Carlos Renjifo, captain of the Howard County Striders/Feet First racing team, had a unique strategy for running the 32th Annual Clyde’s 10k. He reckoned that if he started off fast enough, he could get so far ahead all the other runners would forget about him. “Out of sight, out of mind,” he explained. So he bolted through the first (uphill) mile in a mere 5:07 and took the early lead in the race. “That was probably a little faster than wanted to go.” By the second mile, Carlos had a substantial lead of 20 seconds on the second place runner and about all the trailing runners could actually do was forget about Carlos. Renjifo won going away in 32:49
The Striders’ top female runner, Tasha Hogan, might have had a similar strategy in mind, but she ran afoul of Kara Walters. The two raced up the first long hill on Little Patuxent Parkway, going through the mile in 6:15. “That was too fast for me!” Tasha admitted. Walters cruised through the remainder of the race, hardly slowing down on that long hill on Route 108 and finishing in 38:37. But Hogan’s effort of 39:34 was good enough to set a “major PR.” “I may not have won,” Tasha said, “but I was ahead of that little girl.”
The little girl was Avery Cunningham, an 11-year-old strong enough and fast enough to challenge the adult women. She ran the race last year and placed fifth among females, and this year she finished fourth in 41:14. Sponsored by the Annapolis Running Store, Avery wore a shirt emblazoned with “Run your ARS off.”
Running only 20 miles a week, Strider Robyn Humphrey somehow managed to win the female masters competition in 41:22, which was about the same as she ran last year. “Yeah, but the little girl beat me this year,” Robyn lamented. Avery did not beat the first master male, however. Strider Mike Colaiacovo, who won Clyde’s 10k in 2005, turned in the best performance among the over-40s with a 34:22
The overall winners received really big athletic bags, but age group winners won possibly the most unique awards in the history of running: collapsible beach mats. Each red or blue mat came with an embedded pillow and a carry case with the Clyde’s logo. “We’ll have to go to the beach now,” said Brian Fleming (2nd, 25-29M).
All finishers and volunteers enjoyed the sumptuous post-race brunch that Clyde’s has made a signature of the race. This year’s fare included veggie goulash, bean soup, either sausage or chicken pasta, yogurt and granola, and fresh California strawberries. Liquid refreshments included Amstel Light or Heinicken and various Coca-Cola products.
Dennis Albright directed the race, which is staged each Spring by the Howard County Striders and Clyde’s of Columbia. The race drew a field of 1292 finishers this year.
by Jim Carbary