Gale can smile as speed drops

RUNNING

June 07, 1995|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Sun Staff Writer

When Mary Gale crossed the finish line of last week's Constellation Classic 1-mile fun run in 8 minutes, 20 seconds, it was a far cry from the 6-minute miles that she had been accustomed to running.

But those faster runs had come a year and a half ago, before Gale suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.

Gale knows she is lucky to be walking, much less running.

Doctors had given her a 50-50 chance to live. She was in a coma for over a week. When she awoke, she was unable to walk and it took her three weeks to take her first, tentative steps. She was in the hospital for a month.

"There was nothing wrong with my legs, but yet I couldn't walk because I had broken my computer center," Gale, 45, says about her brain injury.

Gale had to relearn how to walk, how to eat, how to dress -- "I didn't even have the energy to brush my teeth," she says -- and the doctors told her she had lived because she was a runner.

Gale also attributes much of her recuperation to the faith and inspiration of her husband Bill, with whom she had run for 12 years, and to the recuperative powers of the sport.

"Running is what will get me further down the road," she says. "Running is not only the best diet, the best antidepressant, the best stress reliever, running is the best energizer, the best brain trainer. It is, in my personal case, the best survival skill. My husband and I think the whole world should run."

Gale, who finished Sunday's Bel Air Town Run 5K in 33:20, is running once or twice a week -- "the reason for that is because that's the only energy I have," she says, "and I have to carefully figure out how I will spend it." She hopes to return to 6-minute miles one day.

"People with similar injuries were there in the hospital much longer, and it's all because I'm a runner," she says. "What I have going for me is, because I'm an athlete, I have that drive, that push, that will. Athletes always push themselves beyond that point of endurance. If I was merely a couch potato, it would be a much longer road back."

Briefly

There were 597 finishers in Sunday's Bel Air Town Run 5K. . . . A series of throwing-event clinics will be held on June 14 and 28 and July 12 and 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the University of Maryland-College Park. Emphasis will be on the shot put and discus, with an introduction to javelin and hammer throws. For information, call (301) 390-0855. . . . Sunday's top finishers:

BRRC Championship Series 5K

At Lake Montebello

Males: 1. Neville Anderson, 33, 15:39; 2. Jerry Jurick, 32, 15:54; 3. Douglas Moyer, 36, 16:18; 4. Jack Peach, 29, 16:19; 5. John Roemer IV, 35, 16:33; 6. Mark Rosasco, 36, 16:39; 7. Robert Torchia, 44, 16:59; 8. Alex Taylor, 15, 17:00; 9. Charlie Koester, 50, 17:01; 10. Frederick Buck, 20, 17:28. Masters: 1. Torchia.

Females: 1. Carole Rosasco, 35, 18:56; 2. Gwen Esdale-Torchia, 46, 19:17; 3. Annette Bowman, 28, 20:50; 4. Kim Altenburger, 39, 20:52; 5. Pattie Healy, 40, 21:38. Masters: 1. Esdale-Torchia.

RASAC Bel Air Town Run 5K

At Bel Air

Males: 1. Haki Abde, 24, 14:31; 2. Steve Kartalia, 29, 14:33; 3. Gerry Clapper, 33, 14:45; 4. Errimani Khalil, 22, 15:21; 5. Eric Estrada, 23, 15:26; 6. Chris Chattin, 31, 15:26; 7. Brad Uhlfelder, 34, 15:43; 8. Dennis Mickey, 30, 15:44; 9. Mike Woodman, 29, 15:47; 10. James Pryde, 41, 15:59. Masters: 1. Pryde; 2. Cass Washington, 41, 16:21; 3. Harry Goodman, 41, 16:23.

Females: 1. Maureen Hall, 30, 17:52; 2. Margaret Starnes, 40, 19:02; 3. Barb Willig, 32, 20:05; 4. Megan McNew, 15, 20:32; 5. Kelly Coogan, 15, 20:40; 6. Karen Hanson, 29, 21:02; 7. Tracey Tucker-Lawler, 35, 21:18; 8. Dee Nelson, 51, 21:20; 9. Lisa Hannon, 31, 21:28; 10. Theresa Buppert, 20, 21:38. Masters: 1. Nelson; 2. Ellie Fischer, 45, 21:59; 3. Dale Mezzanotte, 43, 22:18.

Coming events

L

Tonight, Carderock 10K, Carderock, 7 p.m., (703) 241-0395.

Tomorrow, WRRC Twilight Series #1 Two-Mile Track Run, Westminster, 7 p.m., (410) 848-8332.

Tomorrow, MCRRC Loch NIST Monster Cross Country #2 8K, Gaithersburg, 7 p.m., (301) 353-0200.

Saturday, Baltimore County Police Chase 5-Miler, Oregon Ridge Park, 8:30 a.m., (410) 377-8882.

Saturday, Western Heights 5,000, Hagerstown, 8:30 a.m., (301) 733-6076.

Saturday, Flag Day 5K, Somerset, Pa., 9 a.m., (814) 445-2208.

Saturday, Rocky Gap Triathlon, Cumberland, (301) 724-5445.

Sunday, RASAC Rock Spring McDonalds 5K, Bel Air, 8 a.m., (410) 569-7732.

Sunday, HCS Spring Series 2M, 10K, 15K, Thunder Hill Elementary School, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

June 14, BRRC Summer Track Series No. 1 (1,500M, 100M, 1,000M, 400M, 3 miles, 4 x 100M relay), Loyola High School, 6:30 p.m., (410) 243-3153.

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