RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2010 RRCA Club Challenge Overall Results

2010 RRCA Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2010 RRCA Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

Because of snow and other fowl weather, the Baltimore-Washington area had gone nearly three months without a major running race until today, when the Howard County Striders staged the 10 Mile Challenge. This event pitted ten local running clubs against each other for 10 mile championship of the Maryland chapter of the Road Runners Club of America. The runners threw all their winter frustration into the race. With a dominating performance, the Falls Road Running Club of (north) Baltimore swept the men’s, women’s, and combined competitions and handed the local Howard County team a crushing defeat. “We had a pretty strong team this year,” said Jim Adams, owner of the Falls Road Running Store and principal sponsor of the winning group.

Falls Road’s Dave Berdan took the early lead in the men’s race and never looked back. Striders Graham Bazell (state cross country champion) and Izzy Mehmedovic (Strider Runner of the Year) gamely pursued Berdan and managed at least keep him in sight for the first few miles, but when he passed the five mile mark in 25:00 flat, the race was essentially over. “The last three miles were a little slower,” Mr. Berdan admitted. “Only about 5:15 per mile.” By that point, Bazell and Mehmedovic weren’t trying to win, they were just trying to keep anyone else from passing them. They succeeded by finishing 2-3, but the flood of Falls Road Runners behind them snuffed out any hopes that the local men would win.

A similar story transpired in the women’s race. Falls Roads’ Susie Emond leapt to an early lead and “kept on hammering.” “Basically, I was racing the men,” she said. Susie not only won the women’s race, but she also set a personal record of 59:27 and was the only woman in the race to crack 60 minutes. “We race and train together,” said Melissa Majumdar, Susie’s team mate. “For me, it was a just a long training run until five miles, when it became a race.” Melissa pulled ahead of her other teammates and finished second in the women’s competition.

The top Strider women were well behind these leaders. “I didn’t even see them,” lamented Strider Tasha Hogan, whose 1:06:51 placed her ninth among all women. For Beth McCubbin, a recent addition to the Strider racing team, the Challenge marked her first 10 Mile race. “I didn’t know what to expect.” An 800m track runner, Ms. McCubbin used some of her track speed to finish in under 70:00.

The 10 Mile Challenge drew a field of over 700 runners, who were all glad to be running on bare pavement for a change. Richard Bernstein directed the race, and he enjoyed the support of the Howard County Police together with a small army of Strider volunteers at the finish line and along the course. The Striders also wish to thank Steve Musselman and the Howard Community College for use of their parking lot and gymnasium as the post-race venue. The actual route through Allview and Hickory Ridge neighborhoods was recently certified by RRCA measurement officials, meaning the distance was exactly 10 miles.

The Challenge Race served as the first event in the 2010 Maryland-RRCA Championship series of races.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2009 RRCA Club Challenge Overall Results

2009 RRCA Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2009 RRCA Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

2009 RRCA Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

There were some flurries and “plenty of beautiful hills” (according to Peter Keating), and the Howard County Striders men’s racing team successfully defended its title at the 10 Mile Challenge race last Sunday. Finishing second and third overall, team captain Carlos Renjifo and Strider Runner of the Year Tom Williams both broke 55 minutes and paced the club along the treacherously hilly course through the Hickory Ridge and Atholton communities. “We were in a tight pack until just before five miles,” Carlos remembered. “Then this ‘Kyle’ [Smits] guy took off.” At that point in the race, the field was entering the really hilly section. Running for Falls Road Running Store, Smits stretched his lead on the pack “like an accordion” and finished with a decisive victory in 53:25. Carlos, the first Howard Countian, finished a distant second in 54:41. “It was certainly a decisive victory over me,” Williams said about his third place finish (54:56).

But the Stridermen, lead by Renjifo and Williams, placed six runners among the top ten overall, including first master Doug Mock (56:12), and overwhelmed the eight other men’s teams. The top 12 men scored on each team, with the score determined by adding up the finishing places of each of the dozen. The Stridermen beat the second place Falls Road men by over 100 points.

