Fourth of July Classic. Wismer Budweiser Distributing Co. Baytown, TX.
USA Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Alfredo Vigueras took the race out in a very fast 4:30 first mile to capture the first $250 premium. Olympic Trials Steeplechaser Jon Warren, New Zealand Olympic Marathoner Sean Wade, Horacio Salgado (Mexico) and Jose Iniquez of San Antonio fast upon Alfredo’s heels.
Mile two passed in 9:12 and this time it was Warren to claim the $250 premium. Mile 3 blew by in 13:57 with a strong surge by Wade collecting the first of his cash incentives. Still a tight pack of 4 chasing runners through in 14:00. Wade putting the hammer down with a 4:30 4th mile (18:27) to claim the final bonus.
The top 5 fellas battling it out for some Real Prize money. $3000 overall prize purse ($1200-800-500-300-200) to be split between the top 5 runners. $1000 in mile premiums. $1000 to the first runner under the course record of 23:16. Same money for the ladies.
Wade coming up the final stretch. I’m at the finish line exhorting a remarkable run, sub 23:00 a real possibility. He slows, to a jog, and then a mere trot. The ticks go by, he steps across the line in 23:15. New course record by a mere one second. “What the hell Sean?” And he tells me that he’ll be back next year to run 23:14.
The mid 1990s. When Racing was Real, and shorts were short. L to R standing, Willie Martin, your scribe and elite athlete coordinator, Bobby Nygard, Joel “Pepe” Moyer. Seated, Pete Cote and Ralph. This small road race management committee put on The Heatwave 5 Mile for a quarter century.