RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - In 2000, the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k was a nifty idea that featured a little over 2,400 people going for a nice run.
Since then the race has exploded to become one of the 25 largest 10k events in the country. Saturday morning, a record field of more than 32,000 made the case that, perhaps the event should be moved and renamed the "I-95 10k" to accommodate the swelling numbers.
The race began at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Siegel Center on Broad Street.
A small contingent of elite runners were the first out of the gate. They were followed one minute later by wave after wave of competitors.
Coming across the finish line first was Midlothian mother-of-four Anne Parker, who snapped the tape after getting a 2.7-mile head start as the AT&T "Dash for the Cash" participant and since she beat out the elite field, Parker pocketed a cool $2,500.
A few minutes later, the actual winners started coming across the line. Ethiopian Tilahun Regassa, 19, was the men's overall champion with a time of 28 minutes, 21 seconds.
On the ladies' side was another Ethiopian, Amane Gemeda, 26, who took the women's title in 32 minutes, 37 seconds.
Local competitors didn't do too shabby either.Once minute behind Gemeda was former VCU All-American and current Richmond resident, Mariaelena Calle. She was the No. 2 overall female at 33 minutes, 33 seconds.
The men were represented by another former VCU track standout in Cary Chaffe, who was the top local male at 31 minutes, 57 seconds.
Along with the 32,000-plus participants, there were also an estimated 50,000 watching the 10k.