Helping others, feet first

Runner tackles new challenge: For every person he passes in Saturday's marathon, he raises $3 for charity

Outside

October 12, 2006|By Sam Sessa | Sam Sessa,Sun Reporter

When Christopher Dean runs marathons, he normally starts in the first wave, or shortly behind them. But at this year's Under Armour Baltimore Marathon on Saturday, he will begin in last place and work his way forward for charity.

For every person he passes, sponsor Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. will donate $2 to the United Way and $1 to the Education Fund for Teacher Professional Development at Queen Anne School. The program, called the Charity Chaser, makes its Baltimore Marathon debut this year, organizers said. They hope to raise thousands of dollars through it.

"We've been encouraging people to sign up so we have more people to pass," said Robin Oegerle, director of marketing for Ferris, Baker Watts. "All those people that tell you, `I don't run marathons' - oh sure you can, just give us another person to pass."

Dean's participation in the Charity Chaser came as a surprise several weeks ago. Oegerle had selected Michael J. Fox-Boyd, a coach at Queen Anne School in Upper Marlboro, for the role, but Boyd developed a stress fracture and had to withdraw. Boyd asked Dean, one of his running partners, to stand in for him, and Dean accepted.

"I was more than happy to do it for him," said Dean, 31.

Starting in the rear will be an uncommon challenge for Dean, he said. He usually begins in the front and focuses on keeping an even pace throughout the race. On Saturday, he will have to weave through thousands of other runners, which he said could add an extra half hour to his finish time.

"It's a new dynamic, a new race for me, and I look forward to that," Dean said. "Hopefully, I can still be in the top third or the top quarter."

Out of the dozen or so marathons he has run, Dean's best time is 2:33:50. An extra half hour puts him at about three hours.

If Dean had entered and finished the Baltimore marathon in three hours last year, he theoretically would have passed about 2,400 other finishers, according to Gene Brtalik, director of publicity for Corrigan Sports Enterprises. That would have meant $7,200 in charity donations.

"That's pretty good," Brtalik said.

Dean was able to step in for Fox-Boyd because he'd been training for the Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 29. Entering the Baltimore Marathon forced him to cut about two weeks off his training schedule, he said. He's not sure if he'll be able to run the Marine Corps Marathon afterward.

"I'm going to give this one my all," Dean said. "If I have anything left, then I will, but otherwise I'll let it go. It's a good race, a good organization, but one thing at a time."

Though Dean had to scrap two weeks of training, he said there was never a question when Fox-Boyd asked him to be his replacement, he said.

"It's an easy decision," Dean said. "It's such a great cause."

The Under Armour Baltimore Marathon starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at Camden and Russell streets. For more information, call 410-605-9381 or go to thebaltimoremarathon.com.

sam.sessa@baltsun.com

Marathon day

Information

The Under Armour Baltimore Marathon takes place Saturday. For more information about it or any of the associated events, call 410-605-9381 or go to thebaltimoremarathon.com.

Elite SportsClub Network Health and Fitness Expo

Runners and fitness aficionados can find discounted shoes, apparel, active gear and health products offered by more than 50 vendors, as well as free samples and exhibits. Vouchers for tomorrow night's Carbo-Load Dinner will be available for $15 but are worth $20 at Phillips Seafood and participating restaurants in Little Italy. Open today and tomorrow, the expo is where registered runners can pick up their registration packets and T-shirts, and where those interested in running in the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon, team relay, 5K or Kids Fun Run can register in person. The expo is in the Northside Club Level of M&T Bank Stadium, open noon-9 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow.

Parking

Parking is free for the public in Lots F, G and H on the east side of Ravens Stadium. Spectators should plan to arrive as close to 7 a.m. Saturday as possible to get a good spot. Check the marathon's Web site (thebaltimoremarathon.com) for parking maps and additional information.

Start times

For the marathon and team relay: 8 a.m. Saturday at Camden and Russell streets. For the 5K: 8:30 a.m. start at Camden and Russell streets. For the Kid's Fun Run, age 7 and younger start at 9:20 a.m., and ages 8-12 begin at 9:30 a.m. For the half-marathon: 9:45 a.m. start at Conway and Light streets in the Inner Harbor. Jazz band LoveCraft will perform on stage at the half-marathon start from 9:46 a.m.-11 a.m.

Celebration Village

Featuring live music, inflatables and food and drink, the Outback Steakhouse Celebration Village will be near the finish line from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Performing bands include Middle Distance Runner 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Freezerburnt 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the Kelly Bell Band 1 p.m.-3 p.m., all on the main stage.

T-Mobile Reunion Area

Reunite with runners after the race near the finish line in M&T Bank Stadium Parking Lot B.

Awards

12:30 p.m. Saturday on the Celebration Village main stage.

[BROOKE NEVILS]

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