Improbably, the winner of the 31st Annual Clyde’s 10k had run 8.8 miles the day before the race, on much the same course as the race. Unconcerned about his pre-race workout, Howard County Strider Runner of the Year Tom Williams found himself running with a pack of other elite runners at the top of the hill at the one mile mark of the race, and threw in a surge “to see who’s in and who’s not.” Master runner Doug Mock was in, and Williams and Mock dueled for the next mile until they reached the undulations of Old Columbia Road, where Williams took the lead. “Most people think the key to the race is the long hill on Route 108,” Williams counseled. “But the key is really Old Columbia.” Firmly in first, Tom knew he had the race won when he reached the top of that long hill. “I may have glanced back when I turned onto Little Patuxent, but Doug wasn’t in sight.” Williams won easily in 33:20, while Mock finished second in 34:14. After he finished, Tom got two beers to celebrate.
Performing one of her patented “bunny rabbit starts,” Howard County’s master runner of the year Robyn Humphrey charged up the first hill and seemed intent on winning the women’s race. But 19-year-old Courtney Waldhauser had other ideas and “picked her off at the top” of the hill. Waldhauser just continued a relentless pace along Old Columbia, and Humphrey never had a chance. “There was always one more downhill [after the uphill],” Courtney said. Part of the Charm City Racing team coached by Murray Davis, Ms. Waldhauser easily won the women’s competition in 40:31, while Humphrey checked in 1:30 behind.
The women’s race saw the birth of a new running star in 10-year-old Avery Cunningham. Not at all intimidated by some of the fast women, the young Cunningham sped along ahead of most of them and was actually in third place among the women about half way through the race. She wound up fifth among the females, first in the 14-and-unders, with a spectacular time of 43:17. “It was my first 10k,” she said. Avery has started running for the Annapolis Running Shop and sported a singlet with “Kick my ARS.” Not many did, however.
The top two master runners, Doug Mock and Robyn Humphrey, each placed second in their respective gender groups and won overall awards. The master awards then went to Peter Keating and Janelle McIntyre. Fourth overall, Mr. Keating was very deferential to Mock’s performance, although Pete was in the mix for a mile or so. “I got a good view of his back,” Keating said. One of triathlete Janelle McIntyre’s goals was to beat Jim Carbary, and, with a 43:57, she nearly chased down the old grandmaster this time. Janelle finished eighth overall among the women.
Over 1500 runners registered for this year’s annual event. They enjoyed a pleasant spring morning without rain or wind. After finishing, runners and volunteers appreciated the fabulous outdoor brunch served by Clyde’s of Columbia. Post-race fare included oranges, bananas, California strawberries, HUGE croissants, fruit salad with yogut, bagels and granola bars, hearty pasta salad, and a particularly succulent white bean chicken chili. Runners washed down the food with Heinekin and Amstel Light, Coca Cola products, or bottled water. Hundreds of them enjoyed the picnic on the grass overlooking Lake Kittimuqundi.
Clyde’s has sponsored the 10k race for 31 years in a row, and not many race sponsors have stuck so steadfast to a race as Clyde’s. With the assistance of Clyde’s coordinator Brent Lomax, Sous Chef Sean Riley and Executive Chef Jason McIntosh personally directed the refreshments.
Clyde’s 10k represents the major road race of the year for the Howard County Striders. Dennis Albright assumed the race director’s role this year, replacing Charlie Brown, who served in an advisory capacity. The Striders wish to thank not only Clyde’s of Columbia, but also the Howard County Police, who directed traffic and ensured the safety of the runners.