Buzz's Baby, sometimes known as the JFK 50-mile hike-run, should be a real wingding when it plays Boonsboro and the Appalachian Trail for the 28th time come Saturday.
Two-time winner Chris Gibson is back, along with the five men who pushed him. Randy Bromka will defend the women's title, and her two closest challengers return as well.
Gibson, in fact, will be attempting to become the first male to register three wins over the rugged course and looking to stop him will be another two-time winner, Mike Spinnler.
Race director Buzz Sawyer, who never lacks for enthusiasm despite the monumental task of putting on this extravaganza, reports that the entry list is already past 350 and there is race-day signup.
"In hopes of discouraging late registration, we doubled the entry fee several years ago, but they still flock in on Saturday [at 6 a.m.]. Last year, we had 41. It's amazing," Sawyer said.
* A five minutes-a-mile pace made a guy little more than a jogger at the York (Pa.) White Rose Run 5-miler last weekend. Leading the pack of 10 runners dipping under 25 minutes was Joe LeMay, a Penn State grad student who ran 23:17. Elaine Van Blunk breezed on the women's side in 26:40 . . . Dave Berardi (15:12) and Roz Taylor (16:21) took honors in a strong field at the Timonium-Lutherville 5-K . . . The Otterdale Mill 5-miler was won by Jack Weller (27:05) and Liuda Galinaitis (43:33).
* Jim Hage (2:17:20) got 14th in the Columbus Marathon as Steve Spence was catching Mark Curp near the end for the win in 2:12:16 and a trip to next year's World Championships. Lisa Kindelan (2:35:45) paced the women by two minutes. Spence picked up $25,000 prize money and a training stipend of $20,000.
* The recently formed Maryland Masters Track Club will conduct cross country races of 1.5 and 3 miles at Catonsville High School the day after Thanksgiving. Registration is at 8:15 a.m., the races at 9. More information is available at 744-2652.
* A teen-ager named Lance Robinson (52:57) and Colleen Cannon (59:21) captured the Pepsi National Sprint Triathlon, comprising a half-mile swim, 13-mile bike ride and 3-mile run.
* Anne Arundel Community College hosts a Turkey Trot 5-K next Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. on campus . . . The Howard County Striders will conduct their annual metric marathon (16.3 miles) Dec. 2 at 8 a.m. from the Lakefront area in Columbia.
* The National Road Runners Club has a book, "Children's Running," available by sending $1.50 to RRCA National Office, 629 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va., 22314.
* The New York City Marathon had 23,467 finishers among 25,012 starters, an amazing percentage . . . Clay Shaw, running guru in the York, Pa., area, sends word that he ran marathons in Alaska and Kansas recently (both times qualifying for Boston) and he now has 55 (in 29 states) to his credit . . . The grade school cross country series conducted by the Howard County Recreation Department starts with registration at Mount Hebron High Saturday at 9 a.m. Grades 1-2 run a mile at 10 a.m., grades 3-5 a mile-and-a-half at 10:30 and grades 6-8 do a 2-miler at 11.
Saturday: JFK 50-mile hike-run, Boonsboro, 7 a.m., 790-3958; No Frills Biathlon, Manor Tavern, 10 a.m., 882-6103.
* Sunday: Dundalk 10-K, Dundalk CC, 8 a.m.; MADD Classic 8-K, Rockville, 9 a.m., (703) 264-0439; National RRCA age group cross country, Van Cortlandt Park, New York, 10 a.m.
* Nov. 20: Turkey Trot 5-K, Anne Arundel CC, Arnold, 11:30 a.m., 541-2756.
* Thanksgiving: Turkey Trot Prediction Time 10-K, Jeffers Hill Center, 9 a.m.
* Nov. 23: Maryland Masters TC cross country, Catonsville High, 9 a.m.