I think you should hire that guy that cracked Nancy Kerrigan on the kneecap.
Seriously - the guy that ran the 400m bet that was the older smoker also played soccer and those dudes are quick...whether or not he can maintain it, who knows, but since he has a running background, he probably can. Can you set time goals for each of you - aggressive, but achievable? Do some shorter speedwork (short burst, 25-30 seconds hard) - coupled with your endurance, that should help a lot.
Don't blame me - the other guy was the one who opened his yapper! I don't bet on my running ability because I know what I can and cannot do, and I have minimal ego!