Runners cross finish line in Monument Ave. 10K

Posted on: 9:34 am, March 31, 2012, by , updated on: 12:21pm, March 31, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The first runners have crossed the finish line in Saturday’s 13th annual Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K race.

Over 40,000 runners took part in the race, which was broadcast on CBS 6, Saturday morning.

Thirty-four-year-old Mengistu Nebsi, from Ethiopia, came in first with a time of 28:23.

Nebsi told CBS 6 News’ Lane Casadonte that the race was very good.

He said, through a translator, that he really kicked it into high gear during the fourth mile.

It was his first time running the race – and Nebsi plans to come back next year.

Julius Kogo finished second with a time of 28:42.

Malika Mejoub, came in first for the women’s portion of the race, at 33:07.

This was her second year taking part in the 10K. She said she felt better during this year’s race.

“I like this course, it’s flat. Last year, I took fourth, but… I was not feeling good,” Mejoub told Casadonte. “Today, I did my best and I win the race.”

Melissa Phillips, the Dash for the Cash contestant, also won. She made it to the finish line before the other runners and gets to take home $2,500.

Phillips told Lane Casadonte that she plans to use the money to visit her brother and her new nephew,  Connor,  in Arizona.

“It was intimidating, and they were definitely farther along than I thought they would be,” Phllips said.”That made me a little nervous, but I kept pushing on and I did it.”

Phillips, who is the fifth Dash for the Cash winner, also said she thinks it is the fastest she has ever run four miles in a row.

Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the Monument Ave. 10k.