Great gesture by track stars Patti Sue Plumer and Michael Johnson, in the area recently to hype the Mobil 1 Invitational Meet at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 3: Both will donate $500 of their appearance money to provide tickets for kids.
In addition to Plumer and Johnson, other top names entered in the meet are Said Aouita, world recordholder in everything from 1,500 to 5,000 meters; Doina Melinte, the world's top woman miler; and high jumper Javier Sotomayor. The meet runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For tickets, call 432-0200.
* Just 16 seconds separated Bob Yara (53:04) and Jack Peach (53:20) as the BRRC kicked off its year-long championship series with a 10-miler at Loch Raven. Marge Rosasco paced the women in 64:02 as 160 took part. Next series event is the half-marathon at Lake Montebello March 10.
* Signals off! The Chili Dog 8-K, reported here to be ready to go Jan. 27, is no more. We mourn its passing.
* The field events will begin at 5 p.m. and the running events an hour later at the Tri-State Track Club all-comers meet, Saturday at Hagerstown Junior College. Wayne Vaughn (733-6076) is in charge.
* Cathy O'Brien, Judi St. Hilaire, Lynn Jennings, Lisa Weidenbach and Francie Larrieu Smith grabbed the first five spots in the U.S. road racing rankings for 1990. American men didn't do anywhere near as well. Steve Spence made it to No. 5 behind Dionicio Ceron and Martin Pitayo of Mexico, Brian Sheriff of Zimbabwe and John Halvorsen of Norway.
* Kathy Kerrigan and Greg Watson both won by minutes in the No Frills Biathlon conducted in Salisbury last weekend. Watson ran 3.5 miles and biked 14.5 miles in 56:14 while Kerrigan was timed in 1:17:13. The next Tri Maryland Club event is Feb. 10 in Annapolis, a 3-mile run and 1,000-yard swim.
* The woman who put sled dog racing on the map, four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher, was in Washington last week at the invitation of President Bush. She indicated she's looking for a record of 11 days flat in the Iditarod in a couple of months, and then maybe she'll get into mountain climbing. "I have a huge interest in climbing, but you can do that when you're 50," said the 35-year-old marvel.
* The indoor track season kicks off tonight with the Sunkist Meet in Los Angeles . . . As expected, John Campbell and Bill Rodgers ran 1-2 at the national masters 5-mile title run in Florida . . . The Shamrock Marathon and 8-K goes March 16 in Virginia Beach.
* The awards dinner-dance of the BRRC is slated for Feb. 22 at Overlea Hall . . . The date of this year's Baltimore Ladies Classic (the former Lady Eck) is March 24. . . The annual 10-mile challenge among area running clubs goes Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. from Howard Community College . . . A 20-K race walk will accompany the Bethesda Chase 20-K, March 3 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
* Saturday: Hickory Elementary School 7-miler, 9 a.m., 838-1931; Tri-State Track Club all-comers meet, Hagerstown J.C., 5 p.m.; Snowflake 5-10 milers, half-marathon, Big Run State Park, Garrett County, 10:30 a.m.; Bermuda Marathon and 10-K.
* Sunday: Boordy Vineyards 6-miler, 9:30 a.m., 566-RUN2; Great Valley Marathon, Chambersburg, Pa., 10 a.m., 717-264-5390; Houston Tenneco Marathon; Striders' 10-K, 15-K, Longfellow Elementary School, 2 p.m., 730-4499.
* Jan. 26: Bear Run 4-miler, Pleasant Valley, Westminster, 9 a.m., 857-2402.