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Newlywed pulls up in last leg to win women's race at Capitol 10,000

Ryan Metz

While other newlyweds might have embarked on their honeymoon by now, Kara June Thorne and her husband, Joe, had other plans afoot Sunday.

Racing through downtown Austin, 29-year-old Kara passed Dacia Perkins, a fellow Team Rogue Elite member, in the final half-mile to win the women's race at the Statesman Capitol 10,000.

Thorne finished in 35 minutes, 2 seconds - five seconds ahead of Lennie Waite, another Team Rogue runner. Perkins was third at 35:14.

Thorne immediately called her husband, whom she had married eight days earlier on St. Patrick's Day, to tell him the news and to inquire about his finish at the Memorial Hermann Half Marathon in Sugar Land.

"He said he won and it felt relatively easy and his body felt great, which is positive," Thorne said. "And yeah, I told him I won, too. It was a very nice pair of Thorne household victories today."

The two met two years ago when Kara Thorne moved to Austin.

Joe Thorne, a former University of Texas All-American distance runner, has shifted into triathlons and is training for the Ironman World Championship on Oct. 13 in Hawaii. His half-marathon time Sunday was 1:08:05. Kara has targeted the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, planning to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

"Right now is not the smartest time to take a honeymoon, plus when we do go, the only worry we want is when is our next piña colada going to be," said Kara Thorne, a former distance runner at Fresno State. "We don't want to have to worry about training. We are planning on going on a honeymoon, but it won't be until the end of next October or early November."

Thorne has enjoyed success recently by adjusting her workouts.

She has throttled down her weekly training mileage from 90 miles to 75 while competing in events ranging from a mile to 10,000 meters (6.2 miles).

She finished second Friday in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at a track meet at Rice. The winner: Waite.

On Sunday, Thorne passed Perkins when they reached the South First Street bridge, less than a third of a mile from the Cap 10K's finish line.

"I always forget how long the bridge is," Thorne said. "Then I saw the balloons at the finish and thought I didn't know if I can do that. It was a tough finish."

Perkins opened a lead early in Sunday's race by pulling away on a hilly stretch along Enfield Road, but Thorne and Waite remained close behind.

"I try to take it relaxed in the beginning and then try to roll once I get around Austin High School," Thorne said.

"I saw (Perkins') form slip a little bit, and I knew being the chaser sometimes it's easier. I took advantage of that. You always want your teammates to have a good race, but at a certain point you're racing out there, too."