The Strider women’s team did not fare as well. “We need more young girls,” said Vanessa Cox, 47. Although runner of the year Sari Stenholm paced the Striderwomen in 1:07:04 and finished tenth among the women, and Stef Cummins came in not far behind (1:07:35), it was simply not enough to overcome three other women’s teams. A surprise winner, the women’s team from Westminster Road Runners Club took first among 10 other all-female teams. Anchoring the Westminsterians, Laura O’Hara easily won the women’s race in 1:01:15. The team also included “old” friends Sherry Stick, Diana Pool, Kelly Dworak, and Kelly Gruber. They placed three runners among the top five women. Striders remember these young women as the team who also won the Run Through the Grapevine team competition.

Falls Road may have missed out on the men’s and women’s team championships, finishing second in each case, but they won the overall (coed) championship over Howard County – 610 to 684 points. “And that’s without three of our top ringers!” exclaimed Ryan McGrath, who accepted the trophy.

The Howard County Striders host the 10 Mile Challenge Race every February. The race draws RRCA teams from throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. The race was directed by Richard Bernstein. The Striders wish to thank the Howard Community College for use of its gymnasium for post-race ceremonies, and the Howard County Police for traffic control. The club also thanks the dozens of volunteers for marshalling the course on a damp, overcast morning on which snow actually fell.

The top three runners received individual trophies, and the winning teams won team trophies. For winning the overall championship, the Falls Road team earned what many consider “the ugliest trophy in the world,” which they keep at least until the next challenge race. All runners received signature 10-Mile Challenge gloves and all the soft pretzels they could eat. A total of 603 finished the race.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2008 Club Challenge Overall Results

2008 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2008 Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

2008 Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

2008 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

“One girl went out at a 17-minute 5K pace (which is very fast)” Katie Brietenbach said of the women’s race at Sunday’s 10 Mile Team Challenge race in Columbia, “but she must have been a rabbit because I saw her walking at three miles.” A local favorite from the Howard County Striders, Ms. Breitenbach was at that point running behind Westminster’s Sherry Stick in second place among the women. The women’s pack then entered the hills in the Allview Estates community and, although she held second place, Katie said “the hills depleted me.” As the women emerged from the hills and re-crossed Route 29 near seven miles, Eileen Fleck of the Baltimore Road Runners and Jessica Laurent of the DC Road Runners swept past both Breitenbach and Stick. Katie continued racing as best she could. “I remembered what I was wearing,” namely, the Strider racing singlet, and she managed to finish fourth among the females and scored for the women’s team. All four broke 70 minutes, which was good enough for the Striderwomen to edge the Falls Road women and win the women’s team competition 33 points to 39 points (low score winning).

The men’s race started off the same way as the women’s race, with one runner bolting away to a commanding lead. But as the miles rolled by this guy showed no signs of slowing down. An elite runner from the Pacers-Brooks team, Steven Crane left no doubt about who would win the race. (He did, in 53:27). But Crane was unattached to a team, and that left Falls Road’s Kip Bitok battling Striders Kent Werner, Stephen Moxey, and Carlos Renjifo for second place. “I guess our pack was better than the Falls Road pack,” Carlos said, because the Stridermen carefully stayed together for most of the 10 miles while the Falls Road runners didn’t. But bragging rights for the fastest runner went to Falls Road, because Bitok out-sprinted Werner by one second. “He was taunting me,” Kent said, realizing that Kip (who has run a sub-50 minute 10 miles) might have easily outrun him. (“I told him before the race I was going to,” Kip said.) Nevertheless, Howard County placed six among the top 10 men, and 11 among the top 20, scoring 95 total points, which overwhelmed the Falls Road team (345 points) as well as all the other men’s teams.

With the Striderwomen and Stridermen winning their respective team competitions, the Striders handily won the overall coed team competition with a combined score of 456 points, well ahead of Falls Road, who managed 732 points. The top 12 men in nine teams, and the top 4 women in ten teams scored. The teams consisted of runners from local Road Runners Clubs of America (RRCA). Although the overall male and female winners received trophies, the general awards and the glory went to the teams. There were no age group awards, no random prizes, and no t-shirts. (There were, however, glazed doughnuts and coffee at the post-race ceremony.) A total of 544 runners finished the race.

