Seven women from Severna Park cross finish line in Baltimore 5K

NEIGHBORS

September 20, 2001|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AMY DEGENHARD OF Severna Park is the first to admit that she really doesn't like running, and she says she's "not athletic." But that didn't stop the 42-year-old mother of two from recently entering her first race.

Degenhard joined six experienced female runners from Severna Park two weeks ago in the annual 5K Avon Walk/Run at Rash Field in Baltimore.

Degenhard keeps fit by working out and staying active. Although she has friends who run marathons, she's never had any desire to put herself to that kind of test.

"I play tennis and water ski," she said, "but I was never a jock."

Still, she said, she felt she could manage a 3-mile race. Inspired by her marathon-running friends, she had promised herself that she would at least attempt to run a race -not a marathon - by the time she was 40 years old.

On Sept. 9, she met her goal - almost. The day after the race was her 42nd birthday.

Running with her classmates from the RU Fit fitness program at the Community Center at Woods, Degenhard completed the 3.2-mile race without walking once, she says.

Not bad for someone who just started seriously training this summer. Her fellow RU Fit runners - program director Sheila Light, instructor Pat Phillips, and members Sharon Benson, Cathy Butler, Sue Chapin and Ingrid Petzold - shared her joy at the finish line.

"It's such fun to watch the pride and exhilaration on the face of each person at the finish line, as they check the big time clock and pass through the banners and the balloons," Phillips said.

All seven women from Severna Park finished the event, the fourth in a series of eight Avon races in 2001 that began in May in Denver and will conclude in December in Phoenix.

Light started running 20 years ago to qualify as a fitness instructor at the Severna Park YMCA, which five years ago became the Community Center at Woods. She finished first among her teammates with a time of 25 minutes.

Despite the heat and humidity, all the women in the group who had run in the event last year achieved their personal best times this year. The slowest time in the group was 39 minutes, accomplished by a runner who was nursing an injured heel but who still improved her time by 14 minutes.

Each year, a different beneficiary is chosen to receive a portion of the races' entry fees. This year, the fees are benefiting heart disease, which is said to take more lives than all cancers combined and is considered the No. 1 killer of women. The Baltimore race's fees, which ranged from $18 to $25, were designated for the University of Maryland Hospital Heart Center.

Three Mo' Tenors to perform

The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association regularly brings top musical talent to Severna Park. But its opening presentation, Three Mo' Tenors, takes the quality of entertainment to a new level.

Fresh from appearances on NBC's Today Show, PBS's Great Performances and at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre, the trio will perform at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Chesapeake Center for Creative Arts in Brooklyn Park. (The remainder of the concert season will be held at its regular location at Severna Park High School.)

Three Mo' Tenors' musical repertoire includes gospel, jazz, Broadway, spirituals and blues.

Admission is by subscription, but individual tickets can be bought at the door for $15 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call 410-647-6873 or 410-647-4881.

Concert series continues

The free Sunday evening outdoor concerts at Hatton-Regester Green continue this fall. This Sunday, enjoy the music of folk singer and guitarist Mary Byrd Brown.

On Sept. 30, it's the a cappella sounds of the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus.

The concerts, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., are presented by Community Talent Associates Inc. and funded by the Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel County, Friends of the B&A Trail, Elmore and Associates and Jerry and Elizabeth Wyble.

The concerts take place in the little park beside the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce office. Bring a chair, but leave the pets and alcoholic beverages at home.

For information, call 410-647-0057.

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