San Francisco’s Eileen Kramer-Vukicevich mixed business with pleasure as she outran a field of 1,000 women in the Eighth Annual L’eggs/YWCA 10K race Saturday morning in Balboa Park.
“I have a sister who lives down here,” she said. “I came to visit her. And I had heard about the race, too. So I decided I’d come down and do both.”
It turned out to be a profitable decision for the 26-year-old former Cal Poly San Luis Obispo star.
The victory earned her a free trip to New York this summer to compete in the 14th Annual L’eggs Mini Marathon.
Kramer-Vukicevich’s lead never was seriously challenged as she methodically covered the 6.2-milecourse in 36 minutes, 2 seconds, well off the world record of 30:59 set by Grete Waitz in New York City in 1980.
“I didn’t know what kind of competition was going to be here,” said Kramer-Vukicevich, who was the NCAA Division II champion in the 1,500 meters in 1982, and the cross-country champion in 1981.
“I thought there’d be people like (world-class distance runner) Julie Brown here,” she said. “So I didn’t really know what my chances were.”
Her competition instead came from 26-year-old Kathleen Kinane of San Diego, who finished second overall (36:42), and 44-year-old Shirley Matson of Solana Beach, who finished third overall (37:27) and first in the 40-49 age division.
“This was a very poor race for me,” said Matson, who has American distance records in her age group for the marathon (2:50:03), half-marathon (1:19:53), 15K (56:13) and 5K (17:35).
“I was very tired at the start,” she said. “I obviously didn’t get enough rest. They (race times) can’t all be great. But I am real pleased to be able to stay up with these youngsters.”
With the exception of Kramer-Vukicevich, women from San Diego County dominated the event, which was run in near-perfect weather conditions--cloudless skies with temperatures in the mid-50s.
Oonagh Bruni, 29, of Encinitas, finished fourth (37:30), 31-year-old Sue Kinsey of San Diego was fifth (37:47) and first in the 30-34 age division, and Mary Burns, 27, of San Diego, was sixth (37:50).
Rounding out the top 10:
Lita Lux, 24, of San Diego was seventh overall (38:04), first in the 20-24 age division.
Pauline Stehly, 19, of Valley Center, was eighth (38:20), first in the 15-19 age group.
K.D. Sterton, 19, was ninth (38:49).
E.C. Morales, 34, of Los Angeles, was 10th (38:59).
The youngest of the 1,000 participants was 8-year-old Sheri Savel of San Diego (51:03). The oldest was 75-year-old Bess James of San Jacinto (62:31).