The Howard County Striders host the RRCA 10 Mile Challenge every February, weather permitting. The Striders won the last 10 Mile Challenge in 2006; an ice storm prevented the event in 2007. Richard Bernstein directed the race, with considerable help from those Howard County Striders who did not race. The Striders also wish to thank the Howard County Police for providing traffic control on a long, tricky course, and the Howard Community College for serving as the pre- and post-race venue.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

The 2007 Club Challenge was canceled due to inclement weather.

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2006 Club Challenge Overall Results

2006 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2006 Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

2006 Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

2006 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

Paced by its younger runners, Howard County Striders knocked off seven other teams from the Road Runner’s Club of America at the 10-Mile Challenge Race this Sunday to win the Overall and Coed team competition and finish second in the Women’s team competition. In spite of cold, windy conditions and a hilly course, the Challenge proved to be one of the fastest 10 milers in the area. How fast? If you didn’t run the 10 miles faster than 60 minutes you didn’t even break into the top 30.

From the start, the men’s competition became a contest between the Howard County Striders and the Falls Road Running Club. In bright red singlets, the runners of Falls Road formed a tight pack at the very front of the field, and it seemed they might easily win the team race. But the pack fragmented when they reached the infamous hills of the Allview community, and young Carlos Renjifo and Eric Furst went with the leaders. “They’d gap me on the downhills,” Carlos said, “and I’d catch back up on the uphills.” But when they turned into the wind on Freetown Road near Atholton High School, “It all fell apart.” In the final miles, Falls Road’s “Spider” Sillery and Chris Nowakowski drafted back and forth, leaving Renjifo “in no-man’s land” out in the wind. Renjifo and Furst settled for third and fourth overall. Strider Runner of the Year for 2005 Mike Colaiacovo claimed fifth place right behind the youngsters.

The initial pack of Falls Road runners unraveled in the final five miles, and Howard County succeeded in placing seven runners in the top ten and nine in the top 20, while Falls Road managed no more than five. Consequently, the Strider men’s team beat their closest rivals by 51 points— a narrow margin in the race score. The top 13 men from each running club contributed to their team’s score.

Lacking the young legs that put the men’s team over the top, the Strider women succumbed to a stiff challenge from the Montgomery County Road Runners. Montgomery’s Victoria McFarland simply overwhelmed the women’s field, outgunning the highly-regarded Denise Knickman from Falls Road by over two and a half minutes. “The downhills didn’t bother me,” Knickman commented, implying that the uphills and the wind did bother her. The Striders’ fastest women, Runner of the Year for 2005 Robyn Humphrey, ran a spectacular 1:06:09, which was no better than fifth among the women. The Striders placed three women in the top 10, but Montgomery County nevertheless edged them in the women’s competition by a slender margin of 6 points. “Where are all our young women?” asked Vicki Lang, third Striderwoman to finish. The top 5 women from each club scored. The final prize of the Challenge race consisted of the combined or coed team competition, which Howard County won largely on the strength of its men’s team. The overall Howard County team beat Falls Road 854 points to 920 points (low score winning).

The 10 Mile Challenge Race is staged each winter by the Howard County Striders. who have won the last three in a row. The race began and ended at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, and ran through the neighborhoods of Allview and Hickory Ridge. Richard Bernstein directed the race, with the assistance of the Howard County Police and numerous Strider volunteers at key intersections. The Striders wish to thank Steve Musselman and the Howard Community College for providing their gymnasium as a pre-race and post-race staging area.

The victory marked the first Challenge Race win for new Strider president Len Guralnick. He accepted the team trophy from Mr. Bernstein at a brief ceremony after the race. Jean Knaack, executive director of the Road Runners Club of America, was on hand at the post race ceremonies.

The 2006 10 Mile Challenge Race was not only one of the fastest 10-milers in the area, it was also the largest in a history dating back to 1980. According to official race scorer Jim DiScuillo, 90 persons registered on race morning to bring the total registration to over 450. A total of 434 runners actually completed the 10 mile race.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2005 Club Challenge Overall Results

2005 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2005 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

For the second year in a row, the Howard County Striders won the Road Runner’s Club of America 10 Mile Challenge, overpowering eight other RRCA running clubs from the Baltimore-Washington area. In the previous year, the home-town Striders had relied on their older, “more mature” runners and had barely won the Challenge, but this year younger legs handily carried the team to victory. Indeed, only five of the top 16 Striders who scored were over 40. “It’s about time the kids began to assert themselves,” veteran Strider Vicki Lang commented about the youth movement.

