Chris and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Grand Prix Series Winds Up

The Grand Prix Series winds up for 2014 with the running of the GPS Cross Country race, to be held Sunday, November 2nd, at 8:00 a.m. at Jerusalem Mill in Kingsville.  Come join us on this new course.  Watch for details on

The NCR Half-Marathon was held in late September, attracting 120 runners.  Results can be found hereGrand Prix Series Standings are up to date through seven of eight races. 

BRRC Waterstop at Running Festival

BRRC volunteers met very early on Saturday morning to support runners at 9.5 mile mark of the Baltimore Marathon.  Leader Suzie Boltz writes:

"Thanks so much to all the volunteers who came out to the BRRC water stop this year, fastest set-up (thanks to Robin & Bill for the handcarts), tons of enthusiasm (couldn't hear myself think for all the cheering of the runners), and the fastest clean-up ever.  We got compliments mid-race for the cleanliness of our water stop; the clean up crew was amazing!!  Also, this was the second year in a row the College of Notre Dame Running Club joined us.  How great to have college students up and helping at 6 am on a Saturday!! A special thanks to our two youngest volunteers - Claudia and Alexander - so much enthusiasm from these two, and again, out in the dark setting up on a Saturday morning, they were great! It was an early day but the volunteers were awesome as always!  Finally, thanks to Bailey and Christy St. Clair for once again hosting the post race breakfast!


Third Time’s a Charm! 
The Miracle in Maryland or Chris and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

In this 25th Anniversary year of the NCR Trail Marathon, we are looking back at highlights from the race.  The following are excerpts from an article by Chris Russell about the 2005 race.  The full article can be found here.

"I’m not old! I was worried for awhile. I just turned 43 and missed my qualifying time for Boston by two and a half minutes at my target race. Sure there were horrible winds and we could all justify it, but I used to run those 7:30’s by accident, without even trying. Was that it? Were my days at Boston to be snuffed at 8 tries?

Not today. Today WE kicked butt at the North Central Trail Marathon.  Not today. Today I was a stand-up guy.

Then Ted calls with a brilliant idea. Let’s drive to Maryland and run this trail marathon. Of course, I’m in with both feet. Driving 7 hours to run a marathon in the woods might seem like an unlikely thing to do, but it made perfect sense to me.

It was a nippy 27 degrees Friday night and we were stressing over what to wear. We were checking the weather every 10 minutes. It was supposed to be 33 at race time. Fuzzy hat? Sweater? What to wear? Before I left the house I had dug deep into my lucky stuff pile and un-retired one of my old Ronzoni hats. There’s magic in those hats. I hoped I would get to wear it.

On the way down we talked strategy.  “Whatever happens, I’m not leaving anything out there.”   “Me neither, I’d like to break 3 hours and run negative splits.”   “You’re nuts. You’ve only been training for 5 weeks.”   “So? This is you’re 3rd marathon in 6 weeks. Who’s nuts?”   “Doesn’t matter. I’m not giving up tomorrow. If I have to hop in on one good leg dragging a bloody stump…”
The day dawned crispy and 30ish. We made our way over to the start early to get a good stretch in. This is where being veterans helped. We found a quiet alcove in the school and prepped. Ted procured some trash bags to wear for the start. I went with the Ronzoni hat. I figured frostbite for good karma was a decent trade. It turned out to be a good choice. We were plenty warm once we got racing.

Around 9:30 we were off. Let me stop right here and say this was a great course and a great race. If I could have found the race director I would have kissed him and every member of the Baltimore Running Club, on the lips. Awesome course. The whole thing, except for a couple miles at the start and the finish, is along a rail trail. It runs alongside a beautiful river with waterfalls through mostly oak woods. The surface is crushed rock, but it’s well beaten down. It’s more like a very firm dirt road. Soft enough for saving the legs, but firm enough to get a good grip and no ruts, potholes or puddles. Just perfect.
The rail grade is imperceptibly uphill going out. It is just enough to keep you from going too fast, but not enough to notice. When you make the turn at the half (there’s a cone in the trail), it turns into a wonderful 1% down grade. This works out great. Just when you are hitting the wall and at that delicate point where the race hangs in the balance, it’s all easy downhill on a soft trail. Instead of worrying you can just lean back, stretch it out and ride through the difficult bits. In comparison, imagine having a nice soft downhill instead of Heartbreak Hill. You get the picture.

The course starts at an elementary school and is supposed to run 1.8 miles out on some rolling downhill roads to the trail. At the finish it is supposed to take a slightly different 1.5 mile rolling uphill route back to the school. We weren’t too worried about this because  a) a little uphill after 25 miles of flat-as-a-pancake would probably be a welcome change and  b) you can deal with anything if you can smell the finish line. It was a great way to start with that first mile downhill.

