Blake, 72, shifts gears but stays on the run

RUNNING

November 30, 1993|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Staff Writer

Because time has a way of catching up, John Blake, 72, has been slowed to a jog.

But one man's jog is another man's run, especially when the jogger was accustomed to running 50-minute 10Ks at the age of 60. Despite his concession to age, Blake remains close to a sport that is dear to him.

For one thing, Blake -- a native of Pocomoke who has "been living here something like close to 50 years" -- still loves to move along at a steady pace.

"I don't run anymore," he says, "but I do go out and jog two to three miles three, four, five times a week. Mother Nature caught up with me on that running."

But it has done nothing to his spectating and he loves to watch others move along at a somewhat steadier pace.

Every November, he travels to New York for the city's marathon through its five boroughs. He made the trip this year, although without his wife, who died in March.

But New York continues to stir his fascination.

"I usually watch as the runners enter Central Park," says Blake"They have seating there for about a couple hundred. You can get pictures of the runners.

"I've been doing that for 15 years. I just go up to watch. I usuall take in the sights."

Running has helped him maintain that appreciation.

"It just makes me feel good," he says. "I was out at the Dunbar track this morning, but I usually go to Lake Montebello. I've been doing that for about 15 years."

Although he has made a concession to age, he has made none to the weather.

"I don't stop for winter unless the snow and ice come out," he says.

Before he made the transition to jogging, he annually would run the Constellation Classic and once did the now-defunct Subway Race.

"I liked the six-milers," he says. "I did them in about 50 minutesOf course, I didn't start running until I was 50. I ran once in the eight-miler from Reisterstown Road Plaza to what used to be the Civic Center. I was around 60 when I did that."

Briefly

There were 319 starters and 284 finishers in the Baltimore Road Runners Club's Northern Central Trail Marathon Saturday at Sparks. Troy Jacobson, 24, who finished 35th in this year's Ironman Triathlon, won the men's division in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 39 seconds. Britta Schasberger, 23, of Philadelphia won the women's division in 3:14:17, a course record. Schasberger also finished this year's Ironman. . . . Neville Anderson (15:13) broke the course record in last Tuesday's Turkey Trot 5K at Anne Arundel Community College. . . . The week's top finishers:

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