The overall winner, Izudin “Izzy” Mehmedovic, illustrated her point. The 20-year-old from UMBC and graduate of Oakland Mills High School had run only one other 10 mile race— the 2002 Challenge Race that the Striders lost. On Sunday, he cranked through the initial mile in 5:17 and then proceeded to leave the rest of the field in the dust. He finished with a 53:20 personal record. Young legs indeed! Izzy had run a 4:09 split at the American East Conference Championship in Boston on Friday night before, then drove home to run a 4:08 mile at a meet in Towson (plus a 1:55 800 meter on a relay), and didn’t get to bed until 12:30 am Sunday morning. Izzy had run a 4:09 split in the Distance Medley Relay at the American East Conference Championship in Boston on Friday night before winning the open mile in 4:08 on Saturday. He also placed 2nd in the 1000 and anchored the 4×800 Relay team on Saturday before driving home with the team (UMBC). “It was hillier than I remembered,” he said about the race.

Anchored by Medmedovic, the Striders placed nine men among the top 20, including duathlete Doug Mock, who out-duelled Craig Morrell from Falls Road Running for second place. The most valiant contribution to the team may have come from Strider Hall of Famer Dave Berardi, who had to pause at 6 miles to vomit. But he came roaring back to chase down the top master runners of Falls Road— Neville Anderson and Pete Searson. “I didn’t have a hang-over either,” Dave said.

In winning the women’s team championship, Striderwomen accounted for four of the top 10 women, including third-place Carrie Selmer, another 20-year-old, as well as veterans Julie Thienel and Robyn Humphrey, who had each earned Runner-of-the-Year honors. Like Izzy, Carrie set a personal record at the 10 mile distance (1:04:49).

Carrie knew well the two women who beat her— Jill Krebs and Diana Pool, who ran with the Westminster Road Runners. The three had met at Western Maryland College in Westminster and still train together. Carrie is taking a semester of from school, Winthrop University, and while she is home she is training with Jill and Diana who were teammates at Western Maryland College in Westminster. Jill herself set a personal record, breaking the mystical one-hour barrier for the first time ever (59:49). She found the course “deceivingly hilly,” but, being accustomed to the environs of Westminster, had little trouble overcoming them.

A total of 328 completed the 10 Mile Challenge. Teams from eight local running clubs competed in Men’s, Women’s, and Overall (Men plus Women) championships. The top 12 men and the top 4 women directly scored for each team, with other club runners serving as “displacers.” The team with the lowest scores won. The Striders won all three championships. Strider President Phil Lang, who has recently become the RRCA Maryland State Representative, accepted the team trophy (“the ugliest trophy in the world”) at a brief ceremony after the race. The top male and female winners received trophies, and all other finishers received the signature “challenge gloves.” There were no other awards, although everyone had bagels, donuts, and Gatorade after the race and could take a shower at the Junior College.

The RRCA 10 Mile Championship is hosted each winter by the Howard County Striders. Richard Bernstein directed the race. Dozens of Howard County Striders served along the course as marshals, at water stops, and at the finish line. The Striders made a point of marking the course and measuring it using the latest global positioning technology, although the nine-mile marker may have been off a little. The Striders wish to thank the Howard County Police for directing traffic at key intersections; they also wish to thank Steve Musselman and the Howard Community College, which served as the host venue for the race.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2004 Club Challenge Overall Results

2004 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2004 Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

2004 Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

2004 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

The Howard County Striders finally reclaimed the Road Runners Club of America 10 Mile Team Championship after several years of finishing far out of contention. On a hilly course through the Hickory Ridge and Atholton communities, they accomplished the feat by placing five men among the top 10 men (the top 17 men on each team scored) and three women in among the top 10 women (the top 4 women scored), which gave the Striders a coed team score of 1007. The Falls Road Running Club, their chief competition, came in second with 1150 points (low score wins). A total of eight teams from the local area competed for the race, in which over 400 runners from all over Maryland registered.

