This morning, at 8:15 AM, 1,336 runners took off on a 6.2 mile jaunt around Columbia in the 30th Annual Clyde’s American 10K road race. Unlike last year when I opted out because of the cold, wind and rain, this year I posted. It wasn’t a picture postcard Columbia spring morning but it wasn’t bad either. No rain fell upon the course.
This is the only organized run I do anymore. I have run several of these Clyde’s races over the years as a sort of rite of spring thing. I figure that if I can get out and run this challenging course in the middle of April it means I’ve made it through the winter without too much damage.
Did I mention the course is challenging?
In my reckoning, I count five significant hills in the course: the first being the run up Governor Warfield Parkway from the firehouse towards Twin Rivers Road: the second being the run up Columbia Road to the Fairway Hills golf course clubhouse: the third being the run up Route 108 to the entrance to Running Brook: the fourth being the run up West Running Brook from (I think) Homespun to Darting Bird: the fifth being the run up Little Patuxent Parkway from Governor Warfield Parkway to the entrance to the mall. After that particular hill it is downhill to the finish line.
One of the things I enjoy most about this race is the sense of community. This year I showed up alone with no prearranged running buddy. No sooner had I arrived than I ran into Chris Marasco. I know Chris both from the gym I go to and from his work with a local bank. We decided to start out together. As we gathered behind the starting line I ran into Calene Theodore. I know Calene from Clyde’s. She works there. Apparently they get free registration. Sweet.
It wasn’t long into the race that it became obvious to both of us that Chris was able to keep a stronger pace than I. I bid him good speed and ran by myself for a few miles dropping a comment once in awhile to a complete stranger like “this is one tough hill” and such. Coming out of Running Brook I met a guy named Ken Schreier who lives in Owen Brown. Ken was about my age and after talking for a bit we decided to finish the race together. As we headed down Little Patuxent to that fifth and last hill, I spotted Gordon Mumpower and Honi Bamberger stuck in traffic waiting for the runners to pass. Gordon and Honi cheered us on as we went past. That’s the spirit people.
Just as I was about to hit the finish line, Dave Tripp, a longtime Howard County Strider, called out on his megaphone “Where have you been all this time 628? Writing an editorial?”
Ah, but it’s good to be recognized.
Ken and I cruised down to the finish line within three seconds of each other. It’s a great feeling to be finished.
For the record, the top three male finishers were (in order of finish) Tom Williams (32) from Columbia, Mike Colaiacovo (38) from Baltimore, and Stephen Moxley (29) from Columbia. The top three female finishers were Vanessa Cox (46) from Laurel, Katie Breitenbach (27) from Elkridge, and Robyn Humphrey (44) from Ellicott City.
The top time was 33:27:45. The slowest, 1:28:06.35
And wordbones stats?
I finished in 854th place out of 1,325. My official time was 1:00:27.90. I had a great time and I feel good. My buddy Chris finished in 721st place with a time of 57:56.85.
There is always next year.