The five of them, who used to be six, call themselves the Marine Corps Mamas. Brought together by a similar desire, all but one were running their first marathon.
And although the fastest of the group finished 1 hour, 56 minutes behind 1990 Marine Corps Marathon women's winner Olga Markova, don't underestimate their sense of accomplishment. For Baltimoreans Anna Andersen, Grace Cunningham, Brenda Fahey, Dee Reever and Nancy Wachter, running in -- and finishing -- Sunday's run through Washington was the order of the day.
All of them made good on it, Andersen finishing in 4:33, Reever in 4:36, Cunningham in 4:38, Fahey in 4:38 and Wachter in 4:55.
All of them subscribe to what what Grete Waitz, nine-time New York City Marathon winner who finished fourth in Sunday's run through the Big Apple, had to say last week: "I have found that the most important thing for me is to enjoy what I do. As long as I do, I don't have to win a world championship or the Olympic marathon to be fulfilled. As a runner, I am beyond that stage. Now, I run for my own enjoyment."
Although none of them will be confused with Waitz, running for enjoyment is what the Marine Corps Mamas are about.
"I've run for a long time, but I had just never done the long distances," said Andersen, who has run with Cunningham and Reever for a number of years. "I said, 'Well, maybe this is the year to give it a shot.' "
The rest of the group, including Marilyn Gould -- who chose not to run the marathon because of a painful sciatic nerve -- met during training runs in northern Baltimore County.
Reever and Gould were the marathon veterans, Reever having done the 1984 Maryland Marathon in 4:20.
"I wanted to run another marathon, and I wanted a training group," Reever said.
The Marine Corps Mamas provided the perfect forum.
"We met Marilyn [Gould] at one of the [Ashland] trail runs and then she started coming out on Saturdays," Andersen said. "We met Nancy [Wachter] and Brenda [Fahey] at [the Baltimore Road Runners Club's] A Place for You Pace."
It wasn't long before the group was off and running on its marathon plans.
"Some of the people in the group had just done a half-marathon and they were psyched," Reever said.
"Most Saturdays, we run out at the trail," Andersen said. "Sometimes, we do [other] races together. We went up to Philadelphia to do the half-marathon, and we went down to Annapolis [Ten-Miler]. Some of us went down to Alexandria [Va.] to do a 20-miler."
After that, it was just one step to Marine Corps.
"I felt better than I thought, especially since I don't like to run when it's hot," Andersen said. "We're thinking about doing it again next year."
Briefly: Area finishers in the Marine Corps Marathon -- Fred Goetzke, 2:48; Henry Busetti, 3:01; Kerryn Brandt, 3:15; Denise Trujillo, 3:58; Tom Barnes, 4:16; Tom Marks, 4:16. . . . Tony Summerlin, 36, of Baltimore completed the Mountain Masochist 50-miler in Lynchburg, Va., Oct. 27 in seventh place in 8:04. . . . Jeff Delauter Sr. of Hagerstown finished the New York City Marathon in 2:34:03, Ronnie Wong of Catonsville in 3:38:54 and Jill Mottus in 3:51:45. . . The BRRC's Master's 8-Miler on Nov. 18 at Loch Raven has been postponed. . . . Sunday's top finishers:
BRRC Mini 5K At Goucher College Males: 1. Robert Yara, 35, 15:23; 2. Brad Uhlfelder, 29, 15:32; 3. Tim Tenne, 19, 16:04; 4. Patrick McNelis, 34, 16:14; 5. Michael Stevens, 28, 17:16; 6. Peter Dalve, 18, 17:19; 7. Raymond Saunders, 19, 17:31; 8. Mark Shaw, 41, 17:50; 9. Darren Ashley, 21, 17:55; 10. Larry Glose, 35, 18:04. Masters: 1. Shaw.
Females: 1. Mary Ann Zuckerman, 43, 20:11; 2. Christie St. Clair, 41, 21:25; 3. Jennifer O'Connor, 26, 21:39; 4. Judith Taylor, 47, 23:46; 5. Judith Martinak, 49, 24:43. Masters: 1. Zuckerman.
,6,6.5 Saturday, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Ashland recreational trail, 8 a.m., 566-RUN2.
Saturday, Annapolis Striders' Hog Neck Scamper 5-Miler, Pasadena, 8:30 a.m., 268-1165.
Saturday, WRRC Otterdale Mill 5-Mile Run, Taneytown, 8 a.m., 756-4369.
Saturday, York White Rose Run, 5 miles, York, Pa., 9 a.m., (717) 334-7456.
Saturday, Run for the Cure 5K, York River State Park, Va., 10 a.m., (804) 850-2208.
Sunday, 5K Turkey Run, Lutherville, 9 a.m., 882-5455.
Sunday, RASAC Tucker 10K, Churchville, 9 a.m., 939-4679.
Sunday, HCS Fall Series, Thunder Hill Elementary School, 2 p.m., 596-3173.
Sunday, MCRRC Cross Country Grand Prix #4, Clarksburg, 8 a.m., 353-0200.
Sunday, The Old Reliable 10K, Raleigh, N.C., (919) 829-4843.
Nov. 17, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Ashland recreational trail, 8 a.m., 566-RUN2.
Nov. 17, JFK 50-Miler, Boonsboro, (301) 790-3958.
Nov. 17, Sri Chinmoy 2-mile fun run, Patterson Park, 8 a.m., 467-3223.
Nov. 17, Tri-Maryland No Frills Biathlon (3 run, 18 bike, 2 run), Manor Tavern, 10 a.m., 882-6103.
Nov. 18, Dundalk Community College 10K, Dundalk CC, 8 a.m., 494-8649.
Nov. 18, HCS Fall Series, Thunder Hill Elementary School, 2 p.m., 596-3173.
Nov. 18, MADD Red-Ribbon Classic 8K, Rockville, 9 a.m., (703) 264-0439.
Nov. 18, 10-Mile Turkey Trot, Millersville, Pa., 1 p.m.