Tadesse Yae Dabi overcame every obstacle in his way to earn first place in two major events at Monday’s 41st annual Fred D’Elia Ridgewood Run.

By Ed Mills (NorthJersey.com) |

Ridgewood, NJ―The radically changing weather conditions didn’t bother Tadesse Yae Dabi. Neither did a strong and deep roster of top-notch opponents. And he certainly wasn’t afraid of being in a close head-to-head matchup down the stretch.

Tadesse Yae Dabi overcame every obstacle in his way to earn first place in two major events at Monday’s 41st annual Fred D’Elia Ridgewood Run. He topped the field in the men’s 10K in 29:48, then a couple of hours later finished first in the men’s 5K in 14:42.

“I just feel absolutely great. It’s a beautiful, wonderful day,” said Dabi, 29, a native of Ethiopia who lives in New York City. “This is a very, very happy time for me. I can’t believe how positive everything turned out.”

The 10K was run in early morning when the course was still affected by the heavy rains that came down Sunday night and remained steady more than halfway through the race. In addition, the mid-60s temperatures were a bit cool and wind kicked up quite a bit at times.

Included in the men’s 10K field were Ayele Megersa Feisa, the 2014 champion, and Musa Babo, two Ethiopians who have good finishing kicks. Tadesse Yae Dabi got the lead midway through and was able to hold off Feisa, of the Bronx, who finished second in 29:55, and Babo, who was fourth in 31:21. The top North Jersey finisher in the men’s 10K was Rob Albano of Pompton Plains, who clocked 31 minutes for fifth place.

The 5K went off more than two hours later than the start of the 10K, and by then the precipitation had ended and temperatures were soaring quickly into the mid-80s. That, combined with rapidly increasing humidity, made for a much different strategy from Dabi.

“I do really well in the hotter weather and I was glad for the change in temperatures,” Dabi said. “I was confident I could keep up with my good performance from earlier. I just went out quickly and everything sort of fell into place.”

Tadesse Yae Dabi barely edged countryman Girma Gebre, whose time of 14:43.01 was only two-hundredths of a second behind Dabi’s 14:42.99. Babo was fifth in 14:58, and two other Ethiopians, Negash Abebe Duki (14:46) and Dirba Degefa Yigezu (14:47, the 2014 elite men’s mile champion) were third and fourth, respectively.

The winner of the women’s 10K was Bose Gemeda Assefa of New York City in 35:04. She squeaked by Roberta Groner of Randolph, the champion in the 10K a year ago, who clocked 35:06. Leonia’s Elizabeth Eickelberg was third in 37:37.

“Nothing really surprised me. It was close all the way,” said Assefa, an Ethiopian. “We both put everything we had into it and luckily it worked out at the end for me.”

Gebre came back to win the elite male mile in 4:12 with last year’s winner, Trevor Van Ackeren of Bethlehem, Pa., taking second in 4:13. Groner won the elite female mile in 5:05, ahead of runner-up Laura Cummings of Bay Shore, N.Y., in 5:07.

Boyd Carrington of Amityville, N.Y., won the elite mile male masters in 4:37, with Mark Willliams of Columbia second in 4:38. Carrington had won this race two years ago before missing it with an injury last season. Elena Rozhko of Morristown took the elite mile female masters in 5:27, winning for the fourth consecutive year.

Source: NorthJersey.com
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