Greetings, Baltimore Road Runners Club!
Did you see that the legendary Ron Hill’s record running streak is over?
The longest recorded running streak in history ended Saturdaywhen England's Ron Hill completed a one-mile run. The 78-year-old former Olympian did not run Sunday for the first time in 52 years and 39 days — a streak that dates back to Dec. 21, 1964, five days before the Beatles topped the Billboard charts with the single “I Feel Fine.”
But did you also know that Ron Hill won our Maryland Marathon, YOUR BRRC’s Marathon, in 1974, in 2:14?!? Yep, before the first running boom, the Maryland Marathon was the premier fall Marathon in America. Here is an excerpt from the Baltimore SunPaper, October 19, 2001| Michael Reeb. Enjoy Reading!
Propelled by an increased popularity of recreational sports and President John F. Kennedy's emphasis on physical fitness, marathoning had a presence in Maryland in the 1960s in the Washington's Birthday Marathon in Greenbelt and the JFK 50 ultramarathon in Western Maryland. It was not until 1970, however, that it got its biggest push.
Returning from the 1970 Boston Marathon, Les Kinion - a Baltimore City firefighter who had co-founded the Baltimore Road Runners Club out of the trunk of his car - and Joe Holland - a manufacturing executive, BRRC co-founder and first chairman of the Maryland Marathon Commission - turned to each other and said: Why not Baltimore?
Each year, the Maryland Marathon began in the shadows of now-demolished Memorial Stadium and continued to its turnaround at Peerce's Plantation near Loch Raven Reservoir. In between, it tested the best of runners, including 1972 and 1976 Olympic marathoners Ron Hill and Bill Rodgers, with a relatively flat stretch on Perring Parkway that lured inexperienced runners into "What's so tough about this?" thinking. Then it descended down Satyr Hill, through the Loch Raven watershed and back.
It was Satyr Hill, a 330-foot rise in a half-mile that came 18 miles into the race, that proved to be many a runner's Achilles' heel.
"I was expecting to come back two minutes slower than I went, not five minutes slower," Hill told The Evening Sun after traveling from England to win the 1974 race.
Hill finished second, third and fourth in successive years, then said in 1977 that he wouldn't be back. "I'm not going to keep this progression going until I finish last," he said.
But back he was in 1978 and, at age 39, recorded another second-place finish.
"The thing that really made the marathon," Kinion said last week, "was Ron Hill coming over and winning the race. He was supposed to win the 1972 [Olympic] marathon in Munich, which Frank Shorter won."
In 1974, Maryland had more than 600 runners while New York drew 500.
The race had its share of color and pageantry. Hill wore shorts emblazoned with the Union Jack and evoked cheers from spectators along the course.
That is a great piece of BRRC running lore to share. OK, on to making our own history!
If you made it to the Frozen Finger 5 mile run at Gunpowder Park at Hammerman, you enjoyed a real treat: A flat scenic course, gloves for all, just $4 entry, and sharing the gift of running. Thank you to Maureen and Nut Hall and our volunteers, for a great event. We had an outstanding turnout by our running friends at Back on My Feet, they get it! It feels great to be BRRC, we are truly making a difference.
And, at the Loch Raven 8 Mile Run, we had a great turnout, 122 finishers. Thanks to Johnny Lyons and our volunteers! The hills of Loch Raven provided a scenic course and racing at the front! Congrats to the Top 4s: Megan DeGregorio, Jody Berinato, Ali Perry and Anna Stylianaki! And, Nathan Brigham, Dusty Meeker, Nick Klastava, and Ryan Stasioski! Megan D set our modern course record of 50:30, while the men were within 6 seconds of Graham Peck’s record. Well done! This course is roughly miles 9 to 17 of the 1974 Maryland Marathon, btw. Here are a few of my favorite recent pics.
Back on My Feet, Represent! They get it!
Pictures are courtesy of Betsy Lyons. Go to your BRRC facebook page, and there will be many, many more pictures of you, and for you!
Joe Burdyck, Shane, Sadie and yours truly, enjoying the best job: volunteering!
The Hot Dog and Elvis are in the House!
So Treat yourself, running gives the best vibes! Come run or volunteer with us, there are lots of opportunities! Go to www.brrc.com or here is the near term list!:
- Superbowl Trail Race at Cromwell Park, this Sunday, February 5th, at 9AM. You can enter race day, or here. 8 miles, lots of group running, on mostly single trail track trails. Good food and bettter camaraderie, this is the one for starting your Super Bowl day! Volunteer by contacting Bart Rein.
- Cupid’s Crush 5 Mile Run at Druid Hill on Sunday, Feb 12th, at 9AM. You can enter race day, or here. Celebrate Valentine’s Day the right way with a run! You always feel better after a run, you all know that secret! And, the hat give away is the bomb! Use discount code TEAMPECK to save 3 bucks. Volunteer by contacting Johnny Lyons.
- Maryland Running Club 10 Mile Championship, Sunday, Feb 26th, 8:30AM. This is THE most interesting and important statewide club competition in Maryland. Run for your BRRC! Enter here, no race day signup! BRRC members run for free, but it is first come, first serve to get in. This race will close out, so enter soon!
- And, Just Announced! Baltimore’s Saint Patrick’s Day 5k Run in Patterson Park. On Friday, March 17th, at 6:30PM, a true Happy Hour run! Register on race day, or here. Wear your green, run 5k and receive a pair of green argyle socks and a complimentary drink ticket for our adults to Kislings Tavern, how about that?! Volunteer by contacting Graham Peck.
Join us for a run or volunteer so others enjoy the gift of running! You will feel great. If you have not yet joined for 2017, join and support BRRC today! Sign up is by the calendar year, $22 for a whole year!