Greetings, Baltimore Road Runners Club!
I have had the pleasure of running for several decades. Many of the races that I ran were entered casually, but over time, those races have become memorable experiences for me. This summer I ran in the oldest race continuously running race in New York State, the Phelps Sauerkraut Run. That was my first road race ever. At that time, I had no experience in races, having not run any track or cross country. I have now run in the 5th and 50th running- very cool! Interestingly, in the first Sauerkraut Run, Katherine Switzer and my cousin Becky Gifford ran, legit as females, several years before the silly people in Boston got it right. This summer, I also ran in the 43rd running of the Utica Boilermaker, a fantastic race. I have regrets standing on the sideline, missing that first Boilermaker in 1978, a very near miss. But on this next Sunday, I hope to get it right, and run in the Ithaca 5 and 10, the 43rd running, which I did indeed run the inaugural event in 1975.
On a more macro scale, the most historic races that I have run include Boston, of course, the oldest running race. I barely stumbled into the good decision of running Boston in 1977, and also the 100th edition in 1996. Good call! The second oldest race in the US is The Run for the Diamonds. I dragged my whole family to run that one, always on Thanksgiving, inconveniently in Pennsylvania coal country, for the 100th running in 2017. A very good call! Comrades in South Africa has been run since 1921, and I have had the good fortune of making the big commitment and getting that one done in 2006. I ran a very good time for me, and barely cracked the top thousand! Comparable effort would have achieved a lower place anywhere, including at Boston and Berlin. I believe Comrades is the most competitive road race in the world. Good call, making that trip!
What I have learned, is this advice to everyone, and especially for our younger or newer runners: Go, get out and participate to a fault. Time will show that it is usually a good call. You are making your own history every day, and there will be very few regrets for making the commitment to toe the line. Like they say, you only live once. Running is a gift, as big a gift as you make it.
At BRRC, our next race is the Executive Stampede 5k race and walk held in Hunt Valley on Sunday, September 17th, at 8AM. This is our oldest continuously run race: It’s the 38th running! All of the proceeds from the 5k go directly to the Charlie Reynolds Memorial Scholarship. Each year we award scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Baltimore City and County. We encourage you to get a team or friends together, to run, or walk, it. Your all volunteer club is anchored in generosity and this event is representative of that. Awards will be given for overall runners and teams in various categories. This run is very approachable. It is an out and back, flat and fast, and very suitable for walking. I hope you help make some or your own BRRC history by contributing to this great cause by entering, volunteering, or donating.
In addition to the Stampede, planning is well underway for the 29th running of the NCR Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay. This historic race is always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Sparks, MD and serves as a great first-time marathon for newbies and veterans alike. We are now starting and having our postrace fun at the beautiful Oldfields School. The updated course is fast, net downhill. The marathon is a Boston qualifier, and the Half Marathon is certified distance. This year’s swag, as always, is the best marathon swag anywhere that I know of.
Check us out here http://ncrtrailmarathon.com/
And, sign up here: http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=47742
3 Generations of Pecks making their own running history at the oldest race in New York State
The extended family making their own running history at the 43rd Utica Boilermaker