If hamstring cooperates, Beach will revisit favorite Boston spots

RUNNING

March 26, 1996|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,SUN STAFF

The 100th Boston Marathon will be run April 15. Until then, this space periodically will profile Maryland runners who will be competing. Ben Beach has run enough Boston Marathons that he has developed a few favorite spots along the route.

"Everyone likes going through Wellesley, in part because of all the cheering of the Wellesley students and partly because you know you've gone halfway," said Beach, 46, of Bethesda.

He hopes to be running in his 29th consecutive Boston this year.

"That is if my hamstring is willing. I'm getting a heating pad ready to go. One way or the other, I'm going from Hopkinton to Boston. And I'm not going the Rosie Ruiz route," Beach said about the runner who finished ahead of all women in 1980 by running only the last mile.

Beach's streak began in 1968 after his high school graduation.

"I've been running since I was 17," said Beach, whose best Boston finish was 2 hours, 27 minutes in the early 1980s. "When I was a senior in high school, I happened to hear coverage of Boston on the radio. I had just started fooling around with running at that point. And that year, the weather for the race was horrible. Being a teen-ager, I was drawn to the bizarre nature of the event."

Along the way, he has had the time to define his landmarks, including Heartbreak Hill.

"When you come to the crest of of what technically are four hills that are together, most years there is a guy suspended in one of those firetruck buckets," said Beach, a writer for the Washington-based Wilderness Society. "You can hear hear him say: 'Congratulations, you have just reached the top of Heartbreak hill.' Those are the sweetest words you will hear that day."

Another of his favorite spots is Hereford Street, the leg that connects the long stretch down Commonwealth Avenue with the straightaway finish.

"At that point, every step seems like five steps," he said.

Beach's highest finish (34th) came in 1984.

"But that was the year all the hot shots sat over the refusal of Boston to pay prize money," he said.

Boston update

Bill Schultz, 43, of Collingdale, Pa., will join the 100-100 club at this year's Boston Marathon.

"This year's Boston, as everyone knows, is the 100th," said Schultz, an elementary school teacher. "I'm in a position to run my 100th marathon at Boston. The part that makes it a little more interesting is it's also my birthday."

The B&A Trail Marathon in Severna Park earlier this month, in which he finished 3: 42, was Schultz's 99th marathon, and he will observe his 44th birthday on April 15.

"I'm having a small birthday party with 37,000 of my closest friends," Schultz said.

To make the 100-100 feat possible, Schultz ran 19 marathons last year and four this year. He has run 25 of his 99 marathons under three hours; his average is just under 3: 16. His personal record is 2: 43 in the Philadelphia Marathon.

Footnotes

The Howard County Striders have expanded their Spring Series, which is open to all runners. At the end of the series, a portable CD player will be awarded in a random drawing. Each time a runner competes, his finishing card is entered in the drawing. For information, call (410) 964-1998. . . . Area finisher in the Luck of the Irish 5K in Waldorf on March 16: Irv Sharz, 25, Columbia, 16: 12. . . . Area finishers in the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Va.: Martin Goode, 2: 49: 57; Allyson Goode, 3: 35. . . . The weekend's top finishers:

Saturday

RASAC Hinte-Anderson Trail Run 50K

At Susquehanna State Park

Males: 1. Courtney Campbell, 3: 29: 58; 2. Greg Zaruba, 3: 55: 20; 3. Terry Crompton, 4: 06: 48; 4. Jeff Fedorko, 4: 13: 56; 5. Barry Lewis, 4: 17: 27; 6. Andy Peterson, 4: 27: 30; 7. Jeff Hinte, 4: 27: 58; 8. Bill Peeling, 4: 28: 18; 9. Robert Youngren, 4: 28: 37; 10. Bill Lawder, 4: 28: 45.

Females: 1. Sally Higgins, 4: 43: 20; 2. Pat Botts, 5: 18: 45; 3. Janet Stein, 5: 18: 55; 4. Debbie Burner, 5: 23: 20; 5. Debbie Briggs, 5: 29: 59; 6. Elizabeth Barley, Marcia Peters, Lynn Morrow, 5: 56: 55; 9. Dale Weitzel, 5: 57: 38; 10. Lyn Brooks, 5: 58: 36.

Sunday

Roemer's Roller Coaster 8.5-Mile Run

At Hampstead

Males: 1. Mark Rosasco, 36, 49: 53; 2. John Roemer IV, 36, 50: 30; 3. Ed Vachino, 19, 50: 48; 4. Robert Torchia, 45, 52: 52; 5. Paul Hannsen, 23, 53: 22; 6. Joe Kingeter, 38, 53: 31; 7. Don Miller, 40, 53: 41; 8. Jim Van Cleaf, 39, 54: 02; 9. Charlie Koester, 51, 55: 32; 10. Chris Sinclair, 28, 56: 07.

Females: 1. Gwen Torchia, 46, 62: 12; 2. Jackie Isola, 33, 65: 45; 3. Cristine Meadows, 25, 68: 36; 4. Stacey Nicholson, 33, 70: 12; 5. Christine Saverda, 35, 71: 12; 6. Christy St. Clair, 47, 71: 47; 7. Linda Tice, 50, 73: 52; 8. Janice Chason, 41, 75: 19; 9. Sandy Buck, 49, 77: 51; 10. Alison Esposito, 18, 82: 02.

Greek Independence Day 5K Run

At Highlandtown

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