Saturday, they'll be on their marks, ready to go

3rd annual baltimore marathon

October 16, 2003|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

The self-described couch potato

Kate McShane-Oeming, 43

"My joints are completely untapped," joked Kate McShane-Oeming, a West Towson resident who'll be running her first marathon Saturday.

The self-described couch potato says she was living as a "complete non-athlete" - until a friend challenged her to complete the marathon.

The 43-year-old mother didn't play high-school or collegiate sports but says she's ready for the race because of an "extremely healthy diet" and lots of intense training.

But all of that physical preparation won't be enough if her head isn't in it, she said.

"The thing is, you just have to convince yourself mentally that you can do it. Whatever it is that you want to tell yourself," said McShane-Oeming. "I just say to myself when I'm running, I've got it over these younger kids because I have such a strict regimen," she added, laughing.

The Rodgers Forge native will be glad to just finish the race but said she hopes to pull in 10-minute miles.

The young attorney

Jay West, 32

Jay West stays busy at the office and at home.

Practicing law and spending time with his wife and 1-year-old child keep the young attorney's schedule pretty full on most days.

But in his spare time he's managed to train for the Baltimore Marathon.

West began his preparations back in May, getting in early morning weekday runs whenever he could. He competed in the Annapolis 10 Miler last year and has been working with Charm City Run's marathon training group. And though the Baltimore City resident would like to finish well, the goal-oriented guy says it's the challenge of completing such a long race that sparked his interest.

It's "a great accomplishment to have done one," said West.

Now more than 10 pounds lighter from hard training, he's bent on finishing the 26.2 mile course.

"I'll crawl across the finish line if I have to."

The late-comer

Myra Jakubiec, 64

Myra Jakubiec has always been active.

She's enjoyed "serious" walking for 30 years and hikes with a local club every Wednesday.

So why try a marathon now, at age 64?

"It was nothing planned," said Jakubiec.

After hearing a friend talk of her own wonderful marathon experience, Jakubiec just wanted to try it herself.

But the skilled stroller isn't going to jog the race, she said. Jakubiec will speed-walk, though her style and methods are "not that fancy stuff that you see people doing," she said.

Participating in Saturday's marathon is "just [a way] to pick up speed and pick up distance," she added.

Her walking pace may not make her the leader of the pack. In fact, she may come in dead last. But that's fine with the retired Harford County school administrator, who said her main goal is to complete the race without injury.

"The worst that can happen is that I won't finish, but I won't know until I try it," she said.

Running in tribute

Trisha McRoberts, 26

Trisha McRoberts' good friend liked to compete in marathons.

And when she died in a freak accident last year, McRoberts decided to compete in the Baltimore race as a tribute to her old high-school pal.

The Wisconsin native, who ran cross country and track in high-school, has never before run such a long distance.

In preparation for the event, she's been training with long runs and to date has completed two 20-mile treks.

"I'm not really scared, I'm just excited," said McRoberts.

Her goal time is just over four hours, and she'll be running alongside her husband.

The contender

Lee DiPietro, 45

Lee DiPietro was the second woman to cross the finish line at the 2002 Baltimore Marathon.

The Ruxton resident will compete again this year and has a good chance of overtaking last year's winner, Russia's Elvira Kolpakova.

"I've had my best year in a long time," said DiPietro.

The 45-year-old recently set a new U.S. record for her age group while competing in Philadelphia's Half-Marathon.

DiPietro, a former triathlete, attributes her career successes to cross training, healthy living and well-fitting gear.

That said, she noted that a variety of other unchangeable factors, including temperature and humidity, can inhibit racing performance. And sometimes, it's just not the right day.

"It's a funny thing; you can do all the work, and then the day the marathon comes around, and you just don't have it physically. It's always sort of a crapshoot," she said.

DiPietro takes every race seriously, however.

"It's never just another race for me. It's very hard to turn off that competitive drive," she reported.

Watch the 6-foot-tall, Saucony-sponsored athlete Saturday as she contends for a win.

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