The Striders rallied around new President Phil Lang, and they may have also benefited from a new 10-mile course. The course was so new, in fact, the mile marks had not been painted. The lack of mile marks caused some confusion among the runners, especially among the leaders. They even questioned the lead biker about the distances. When the reply proved unenlightening, Glen Mays (DC Road Runners) and Jesse Williams (Falls Road) broke free from the pack “around five miles” and waged their own private battle for the lead. Mays overcame Williams with a late surge in what he thought was the last half mile and went on to win in 52:14, a course record for sure!

The Strider men may not have challenged for the lead, but they included some of the fleetest runners in the area. Runner of the year Mark Gilmore led the contingent in 54:45, one second ahead of highly regarded Tom Williams, who trains with the Bagel Runners on Saturday mornings. New duathlete Doug Mock celebrated his return to racing with a 55:43 and was the third Strider to finish. The next five Stridermen also broke 60 minutes. The final male Strider to finish was Dan Laukzemis (73rd place); he easily beat the last male of second place Falls Road, who was none other than team captain Jim Adams (117th place). Among the 17 Stridermen to score was President Phil Lang (1:02:01), Vice President Jason Tripp (59:22), and ex-President Mick Slonaker (1:02:51). Luis Diaz, in 54th place, also contributed to the cause, even though he started the race thinking “it was only a 5k or a 10k!”

The women’s race belonged solidly to the well-known Lee DiPietro from the Falls Road Running Club. The 45-year-old master woman had little trouble overcoming the other women in the race, and she faced her stiffest competition from Janel Kiley, her own teammate. Finishing 1-2 among the women, DiPieto and Kiley ensured that Falls Road would win the women’s team championship. Lead by Vicki Lang (fifth woman overall) and Julie Thienel (who set a personal record), the Strider women claimed third place among the women’s teams.

The race had eight official coed teams (nine women’s teams) with a total of 398 finishers. Each finisher received a pair of gloves, plus his pick of doughnuts and oranges, but there were not many awards. The overall winners received trophies, and the winning teams received trophies, but that was all. “If you won the race, you got a trophy,” said announcer Paul Goldenberg. “Otherwise, nice job.”

The Howard County Striders stage the RRCA 10 Mile Challenge each February, although snow cancelled the race in 2003. Richard Bernstein debuted as director of the race. Chris Selmer and Brad Speierman measured the new course and hope to certify it by next year’s race. Perhaps they will even mark it!

The Striders wish to thank the Howard County Police for directing traffic. They also wish to acknowledge Steve Musselman and the Howard Community College for graciously providing the use of the gym for before and after race activities. The Striders finally want to thank the dozens of volunteers who marshaled the course and encouraged the runners.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

The 2003 Club Challenge was cancelled due to inclement weather.

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2002 Club Challenge Overall Results

2002 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2002 Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

2002 Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

Although they brought only sixteen runners to the RRCA Challenge 10-Mile race, the Falls Road Running Store made every one count and upset the defending champions from the Montgomery County Road Runners. Craig Morrell lead the charge for the ‘Store by finishing second overall in 55:59, although he could have easily wound up fourth because of a tight race against Howard County’s Dave Berardi and Montgomery County’s Rob Magin and Joe Abernethy. When the dust settled, the Running Store stood second among the seven men’s teams, only a few points behind Montgomery County. The Store spectacularly captured first among the women’s teams, an effort that put their team over the top. Melissa Rittenhouse and Denise Knickman finished first and second among the women and knocked out strong teams from Montgomery County and Howard County. Interestingly, the top three women from the latter club- Vanessa Cox (4th W), Pat Wilkerson (6th W), and Lisa Coleman (7th W) – are all masters and generated a team score only a few points behind that of the Store.

But there was no doubt at any time about the winner. Glen Mays of the DC Road Runners easily pulled away from the field at five miles and finished over a minute ahead of Mr. Morrell. “I ‘m a good downhill runner,” he commented about the numerous hills that runners negotiated on the tough course through the Columbia neighborhood of Clary’s Forest. “I hope all our fast guys get healthy [for next year]” lamented Mick Slonaker, president of the Howard County Striders, who hosted the annual RRCA 10-Mile Challenge. Indeed, Howard County’s Trey Cassidy, who placed fourth on his team and 25th overall with a sub-60 time, was ill from a bad cold and had to drop out of a training run several days before the Challenge. The Striders have often won the Challenge race in past years, but managed to finish only fourth overall in the team competition this year. “Wait till Cherry Blossom,” groused one Howard Countian about the next team race.

