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A rivalry is developing between Pat Cullen and Chuck Terry on the local road-racing circuit.
Entering Sunday's Delmar Dash, Cullen and Terry had raced against each other in two Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club events in 2009, with each runner finishing ahead of the other.
So, it was no surprise when Cullen and Terry pulled away from the pack early in the Delmar Dash and began a duel that didn't end until the final stretch a duel that Cullen ultimately won by a seven-second margin.
That was rough," said Cullen, a 23-year-old College of Saint Rose track athlete. "Me and Chuck probably put at least five moves on each other before I got to pull away from him."
Cullen and Terry " both Albany residents " charged to the front of the pack in the first mile. By the halfway point of the five-mile race, they were clear of any other challengers, though the pace was not to Cullen's liking.
"I didn't think it was going to be so fast," said Cullen. "He was trying to go faster, and I was trying to go slower."
Cullen finally took the lead for good as the two runners hit the final stretch along Kenwood Avenue toward Bethlehem Central Middle School. Cullen finished with a time of 25:27, while Terry " the defending male champion " crossed the finish line second in a time of 25:34.
"That was my goal today " to beat Chuck," said Cullen.
There wasn't a significant challenger for Schenectady's Emily Bryans in the women's division. Bryans won her fourth Delmar Dash title with a time of 30:24, nearly two minutes ahead of Ashley Gorr of Albany.
"It wasn't too bad," said Bryans. "It was a windy, raw day, so I was happy with my time."