Rosasco ready to extend streak in Lady Avia

RUNNING

March 15, 1994|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Sun Staff Writer

She was there at the beginning 18 years ago.

From the race's humble start at Herring Run Park.

Through the years when Equitable Bank was the sponsor and the race became one of the best-known women's-only events in the country.

Through the years when Bob Feldman and the Baltimore Road Runners Club held the race as the Baltimore Ladies Classic.

And in the ensuing three years when it has been known as the Lady Avia Classic.

And, if chronic fatigue syndrome and asthma don't get the better of her, Marge Rosasco will be there for the 19th running of the 8K on March 27.

Says the BRRC's Jeff Sanborn: "I think she's run in every single one."

Right you are, Jeff. Through four presidencies (U.S., not BRRC) and entire runs of "Cheers" and "Dallas."

"They call me the grandmother or something like that," says Rosasco, one of the event's founders and director for four runnings. "Our race has to be one of the oldest women-only races in the country."

Rosasco is the one who put it on the map, the one who brought in Equitable Bank -- a move that helped to swell the field to 1,600 in the early 1980s.

"I made a little proposal to what I thought would be potential sponsors, and Equitable Bank said OK," Rosasco says. "And that lasted for years and years and years. It was the time a running boom was taking off. It was timely."

It was a time that Rosasco also was taking off. In 1979, she began a streak in which she has been named BRRC Open Runner of the Year or its top Masters Runner every year.

Along the way, she also won the Maryland Marathon in 1983, the Constellation Classic 10K seven times, the Bel Air Town Run 5K three times and the Annapolis Ten-Mile Run.

But, surprisingly, she didn't win the Lady Equitable until 1990 -- after it had become known as the Baltimore Ladies Classic -- with a 37-minute, 47-second finish.

And, surprisingly, that effort was more than two minutes slower than her 35:20, fifth-place finish in 1985.

That's a tribute to the talent that she helped recruit.

That's also why it would be difficult for Rosasco merely to run through this year's race.

"I finally went to the doctor for my asthma last July," she says. "All these doctors tell me you can't do what you do what you did in your 20s."

Briefly

The weekend's top finishers:

SATURDAY BRRC Cross Country Series 6-miler At Herring Run Males: 1. Frank John, 32:55; 2. John Hecox, 33:10; 3. Jim Harris, 4. Ed Harte, 34:52; 5. Ronnie Wong, 36:01. Masters: 1. Carl Reed, 44:30; 2. Roy Elder, 46:56; 3. Thomas Skillman, 48:03.

Females: 1. Judith Gilbert, 51:59; 2. Jeanette Novak, 53:01.

SUNDAY

RASAC Kielbasa 6.1-Miler At Bel Air Males: 1. Frank John, 34:54; 2. Mark Bogardy, 36:14; 3. Mike Sheely, 39:58; 4. Larry Emanuel, 40:20; 5. Gary Cooper, 40:44.

Females: 1. Margaret Starnes, 43:42; 2. Beth Rappold, 50:20; 3. Judith Gilbert, 53:15; 4. Barb Stroud, 55:42.

Coming events

Saturday, Shamrock Marathon, 8K, Masters 8K, Virginia Beach, Va.Sunday, Reservoir Rollercoaster 5- and 8-Mile Races, Gunpowder Road, 9 a.m., (410) 239-6293.

Sunday, RASAC Fox 5K, Bel Air, 9 a.m., (410) 638-2717.

Sunday, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Longfellow Elementary School, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

Sunday, St. Patrick's Day Parade Run 5K, 1:40 p.m., Centre and Charles streets, (410) 882-5455.

Sunday, Tri-Maryland Biathlon (3M run, 23M bike, 3M run), La Plata, 10 a.m., (410) 882-6103.

March 26, WRRC Farm 5K, Carroll County Farm Museum, 8:30 a.m.March 26, HCS Duckworth Relays 5K, Glenelg High School, 9 a.m., (410) 964-1998.

March 26, 50K Hinte-Anderson Trail Endurance Run, Susquehanna State Park, 9 a.m., (410) 272-4775.

March 26, BRRC Cross Country Championship 5-miler, McDonogh School, 10 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

March 27, BRRC Lady Avia 8K, Rash Field, 9 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

March 27, MCRRC Edwards Folly 11-miler, 2-miler, Poolesville, 9 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

April 2, Sri Chinmoy Lake Montebello 2-mile race, Lake Montebello, 8 a.m., (410) 467-3223.

LADY AVIA CLASSIC

When: March 27, 9 a.m.

Distance: 8K

Start and finish: Rash Field.

Entry fee: $13 through March 26, $16 on race day.

Packet pickup: Hess Running Center, Towson Town Center, March 25, 6-9 p.m., March 26, 12-4 p.m.; Rusty Scupper, 7:30-8:30 a.m., March 27.

Awards: Cash for top five open division, top three masters, top two grand (over 50) masters. Top three finishers in 5-year age groups receive Avia shoes.

BAlso: 1-mile fun run/walk; Avia Toddler Trot (around Rash Field at 10:15 a.m.)

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