ALBANY -- Chuck Terry carefully removed the lime green-and-white sneaker from his left foot, adjusted his sock, and put the shoe back on. Then he did the same with the right one. "I've got blisters," Terry explained. Although it wasn't comfortable, Terry won his second straight GHI Workforce Team Challenge on Thursday, completing the 3.5-mile course in a time of 17 minutes, 31 seconds. Terry, 25, said air pollen and warmer-than-expected temperatures made this victory more difficult than his first one. He also felt the burden of defending his title. "There was a lot more pressure on me this year," he said. "My nerves were just pretty tense. I really wanted to win it again and I trained all year for it." His time was 16 seconds slower than last year's. Terry, running for New Visions of Albany, surged to an early lead in Washington Park. He held on to the finish at Madison Avenue to lead a record field of 7,200 registered runners representing 393 corporations, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. The bearded Terry finished 11 seconds ahead of Nick Conway, his close friend and teammate from the Willow Street Running Club. They were followed in third by another good friend, former University at Albany runner Andy Allstadt. "We know each other's strengths and weaknesses," Terry said. "We try to psych each other out. ... Andy was horsing around for probably a month now, saying, 'You're not going to win.' " Terry, who works as a recreation therapist for developmentally disabled adults, said the run was a good tune-up for his next race -- the Vermont City Marathon on May 25.
Dana Peterson, 37, finished in 21:47 to win her second women's overall title in three years. Peterson, a criminal justice professor at UAlbany, missed the race last year because she was out of town on business. "It's kind of surprising, actually," Peterson said of her win. "You never know who's going to be here and the last year, the top two women were really fast. You never know when you show up." Peterson passed second-place Diane Matthews, a College of Saint Rose track coach, near the top of the hill on Madison Avenue as they approached the finish. "I was gasping and feeling pretty tired," Peterson said. "Then when we started to come through the park, I thought, 'Well, I've got to go for it.' " Matthews, who finished in 21:57, has been slowed by a calf injury and tendinitis. "I died a very slow death," she said.