RRCA Club Challenge 10M

2000 Club Challenge Overall Results

2000 Club Challenge Team Results

The Mongomery County Road Runners made a concerted effort to beat the Howard County Striders and win this year’s 10 Mile Challenge, a road race in which competed the local chapters of the Road Runners Club of America. To that end, the Mongomerians held special winter track workouts for their runners to build “depth up front.” Montgomery County’s Steve Smith explained, “We knew Howard County would have their ‘stud-runners’ up front,so we had to improve our ‘B-team’,” which would simply outnumber the Howard Countians. In the actual event, held last Sunday on the hilly streets of Clary’s Forest, the strategy almost worked.

As expected, the core of Howard County’s men’s and women’s racing teams dominated the top positions. Columbia’s Mark Gilmore out-kicked Montgomery’s Rob Magin and won the overall race in 52:55, and Strider men took three of the top five places; while among the women, Howard County’s Vanessa Cox placed second to Marine Corps Marathon winner Donna Moore, and Strider women took three of the top five places among their gender and handily won the women’s championship. But after these speedsters came a flood of Montgomery County “depth” runners that seemingly tipped the score in favor of their team. The first compilation of the points from seven clubs (based on scoring the top 14 men and 3 women from each) had Mongomery County winning the overall team race, and at the post-race ceremony Montgomery County actually received the championship prize, an engraved pewter plate. However, Phil Anderson of the Renaissance All-Sports Athletic Club explained to race scorers that he had actually dropped out of the race, which altered the scoring qualifications to the top 13 men and 3 women on each team. This displacement still left Montgomery County with the men’s championship, but gave the overall championship to Howard County by a margin of only three points.

Although the fiercest competition was between the Howard and Montgomery teams, five other local running clubs participated in the 10-Mile Challenge, which the Howard County Striders host every February. The entire field numbered 360 runners, the largest contingent of which came from Montgomery County. This year a conflict with a swim meet at the Howard Community College caused a change of the race venue, with the course beginning at the Florence Bain Senior Center and ending at Swansfield Elementary School. Nevertheless, runners had to negotiate many of the same Clary’s Forest hills for which the race is famous. “Survive the hills” was how Baltimore’s Dave Brendle (5th overall) entitled the race. Paul Goldenberg directed the Challenge race with the help of the Howard County Police and an outstanding volunteer crew that roused themselves on a damp, foggy morning to cone and marshall the course. The Striders especially wish to thank the Florence Bain Senior Center, which provided facilities for pre-race registration and post-race ceremonies.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

1999 Club Challenge Overall Results

1999 Club Challenge Team Results (Summary)

1999 Club Challenge Team Results (Women)

1999 Club Challenge Team Results (Men)

1999 Club Challenge Team Results (Coed)

The Strider men’s racing team crushed the competition at the Annual RRCA 10-Mile Challenge race last Sunday and more than made up for a poor showing by a women’s team decimated by illnesses and absences. When the smoke cleared, the Strider combined team had compiled an overall total of 823 points, well ahead of the second-place Baltimore Road Runners who had 1073 points (low score wins).

Howard County’s Mark Gilmore seized the early lead in the race and never looked back. “I never had to look back,” he said, “because I could see my competition at the turn-arounds.” By four miles, Mark had a lead of 100 yards, and by six miles the race was his. He finished over a quarter mile ahead of the second place runner with a time of 53:39. Gilmore’s effort set the tone for the Strider Men’s Racing Team, which overwhelmed teams from Baltimore, Montgomery County, Annapolis, and DC. Striders Dave Berardi, Tony Basile, Jon Shuskinsky, and Faisal Hasan followed the lead of Gilmore and all broke into the top finishers (and all of them broke 58 minutes, too). The Strider men enjoyed a point total of 571, nearly 400 points better than the nearest men’s team (from Baltimore).

The story in the women’s team race was exactly the opposite, however, as illnesses and absences decimated the Strider Women’s Team. Baltimore’s Denise Knickman, an Olympic Marathon trials qualifier and Baltimore Road Runner Women’s Runner of the year for 1998, easily won the women’s overall race (1:02:55) and lead the her women’s team to the women’s team championship. Without Strider women such a Bea Marie Altieri and Vanessa Cox, she confessed that the race “was not as competitive as in years past.” The Strider women sank to fourth place behind teams from Montgomery County and DC as well as Baltimore. Pat Keating, the top Strider woman, ran with the flu and still managed to place eighth among the women (1:08:41).