On the way out we could hear hunters shooting in the woods. There was a group of bird watchers around 5 miles out. That looks like a fun sport. Let’s spend Saturday standing around staring into the woods with a telephoto lens. I asked them if they were having any luck and apologized for scaring off the yellow-bellied sap suckers.

There was a sign that said “5 Miles Left” and I wanted to believe it.  I just focused on moving forward.

When I hit the road my right foot started to go numb, I thought, “Keep moving.” There were some sharp up hills on the road, it had bad camber and I struggled. Then there was a nice steep downhill and it shook everything loose. The last three little hills weren’t too bad, but I was red lining and making funny faces, I crashed across the finish and had to be held up by the volunteers. Once I caught my breath I was looking for a race director to kiss.

What a race! What a day! That’s why we do it my friends, for days like today. Today we owned that race! Today we ruled the roads and the trails. Today I’m not finished and I’m not old!

And we kicked some ass! Ted finished 5th with a 2:54. It was his best marathon in a decade. I finished 41st and I qualified with 3 minutes to spare.

Let’s review:  Drive 7 hours to run in the woods…

Chris –- Ronzoni hat – Qualified!

 Ted –- 2:54 – 5th place – negative splits – hand carved choo-choo train trophy…

That about sums it up…See you in Hopkinton!

NCR Trail Marathon Coming Soon

November 29, 2014
25th Annual Northern Central Trail Marathon and 2 Person Relay 8:30 AM
Inaugural Rails to Trails 8K 8:45 AM

Sparks Elementary School
601 Belfast Rd.
Sparks, MD 21152
The USATF certified Northern Central Trail Marathon and two-person Marathon Relay are held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in northern Baltimore County, Maryland.  New this year is a Rails to Trails 8K.

We are again the Maryland RRCA State Trail Marathon Championship!

Described by Runners World as one of the "hidden gems of marathon races", this race is a Boston qualifier!  Join fellow runners who have earned a place at the starting line in Hopkinton after running the NCR Trail Marathon!
The race is an out and back course primarily along the Northern Central Railroad Trail. The start and finish are at Sparks Elementary School, with the first 1.8 miles being on rural paved roads as you make your way to the trail. The last 1.5 miles of the race are also on paved roads. The remainder of the race is on the flat stretches of the NCR Trail. The trail surface is a compacted combination of dirt and fine stone. The trail winds along the Gunpowder River, through quiet farmland.  The Two-Person Relay covers the same route at the same time as the marathon. Each team member runs a 13.1 mile leg of the relay.

New this year! The inaugural 8K Rails to Trails is over a similar course route.

 For more details and to register visit us at and

Race Director:  Christy St.Clair
Volunteer Coordinator:  Brian Flowers
Event Management:  Kelly Dees
Timing/Scoring:  Robert "Nut" Hall


Race Results

NCR GPS Half Marathon September 28, 2014
13.1 Miles | NCR Trail - Sparks
35th Annual Executive Stampede September 14, 2014
5 K | Executive Plaza, Hunt Valley
Gunpowder Keg Ultra September 6, 2014
25/50 K | Gunpowder State Park - Bunker Hill
Too Hot to Trot August 17, 2014
10 K | NCR Trail - Sparks

Membership Renewal Begins Dec 1

Beginning in 2014, BRRC converted to a calendar year membership.  All membership renewals for next year will have an effective date of January 1, 2015.

We will open the renewal process beginning December 1.  Members will have the opportunity to renew, and be eligible for next year's Grand Prix Series, until January 31, 2015.

Watch here and on for an announcement of the opening of the renewal period.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we begin this process.

Quote of the Month

“If you want to run, then run a mile.  If you want to experience another life, run a marathon.”
Emil Zatopek

Seeking Volunteers

We are seeking members to volunteer with events in 2014.  There are opportunities for directing races, assisting with races, and helping with club administration.  Our strength as a Club is dependent on the commitment of our volunteers.  Please let us know that you would like to help.

About BRRC

The Baltimore Road Runners Club was founded in 1971 by Les Kinion to promote running for both the recreational and the competitive runner.   The BRRC is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization sanctioned by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA).

Our current membership includes runners of all abilities and ages who can enjoy our events on the road, track or trails.  Whether your goal is to run a marathon or to get into shape, you will find other club members who share your interests.  We offer programs and opportunities for the newcomers to the experienced.   

As an active member of the Baltimore Road Runners Club you will enjoy the benefits of our organized training programs, sponsored races, social outings, and volunteer opportunities. There are plenty of fun and exciting activities scheduled throughout the year.

Copyright © 2014, Baltimore Road Runners Club, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 9825
Baltimore, MD 21284
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