Jim Adams, himself an RRCA representative, assembled the Falls Road Running Store team, which has the official name of “the Baltimore Runner’s Coalition.”

The 23rd Annual RRCA 10 Mile Challenge took place under such balmy conditions that few runners noticed that it was February 24th. Many ran in t-shirts and shorts, and those who ran in tights were simply too hot! The water stops were busy. Perhaps because of the fine weather, the Challenge race drew a record field of 422 registered.

The Howard County Striders put on the race, which began and ended at the Howard Community College. Ken Dent directed the Challenge, with traffic control by the Howard County police, and support from dozens of Howard County Striders along the course. Dick George and Dave Tripp ran the finish line, and Jim DiScuillo and others completed the results before many had showered. Each finisher received a pair of painter’s gloves and their choice of bagels, apples, bananas, and donuts. The donuts proved especially popular; runners consumed all 25 dozen. The first place man and woman earned awards; otherwise only team awards were given out. At the awards ceremony, Delegate Elizabeth Bobo presented the Howard Counrty Striders with a proclamation from the Maryland House of Delegates, which was about the Striders’ only glory that morning!

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2001 Club Challenge Overall Results

2001 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

2001 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

The Howard County Striders had not lost the 10-Mile Challenge race, an official Road Runner Club of America championship, in five years, but they knew they were in trouble when eight of their top runners didn’t show up last Sunday for the 2001 edition of the race. The Montgomery County Road Runners took full advantage of the situation and overwhelmed not only the defending champions but the four other clubs who posted racing teams. “This year we put the Challenge on our racing schedule, not our training schedule,” said Montgomery team coordinator Bill Riggs. Montgomery County dominated both the men’s and the women’s teams, and easily won the overall team championship. Buoyed by a strong showing on the women’s team, the Howard Countians did manage to pull out the second place overall. Rob Magin led the Montgomerians 55:15, as they placed four runners in the top 10 to Howard County’s three. Master runner Dave Berardi (age 40) and Oakland Mills High School runner Izudin “Izzy” Mehmedovic (age 16) paced the Howard Countians with times under 58 minutes. Dave had done a hard track workout the day before the race and “really didn’t plan to run faster than 65 [minutes],” while the 10 miler was Mehmedovic’s first race of that distance. Calling the hilly 10 mile course “the toughest race I’ve ever run,” Montgomery County’s Patty Fulton won the women’s race in 1:03:51. Howard County’s first women, Vicki Lang, finished the race over a minute faster than last year and claimed fifth place among the women in 1:06:32.

In spite of not having its top runners as team mates, a number of Howard Countians succeeded in setting personal records in spite of the hilly course. These included Lisa Coleman (1:08:26), Dorothy Beckett (1:11:39), Bill Arbelaez (1:09:29), and Len Guralnick (1:13:12). The race served as a Maryland State Championship team event for the Road Runner’s Club of America. RRCA President Freddi Carlip and Eastern Representative Jim Adams were on hand to hand out the team awards. The men’s, women’s, and combined teams won polished pewter plates, and for its overall championship the Montgomery County Road Runners also received the travelling trophy, “the second ugliest trophy in the world,” and will return it next year to the new champions. The first place runner, Craig Morrell, who ran unattached, also won a pewter plate, as did Ms. Fulton for winning the women’s race. All runners received complimentary runner’s gloves as well as bagels, fruit, and water refreshementsafter the “no-frills” race. A total of 305 runners finished the race, and six teams fielded full racing teams consisting of the top 12 men and three women. Ken Dent debuted as director of the race, which takes place every February. Howard Community College generously allowed runners to use its gymnasium as a staging area before the race and for the awards ceremony after the race. Howard County police provided traffic control throughout the 10-mile course, which runs mostly through the several hills of Clary’s Forest. Dozens of Howard County Striders marshalled the course early on Sunday morning, providing water and directions to the runners. Morning rains held off until many of the runners returned to the shelter of the college’s gymnasium, but many runners (and most course volunteers!) got caught in the drizzle. “People who ran fast and got in before the rain started [at 8 am] didn’t have nearly as much fun!” quipped race announcer Miles Wiegold.

by Jim Carbary