The Strider Men so dominated the scoring, however, that the local Striders won the overall team challenge by a significant margin of over 200 points. The top 19 men and the top three women on each team scored, as Howard County won its third Challenge Race in as many years. The overall men’s and women’s winners and each team won an engraved pewter plate, but there were no other awards. “If you finished second, you lost,” explained race director Paul Goldenberg. After the Challenge awards were preents, RRCA Eastern Representative Jim Adams distributed awards to winners of the 1998 RRCA Championship Series.

As usual, the Annual RRCA Challenge 10 Miler took place on the hills of Clary’s Forest Neighborhood in Columbia, MD, and most runners had more trouble with the hills than the seasonably cold temperatures. The out-and-back course visited several steep uphills twice. “If you didn’t like the hills the first time, you got a second chance,” said one runner. The 30F temperatures did not seem to bother the runners as all. “It was only a two-gloves day,” said Jim Moreland, who also ran in shorts and a t-shirt.

A total of 341 of runners turned out for seven RRCA club teams on the cold, clear February morning, many of them registering at the last moment. For the first time in a decade, the DC Road Runners Club posted a full racing team in the Challenge. Organized by team captain Mark DeAngelis, the group indicated they had been “re-invigorated by team racing.” In addition, for the first time a “Goat Runners” team from the U.S. Naval Academy participated but did not score because of their non-affiliation with the RRCA. Had the goats been an official team, they would have done well because two of them placed among the top ten.

The Howard County Striders host the 10 Mile Challenge every year, using the Howard Community College as the start and finish. Striders coned much of the 10 mile course, and Howard County police imposed a strict traffic control to ensure runners’ safety.

by Jim Carbary

RRCA Club Challenge 10M

1998 Club Challenge Overall Results

1998 Club Challenge Team Results

The Annapolis Striders’ Bob Marino just turned 40 years old, and he celebrated in a big way by out-duelling Westminster’s Scott Frampton, 13 years younger, to win the 10-Mile Challenge Race in Columbia, MD, last Sunday. Marino and Frampton took off at the start of the race, passing through the first mile in 5:03 and quickly established themselves as the undisputed leaders. The two ran together for the entire 10 miles with no more than a few yards ever separating them. The battle came down to the final quarter mile through which Marino managed to hang on and win in 54:13, a scant seven seconds ahead of Mr. Frampton.

Howard County’s Bea Marie Altieri shattered the women’s field with a personal 10-mile record of 59:47, which is amazing considering the hilliness of the course. Ms. Altieri seized the lead at the very beginning of the race and left Baltimore’s top women, Stacey Nicholson and Denise Knickman, far behind her wake. “I don’t know what’s gotten into her,” said George Altieri, Bea Marie’s husband.

Although Marino and Frampton made outstanding efforts, their individual performances had little effect on the outcome of the team challenge competition. For the second year in a row, the Howard County Striders team defeated six other local teams put up by Road Runner’s Club of America (RRCA) clubs. Striders accounted for 11 of the first 30 runners to finish, including Ms. Altieri. In addition to the overall Team Challenge competition, the Striders also won both the Men’s and Women’s Team competitions. Gerry Clapper spearheaded the Strider effort with a 55:17, good for third place overall, with Tony Basile, Paul Bourg, and Dave Berardi also finishing among the top ten men. On the women’s team, Bea Marie enjoyed strong support from Suzy McCulloch, who ran a personal best 1:03:45 and placed fourth among the women, and Vanessa Cox, who was the sixth woman. The local RRCA clubs sending teams to the 10 Mile Challenge included perennial rivals such as the Baltimore Road Runners and Montgomery County Road Runners. Each team consisted of the top 16 male finishers and the top three women finishers. Strider Vice President and masters racing team captain Mick Slonaker accepted the team awards from RRCA representatives Dave Cooley and Freddi Carlip at a post-race ceremony in the gymnasium of the Howard Community College.

The Howard County Striders have hosted the 10 Mile Team Challenge each year since 1980 (although snow cancelled the race one year) and had previously won the team competition 11 times. Paul Goldenberg served as race director this year, and he enjoyed the support of numerous Strider course marshals as well as the Howard County Police, who tightly controlled the Sunday-morning traffic along the race course. The 10-mile RRCA-certified course begins and ends at Howard Community College in Columbia and follows pleasant but hilly suburban roads through the Hickory Ridge neighborhood of Columbia, MD.

A total of 349 runners finished the race. All finishers received a commemorative key-chain and a peanut-butter PowerBar. The Howard County Striders received engraved pewter plates for winning the team championships. The plates will be displayed at Feet First in Wilde Lake Village Center.

by Jim Carbary