Nair wouldn't advise runners to go take a hike

RUNNING

January 18, 1994|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Staff Writer

For those runners who think that activity at higher altitudes will raise their performance, Dick Nair has a message.

Think again.

The retired Baltimore County public school teacher and longtime Baltimore Road Runners Club member should know. Last summer, Nair, of Parkville, hiked the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with two friends.

"I think they say the trail [elevation] averages about 10,000 feet," says Nair, 54. "I think the highest passage we went through was about 13,800."

So how was the running when he returned to Baltimore in August?

"I sort of thought with the altitude and the hiking -- our packs were about 75 to 80 pounds because of the large amount of supplies we had to carry -- I thought I would have come back in better shape than I did," Nair says. "I came back in pretty good shape but not in good running shape.

"I thought with the altitude and the strenuous climbing, I just figured I would be stronger than I was. But I wasn't running, and not having run, the strength was there but the aerobic wasn't there at all."

But since his return, a lighter schedule has given him the opportunity to train more often.

"I'm teaching at Essex Community College, going to the health club and running a little more than I had been," says Nair. "I'm mostly running for the sake of running. I'll turn 55 in May so I'll be looking forward to the Senior Olympics.

"I'm trying to race a little more often and to get some quality in my jogs. We usually do intervals once a week, some kind of quality at least once a week, maybe twice a week."

Briefly

The Renaissance AllSports Athletic Club and the Westminster Road Runners Club conducted their races Sunday, but the BRRC elected not to hold its Championship 10-Miler due to weather conditions. "I called off today's race; it was just too extreme," BRRC president Jeff Sanborn said Sunday night. The WRRC's Dave Herlocker reported a post-time temperature of 8 for the noon race in Westminster. . . . Area finishers in Sunday's Houston Marathon: Jim Hage, 2:18:21; Darrell General, 2:21:59; Dave Berardi, 2:33:17; Chris Chattin, 2:39:32; Ty Lanahan, 36, 2:40:22 (PR); Herbert Tolbert, 2:52:39; Chris Sinclair, 26, 2:55:12; Bea Bernard-Lopez, 2:57:45; N. Taylor-Tolbert, 3:07:10; George Myers, 3:07:40; Steve Reid, 38, 3:19; Debra Chaney, 3:23:36; Christy St. Clair, 45, 3:31:28. . . . Sunday's top finishers:

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