Terry holds off Dempsey to win Workforce Challenge (with photo gallery)

There’s a time and a place to let someone go on ahead. There’s a time and a place to be wary of some
Chuck Terry wins the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge in Albany Thursday.
Chuck Terry wins the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge in Albany Thursday.

There’s a time and a place to let someone go on ahead.

There’s a time and a place to be wary of someone sneaking up from behind.

Chuck Terry used the proper judgment to identify both moments, and held off Eamon Dempsey on Thursday to win the annual 3.5-mile CDPHP Team Workforce Challenge, which again shattered the participation record by drawing 8,615 runners representing 445 corporations, businesses, organ­izations and state and educational institutions.

Terry, a 27-year-old recreational therapist for New Visions of Alb­any, won the Workforce Challenge (17:34) for the third time in the last four years, having finished second last year when Ben Engelhardt made a late surge to catch him.

This time, on a warm, sunny day, Terry resisted any urge, however slight, to chase a speedster who led through a quick first mile before dropping back, and Terry had plenty in the tank to hold off Dempsey, who caught Justin Bishop on the final downhill on Madison Avenue to take second.

“I was just trying to run a smart race,” Terry said. “I didn’t want to lose in the last mile, like I did last year. I tried to run even. There was one guy who took it out like a madman the first mile. I knew just to hang back and run relaxed, just because of the heat. I knew from last year that I don’t race well in the heat, when it comes on as quickly as it did today. It’s cool, and all of a sudden, it’s a hot day, and nobody’s used to it.”

The women’s winner was former Queensbury High School standout Emily McCabe (20:32), who was a pro runner while sponsored by Brooks and needed to flash that credential at the heavily congested starting line to keep her spot among those with aspirations of winning.

“It was funny, because when I went to the starting line, the guy told me, ‘Y’know, sweetheart, you might want to move back a little further,’ and I was like, ‘Well, I used to be a professional runner, my name is Emily McCabe,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, you can be with these men.’­” McCabe, 26, said with a laugh.

“So, I started out pretty controlled, like 5:45 the first mile. I don’t run anywhere near as fast as I used to, but it’s hard with a fulltime job. I fit in what can.”

Terry was coming off a 1:10:26 to finish 11th at the Green Bay Half Marathon on Sunday, where his Willow Street AC teammate, Andy Allstadt, was second in 1:07:13.

The former Christian Brothers Academy and SUNY-Cortland runner took it easy with some light half-hour runs between the Half Marathon and the Workforce Challenge.

He ran 17:45 last when he was second to Engelhardt, and posted times of 17:31 and 17:15 when he won it in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

“I was under five minutes at the mile and around 10 minutes at the two-mile, if the clocks were ac­curate,” Terry said. “I didn’t keep it on my own watch. Eamon Dempsey came from behind and caught Justin Bishop. I was running shoulder-to-shoulder with Justin almost through two miles. And then he started to slowly fade. We run against each other in almost every race, so I figured I’d key off of him.

“It’s a cool race to win. I can kind of back off my training a little bit for a few weeks now, and relax a little more. Some of the summer races are of lesser importance and sort of low-key. I don’t have to worry as much.”

McCabe didn’t have to go far from her workplace to get to the starting line, as she finished the race almost in the shadow of her building, the Legislative Office Building, where she works for state assemblyman Brian Kolb, the Republican minority leader.

She said that she knew that she had a good chance to win, based on the pace she ran last November in finishing second to former Holy Names star Elizabeth Maloy at the Troy Turkey Trot.

McCabe was the top American and ninth overall finisher at the 2007 Freihofer’s Run for Women, when she ran a 16:12, and she has run for Team USA at the Pan Am Games. A former runner for Cornell and Duke, she gave up her pro running career in June 2008, after failing to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters.

She didn’t do much training on the roads this winter while working on her Level 1 ski instructor certification at West Mountain, but got in enough long runs and light track workouts this spring to win the Workforce Challenge.

“I thought that I had a pretty good chance to win it for the women, but you never know who can come out, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” she said. “I actually heard people cheering on the course, ‘Go, Queensbury,’ and it always surprises me, because I don’t expect people to remember where I’m from, but they do, and it’s really cool.”

McCabe was able to hold off the 2009 champion, Tonya Dodge, who finished second.

“I knew at one point, maybe around the first mile, she was pretty close behind me, and then I tried to pick it up,” McCabe said. “Throughout the race, I didn’t know how close she was, but I tried to pretend like she was there. And it really helped me, because there were a lot of men dropping off, especially the second half of the race, so I tried to use that, passing them, to always look forward.”

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