and with no real reason to push that hard, the pair maintained an even cadence until they hit the six-mile mark on Riverside Drive. At that point the teammates became rivals, and Colley, who has a 3:58 mile on his running résumé, sprinted to the tape. While nipping Crain, he finished more than a minute off of Eric Chirchir’s course record of 29:24, set in 2013.

“We wanted to maintain control and work together through the 5K,” said Crain, a former North Central College runner who has a best of 28:26 for the 10K distance. “And the second 5K, it was every man for himself, but really, we were just having fun with it, giving high-fives and getting the crowd pumped up.”

A five-time All-American while at N.C. State, Colley said he and Crain were given a preview of the Cap 10K course on Saturday.

“We got to drive around on it and see where the hills were,” Colley said. “The elevation map is a bit deceiving because it’s really a hilly course, but in Blowing Rock (N.C.), we crush the mountains as much as possible to prepare for hills like these.

“We wanted to see the Capitol 10,000 because of how big it is, and how the city of Austin gets behind it. It’s a really cool event to be a part of as we get ready for track season. It’s the first year that our sponsor Reebok helped sponsor the event so we wanted to make sure that we took home the win.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Oklahoma State makes move to No. 3, Baylor plummets in power poll
Oklahoma State makes move to No. 3, Baylor plummets in power poll

1. (Previous: 1) Oklahoma (3-0) The Sooners were slightly tested against Iowa State in both team’s conference opener. The defense allowed 27 points in the win, giving the fans another reason to gripe about the remaining Stoops brother. There can be no complaints about the offense and its baseball playing quarterback. The Sooners host Army this...
The Dotted Line: Commitment Q&A with Texas commit, offensive tackle Tyler Johnson
The Dotted Line: Commitment Q&A with Texas commit, offensive tackle Tyler Johnson

Texas gained a commitment from four-star offensive tackle Tyler Johnson on May 28. The Conroe Oak Ridge product is the No. 5-ranked player on the Fabulous 55 and the second-best offensive line product in the state. He’s a unique player with strength, length and the size to be a dominant right tackle. Texas...
Fantasy football Week 2 recap and top waiver wire picks

Some of the overreactions after Week 1 turned out not to be overreactions at all. Pat Mahomes became the youngest quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a game a week after throwing four touchdowns in Week 1. His ten touchdown passes is the most through two games in NFL history. The Chiefs, and Alex Smith, started out great last season...
Withers: Texas State must address giving up big plays on defense
Withers: Texas State must address giving up big plays on defense

Texas State led South Alabama 24-16 at halftime Saturday — even 31-16 midway through the third quarter — before falling apart in the second half in a 41-31 loss on the road. The Bobcats (1-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) were up 31-16 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter when quarterback Willie Jones III suffered a leg injury. He was replaced by freshman...
Jimbo Fisher knows Saban well — it probably won’t matter when teams meet
Jimbo Fisher knows Saban well — it probably won’t matter when teams meet

Maybe Jimbo Fisher has secret intel about Alabama. Maybe his presence on the Texas A&M sideline will give the Aggies an edge when the teams meet Saturday. Fisher conceded Monday that he can flip on any game film of the Crimson Tide and predict the play. “We just laugh about that,” said Fisher, Texas A&M’s head coach. “I can...
More Stories