Fearsome foursome flies through relay

All able to go the distance, 4 team up for 2:21 instead


Baltimore Marathon

October 20, 2002|By Michael Reeb and Paul McMullen | Michael Reeb and Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

It wasn't as if the members of the winning marathon relay team couldn't have gone the distance in yesterday's Baltimore Running Festival.

Two of its members, Craig Morrell and Joel Brusewitz, had run personal records of 2 hours, 30 minutes and 2:33, respectively, for the distance. Its other two members, Chris Chattin and Dave Berardi, have personal bests of 2:17:01 and 2:19:58.

Yesterday, the four of them decided to take one for the team and combined for a winning time of 2:21:03.

"We all met through the Falls Road Running Store," said Brusewitz, 23, who ran the 8.5-mile anchor leg.

"I'm definitely the old man of the group," said Berardi, 42. "Joel's young enough to be my son."

"Honestly, Dave and I are on the back sides of our careers and those guys [Brusewitz and Morrell] are up and coming," said Chattin, 38, who finished fifth in last year's marathon as the top American. "The idea was to run with the lead Kenyans and we were close."

Said Berardi, who ran the 6.4-mile first leg: "It was a blast running with those guys. I was telling them where the hills were and all."

But don't rule out any of the four going the marathon alone.

"My plan was to run the marathon, but the training wasn't going well," Chattin said. "I put the marathon on the back burner for a while."

Morrell, 30, said: "Joel and I are going to run the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 24."

A shorter run

JFK 50 race director Mike Spinnler finished the 5K in 19:35.

"My last surviving streak is running a race in each calendar year. I just turned 44 yesterday," Spinnler said. "Every other streak I had -- 5-minute miles, I went years without missing a day -- have gone by the wayside. I won't see three hours [for the marathon] for the rest of my life."

One thing that has remained constant is his passion.

"When I stop getting that queasy feeling that you get when you go to the starting line is the day I stop," said Spinnler.

He won the race he now directs in 1982 and 1983 when founder Buzz Sawyer was its director.

"That's kind of how I got my foot in the door with Buzz," said Spinnler.

The JFK 50, in its 40th year, will be run Nov. 23.

Handcycle victor

Geoff Hopkins, 37, of Alexandria, Va., won the handcycle division of the wheelchair marathon in 2:06:33.

"It was my first marathon in a handcycle," said Hopkins, who has completed marathons in the racing wheelchair division in Boston; Detroit; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio.

"It's a little less demanding on your shoulders," Hopkins said about handcycles. "More elite racers are going to handcycles. It's an up-and-coming sport. It's part of the para-Olympics in 2006."

An early start

Ian Silverman, 6, finished first in the 6-and-under division of the Kids' Fun Run.

"I didn't sign up till yesterday. I said you're running in the race tomorrow and he said, `OK,' " said his father, Henry Silverman.

Ian plays soccer and baseball and is "going to play football," but his favorite sport is running.

"It's a good thing to do," said Ian, whose brother, Schuyler, 5, also ran.

Still going strong

Georgia Kaczmarek, 75, finished the 5K in 50 minutes.

"It was a rough one. There were a lot of hills; at least, I thought so," said Kaczmarek, who completed the 100th Boston Marathon as well as the now-defunct Maryland Marathon.

Medical report

Most marathoners were done before the temperature finally climbed into the 60s. One year after a woman marathoner collapsed and later died, an overcast sky and occasional light rain contributed to a fairly routine day at the medical tent overseen by Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"We saw about 100 people," said Dr. Nelson Tang. "We transported about a half-dozen to the hospital, none with what appear to be life-threatening injuries. Most were related to dehydration and severe muscle cramps. The weather definitely helped us."

Family affair

Some relay teams kept things in the family. Tim Barger, who played soccer and lacrosse for Towson University in the early 1990s, was followed on Team Barger by Sandy Boyd, who married one of his friends from Fallston High School, and his sisters-in-law. Kristin is married to Joe Barger, Wendy to Greg Barger, who were collegiate soccer standouts at Loyola and Connecticut, respectively.

On comeback trail

Several men with local ties enjoyed strong comebacks in the marathon.

Neville Anderson, 40, who didn't try running until he was a student at Baltimore City Community College two decades ago, placed 10th in his first marathon in six years, in 2:49:27. Chris Ciamarra, an All-Metro runner for Glen Burnie in the 1980s, ran 2:44 here last year, and was fifth yesterday in 2:40.14. He's been fighting an ankle injury and maturity that has his weight at 190 pounds.

"I wish they had a Clydesdale division," said Ciamarra, who makes his home in McKeesport, Pa.

Last legs

Nick Giovanni, 53, ran and finished (4:09) the marathon in coat and tails. ... Ray Lorden, 48, finished in 3:07:02. It was his 34th marathon and 17th different one. ... Chris Cucuzzella, Loyola High's cross country coach, finished in 3:04:35. "I knew that the old Memorial Stadium was the high point of the loop so from there it was all downhill."

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