With Santa racing for fun, kids have St. Clair on the...

RUNNING

December 15, 1992|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Staff Writer

With Santa racing for fun, kids have St. Clair on the run

Bailey St. Clair is a veteran of 63 marathons, but come Saturday, he may find the going a bit rigorous for a 1.2-mile loop around Lake Montebello.

He's not chubby and plump, but a bundle of toys he'll have flung on his back. He'll look like a peddler just opening his pack, all the while leading a contingent of kids, moms, dads, grandmoms, granddads and assorted hangers-on around the reservoir for the Baltimore Road Runners Club's annual Santa's Sack Fun Run.

After the race, the more serious runners will take off in the companion Santa's Sack 5-Miler.

St. Clair, who has been sidelined from marathon running since he ran a 3-hour, 13-minute Portland Marathon in September 1991, has been donning the Santa Claus gear for nine years.

"We don't get a good turnout; that's the only sad part," St. Clair, 53, who lives in Glen Arm, says. "They [BRRC] asked me [to dress up], and I like doing it for the kids. I get a kick out of the little kids -- the ones from maybe 2 1/2 to 5."

One of St. Clair's most fulfilling moments of the day comes after the race when he keeps on his costume and heads to Towson for more goodwill and cheer.

"I do it for John Hawkins; he's a club member who doesn't run these races anymore," St. Clair says. "But he's a volunteer who does the [registration] cards, he works the finish line, he does everything.

"Anyhow, he has a grandson and a granddaughter, and for the last five years, I go up to their house on Bosley Avenue in Towson after the race. There must be 40 kids, and they all get to talk to Santa. I do it for Hawk because he's so special."

St. Clair, who is a pharmaceutical drug representative, says the Santa Claus experience has taught him a few things about children.

"Most of the time, if they're 6 or 7, they can read your voice," St. Clair says. "But if they don't know you, it's usually OK."

As for marathoning, St. Clair says his personal record of 2:48:24 in the 1979 Maryland Marathon is "just a fading memory."

St. Clair, who has run 17 Boston Marathons, says, "All the old-timers are hurting these days. You've seen the injuries. But hope still springs eternal to run another marathon." The Tri-Maryland Triathlon Club and Essex Community College will conduct the Winter Indoor Track and Field Carnival on Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Essex Community College Fieldhouse.

Events will be held in high school, open and masters categories and will include individual events in the 60, 300, 440, 600, 880, 1 mile, 2 miles, 60 hurdles, shot put, high jump and pole vault. Relays will be held in shuttle hurdles, 1 mile, 2 miles, sprint medley and distance medley.

Entry fees are $5 per individual, $8 per relay and $50 for men's or women's teams. For information, call Brad Jaeger at (410) 882-6103.

Miscellaneous

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Sunday's top finishers:

RASAC Fox 5K At Bel Air Males: 1. Eric Estrada, 16:40; 2. Jeff Hinte, 17:42; 3. Todd Unger, 4. Chris Sinclair, 18:14; 5. Dave Warnick, 18:41.

Females: 1. Margaret Cooper, 20:07; 2. Marjy Rawle, 24:53; 3. Beverly Harvey, 27:15; 4. Brie Kotula, 30:32.

Coming events

Saturday, BRRC Santa's Sack Race, Lake Montebello, 9:30 a.m., (410) 323-7860.

Saturday, Tri-State TC Indoor Track and Field Classic, Hagerstown, (301) 733-6076.

Sunday, RASAC Holiday Run 5K, Harford Mall, 9 a.m., (410) 879-0018.

Sunday, WRRC Dancer Dash 10K, Westminster, noon, (410) 848-1782.

Sunday, York Road Runners Spring Valley 5K, Spring Valley, Pa., 1 p.m.,Sunday, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Longfellow Elementary, 2 p.m., (410) 730-8729. Or call (410) 992-9765, Bob Burns, series

coordinator.

Dec. 26, DCRRC 10M, 20M, Greenbelt, 10 a.m., (703) 241-0395.

Dec. 27, BRRC Father Time Frolic, Loch Raven, 9 a.m., (410) 323-7860.

Dec. 27, MCRRC Jingle Bell Jog 8K, Rockville, 9 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

Dec. 31, Midnight 5-Mile Run, New York City, midnight, (212) 860-4455.

Jan. 1, HCS Resolution Run - Prediction Run 8K, Columbia, 9:30 a.m., (410) 730-4499.

Jan. 1, RASAC St. Mary's 6-Miler, Bel Air, 11 a.m., (410) 638-0235.

Jan. 1, Hangover Classic 5-miler, New Castle, Del., (302) 654-6400.

Jan. 1, WRRC Winfield Mile, Winfield, noon, (410) 876-7852.

Jan. 1, Ed Barron 8K Hangover Classic, Washington, noon, (703) 243-1291.

Jan. 2, Bluemont Park 25K, Arlington, Va., (703) 241-0395.

Jan. 2, Annapolis Striders' 14th Anniversary Run, Annapolis, 10 a.m., (410) 268-1165.

Jan. 3, BRRC Frozen Finger 5-Miler, Hunt Valley, 9 a.m., (410) 323-7860.

Jan. 9, MCRRC Winter Flower Run 6-miler, Rockville, 8:30 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

Jan. 9, Charlotte Observer Marathon, 10K, Charlotte, N.C., (704) 358-KICK.

Jan. 10, DCRRC Indoor Track Meet, Arlington, Va., 8:30 a.m., (703) 241-0395.

Jan. 10, York Road Runners Wrightsville 10K, Wrightsville, Pa., 1 p.m.

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