Runners take scenic route in the county's longest race


October 07, 2002|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MORE THAN 150 runners recently took advantage of a bright and beautiful Sunday morning to participate in the Bachman Valley Half-Marathon, the longest race in Carroll County and the race known by marathon runners throughout the region as one of the most scenic, safe and challenging courses.

The 13.1-mile course winds through hills north of Westminster, past the fields and apple orchards of Bachman Valley Farm. The first mile is downhill and runners said that allows them to "get out fast before the killer hills."

This race, which originated in 1986, prepares runners for competitions such as the Baltimore and Marine Corps marathons, said Dave Herlocker, official timekeeper for this year's race, and the man who once held the course record of 1 hour, 30 minutes and 17 seconds.

Herlocker, who founded Westminster Roadrunners Club in the 1970s, stood at the finish line cheering as runners rolled in and manning the Chronomix, an electronic timekeeper that spits out a paper with each runner's time and placement.

Jim Lebo of Columbia took first place, finishing the course in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 32 seconds. Serge Arbona of Baltimore was next with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes and 30 seconds.

"You can't beat this scenery. Great course," said Lebo soon after he crossed the finish line. A middle school teacher, Lebo, 21, said that running gives him a peaceful time to think.

"It's my stress reliever," he said. "I run about five miles every day. Stress builds if I can't run every day."

This is a race filled with traditions that runners enjoy: free apples, free pies and certificates for quarts of ice cream from Baugher's Restaurant.

Along the route, water station volunteers are trained to pinch the sides of the cup together at the top, so they can be passed off to runners like batons without the loss of precious seconds or water.

That move is called the "Kenyan Crunch," after that country's runners, who are known for their record times.

Another tradition in the Bachman Valley Half-Marathon is the meticulous organization of co-directors Frank Baylor and Jenny Teeter, who have taken care of most of the race logistics since it began.

This year's race marks the husband-and-wife team's last year. On Sept. 29, they passed the responsibility of co-directors to Bill Long and his fiancee, Meredith Pratt, but not before club members honored them with a plaque and lots of praise.

"I loved being part of this race because everyone involved, from runners to volunteers, are always so kind and appreciative," Teeter said. "We're proud to offer an inexpensive, safe and scenic race in Carroll County. It has become a great tradition."


OPEN MALE: 1st place, Jim Lebo, 1:18:32; 2nd place, Serge Arbona, 1:22:30; 3rd place, Fin Mears, 1:23:25; followed by Dave Griffin, 1:23:37; Matt Buck, 1:23:46; Dan Reedy, 1:24:43; Gary St. Onge, 1:24:58; Denis Josse, 1:25:36; Erik Jonson, 1:25:39; Bill Peeling, 1:25:41.

OPEN FEMALE: 1st place, Denise Knickman, 1:24:55; 2nd place, Amy Buck, 1:31:44; 3rd place, Julie Thienel, 1:32:03; followed by Tina McCubbin, 1:33:06; Lisa Warren, 1:33:31; Kristen Mears, 1:37:30; Margaret Flowers, 1:38:36; Rebecca Simer, 1:42:50; Anders Grant, 1:43:12; Jenny Caple, 1:43:22.

40-49 MALE: 1st place, Fin Mears, 1:23:25; 2nd place, Dave Griffin, 1:23:37; 3rd place, Bill Peeling, 1:25:41; Alan Pobletts, 1:29:26; Jim Pontius, 1:29:28.

40-49 FEMALE: 1st place, Lisa Warren, 1:33:31; 2nd place, Mary Spinoso, 1:50:44; 3rd place, Valerie Guilfoil, 1:51:44; Kimmy Goldsmith, 1:53:59.

50-59 MALE: 1st place, Gary St. Onge, 1:24:59; 2nd place, Nelson Strikehoff, 1:31:53; 3rd place, Doug Preston, 1:32:10; Tom Smith, 1:34:41; Joe Loveland, 1:35:28.

50-59 FEMALE: 1st place, Judy Gilbert, 1:52:39; 2nd place, Della McIntyre, 2:09:12; 3rd place, Deb Harbaugh, 2:14:13.

60 AND OVER MALE: 1st place, Richard Stotlar, 1:27:02; 2nd place, Allan Osbry, 2:21:31; 3rd place, Gorman Davis, 2:22:30.

60 AND OVER FEMALE: 1st place, Judith Brennan, 1:59:46.

Living Treasure

Westminster resident Amy Kemph honors Terri Keel and her sense of direction as her Living Treasures this week.

Kemph joined her daughter Andrea and Keel went with her daughter Ellen on a field trip Friday with fifth-graders from Friendship Valley Elementary School to a corn maze on the grounds of North Run Farm in Stevenson.

"I have no sense of direction, and if Terri hadn't taken the lead with the map, we'd all still be wandering among the corn stalks," Amy said. "I can barely navigate the roads in Westminster. I needed all the help I could get."

Brighten the day of someone who has made a positive difference in your life. Send in a name and specific reasons why someone has been your Living Treasure to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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