Runners in training for competitive road racing might want to take advantage of several club series to spring into shape.
The Howard County Striders, the only area running club to sponsor spring, summer, fall and winter series, will conduct a series of races at 2 miles, 10 and 15 kilometers through March 15. The runs are low-key and a good way to get a competitive edge for spring.
The Renaissance AllSports Athletic Club, based in Harford County, is in the midst of its Snowflake Series. The next run on its schedule is Sunday, a 15K tuneup for the Maryland-District of Columbia Road Runners 10-Mile Team Challenge.
The Baltimore Road Runners Club and the Annapolis Striders have series that are spread over a calendar year. Next on the Annapolis Striders' club championship series is the Washington's Birthday 5K on Feb. 22. Next on the BBRC series schedule is the Layne Half-Marathon at Lake Montebello on March 8.
All of the series welcome participation by members and non-members. In most cases, participation by members, who pay an annual fee and become Road Runners Club of America members at the same time, is either reduced or waived.
For information on the Howard County series, call the Striders Hotline at (410) 964-1998. For information on RASAC's series, call Phil Anderson at (410) 879-7679. The Annapolis Striders' Hotline at (410) 268-1165 will provide details of Annapolis runs, and the BRRC Hotline is (410) 323-7860.
Rocket vs. Rocket: In one of the more interesting matchups of speed, three-time Cy Young Award winner Roger "Rocket" Clemens of the Boston Red Sox took on former Notre Dame star Rajib "Rocket" Ismail of the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday in the Runner's World/Prevention 5K in Atlanta. The run featured more than 500 athletes who are endorsed by sporting goods makers. "They're going to do the whole 5K," spokesman Patrick Taylor said last week, "but I don't expect either of them to win. There's too much speed in the race -- Steve Jones, Suzy Hamilton, Wanda Panfil."
NOTES: For a free brochure on how to help your children stay fit, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to American Running
and Fitness Association, 9310 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 20814. . . . Runner's World is offering runners a way to obtain entry forms for races. Runners who wish to enter a race that is listed in the calendar section of the magazine -- and that race has a five-digit code at the end of the listing -- can call a RaceFax phone number, punch in the code number and have the entry form faxed to them. The service is free to race directors, and runners pay only for the phone call. For more information, call Bart Yasso at (215) 967-8276. . . . Duplicating their finish of a week earlier, Jim Otte and Nathan Boyer finished one-two in the Friends 5-miler Sunday at Bel Air. The top finishers:
RASAC Friends 5-miler
Males: 1. Jim Otte, 27:28; 2. Nathan Boyer, 28:48; 3. Matt Piotrowski, 29:23; 4. Ed Geisendaffer, 30:54; 5. J. Tobin, 31:16.
Females: 1. Margaret Cooper, 34:20; 2. Angie Parrish, 36:27; 3. Barb Johnson, 36:42; 4. Marjy Rawle, 44:05; 5. Julie Hamilton, 47:30.