President's Message

Happy July, Baltimore Road Runners Club!


It’s hot out!  And, since most of us make running a part of our lifestyle year round, we enjoy, and manage, the hot weather of summer.  Running is a sport of exercise, and we usually consume a lot of energy in a relatively small amount of time.   That makes running especially hard in the summer; we all know that.

I have been running for a long time, and have adapted to summer running for many seasons.  Increasingly, I am not great at the heat thing.  Age and talent have taken some of my capacity to run in the heat of summer.  Notably, my internal thermostat is not what it was, that’s just part of the normal cycle of life.  But, my experience in endurance activities in the heat is extensive, and I am better at exploiting as many angles that are available to keep up with you all.  What I share here I have learned mostly from the extreme environments of ultrarunning, but some of the accommodations here are applicable to running in Maryland or out your back door.  Here are some personal tips for running in the summer, and living well on the edge.

Everyone knows to hydrate plenty before, and, if possible, during their hot runs.   But there is more to it than that.  You can get too hot, and still be hydrated.  If you are not in the shade, wear white.  Not grey, not light colored, but white.  If you can put your hands on a temperature sensor gun, check out the temperature of white surfaces vs other colors, including your skin color, and you will be convinced.  Cover your head with a white hat and wear a white shirt.  I have to slow down to not overheat in the sun, but if I am wearing white vs not, the pace is measurably faster…… a good thing.
If ice avails itself, have at it!   Roll ice in a scarf tied around your neck, under your hat, in your pockets, all that, and more.  In impossibly too hot to run conditions, I have gone from walking to a happy trot with brain freeze many times with this one.  This will get you 20-30 minutes before the ice is gone, not bad.

Sweat is normal, and we all get soaked to the max; that cools us, of course.  But when it is really hot, and especially if it is humid, you still may overheat.  Try getting wetter…really, really, wet.  For example, I found myself running on the first hot day of the year, at our Gunpowder 50k, the same week, and in between cold sleeting runs in Umstead and Boston this spring.  The heat and miles and not being acclimated to heat had reduced me to charley horsing and walking with too many miles to go…argghh!  I completely submerged myself in the cool Gunpowder for a couple of minutes, and I was happily back to trotting, good to go for several miles.  I have seen runners come back in seemingly impossible conditions after submerging their heads in troughs or coolers filled with ice water, or after an exchange of shirts that are in coolers of ice water.  A more gentle approach would be find a hose or a sprinkler: get under it for a while…it’s all the same idea, maybe it will work for you.

Drinking plenty in the heat is easy advice.  But if it is available, try drinking cold, very cold, drink.  Ice in your hydration pack or bottle, chug a lot of that cold down, and you will find that you cool right to the core, and you will pick up your pace. 

And, finally, there is just plain slowing down, a lot.  At least the running part is easier, and I am often surprised how far I can go in the heat, just because I have slowed way down.

Happy Running!

                           BRRC Annual Picnic, Awards, and Party!
We had our annual summer picnic last week, and the weather held out nicely!  It was a big day for recognition and a party!  Congratulations to all the 2017 Performance Awards Winners, and thank you to all of our members for their support last year.  You can find the winners here .  And, thank you John Roemer, there are lots of great pictures of our award winners here .  One of our winners, Sharon Thompson, our Valor Runner of the Year, was in Alaska running the Mayor’s Marathon!

Represent with BRRC! Sharon Valvano, Sharon Thompson, and Hazel Teal.

And, congratulations to our new member of the BRRC Hall of Fame, Denise Knickman!  Among her many achievements and contributions with BRRC, Denise has been awarded our runner of the year many times, and runner of the decade for 2000-2010.

Denise Knickman and BRRC Hall of Fame Chairman Bailey St. Clair.

And, finally, a congratulations to this year’s recipients for the Charlie Reynolds Memorial Scholarships, Dulaney High School Graduates Alex Ozbolt (Johns Hopkins) and Dorothy Gaeng (Northwestern)!  Alex and Dorothy will be receiving BRRC Scholarships of $3,000 each to Johns Hopkins and Northwestern.

Alex Ozbolt, Dulaney High School Coach Chad Boyle, and Dorothy Gaeng.

                                On the Trails with BRRC!

Next up in our trail race series is BRRC’s second annual Twilight Run at Talmar and Cromwell Valley Park on July 3rd.  Bring a light and enjoy a fun run that finishes at dusk!  There is a thirst in the greater Baltimore area for trail runs, especially affordable, night time runs, with a gathering after (McFaul’s for us!).   We will have a full house for this race, but we will have space for race day signups, and we will be able to accommodate our members on race day.   Go to to find out more regarding prerace online signups.

                                   Sweet Air Trail Race

On Sunday, July 8th, at 8:30 AM, we will have another of our classic trail races, the Sweet Air 7 miler.  This is a beautiful run, nearly all single track.  What is truly unique is that we share this race with our friends from Harford County Running Club, RASAC.  The club is enthusiastic about opportunities to share races and venues with our nearby running friends, and this is a great example of that.  Race day signups only, and consider bringing a bottle or hydration pack, it will likely be hot and humid.

Happy 4th of July, stay cool!

Henry Peck, President


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