20th B&A Trail Marathon draws runners from around the country

March 06, 2011|By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun

Two decades after she took first place for women in the inaugural B&A Trail Marathon, Rose Malloy of Annapolis won another first place award on Sunday.

This time the retired fourth-grade teacher ran the 13.1-mile Half Marathon, and finished first for her age group, 60 to 64. She said she was glad just to be competing.

"I'm still running at 62," she said. "I'm still moving."

Since winning in 1992, Malloy said, she has gone on to run marathons in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Delaware, but the B&A Trail Marathon is home turf for her.

"It's the local race," she said. "The course is nice and relatively flat, and it was perfect weather today, 50 degrees. It was a very pleasant day for running."

Malloy is one of about 1,000 people who entered the 20th annual B&A Trail Marathon and Half Marathon.

Karsten Brown of Front Royal, Va., was the fastest male runner in the full marathon, with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes and 55 seconds. Traci Falbo, of Charlestown, Ind., was the fastest female, with a time of 3 hours, 16 minutes and 37 seconds.

Runners from around the country converged on Anne Arundel County for the race, which begins and ends at Severna Park High School and uses the former Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad right of way as part of the 26.2-mile course.

Registration was closed at 1,000, the maximum allowed on the public trail. While most runners felt a light sprinkle, the heaviest rains of the day held off until most of the runners had finished.

Runners said after the race Sunday that they like the event because it's not as crowded as larger marathons.

Some of the participants were members of the "50 Staters," runners who try to complete marathons in every state in the country. Falbo, the top woman finisher, is on that quest and had flown to Maryland after competing in a marathon in Georgia on Saturday. Large groups came from the U.S. Naval Academy and the New York Korean Marathon Training Team, among others.

Ed Peters, owner of a video production company in Norwalk, Conn., said he has run 104 marathons including Sunday's, and was competing in the Anne Arundel race for the first time. Peters said he was pleased with the course and felt the race was well-organized. "As a runner," he said, "you didn't have to worry about a thing."

Matthew Mace, of Arnold and the top male finisher over 40, said he's run in about half of the B&A Trail marathons.

"Those of us who are local, we're happy to have a local marathon," he said. "We get great support. It makes a difference."

Brown, who came in third last year, was almost apologetic about winning this time. A member of race sponsor Annapolis Striders running club, he said he felt sorry for second-place finisher Jake Marcus, a 21-year-old Massachusetts man competing in his first marathon. Marcus had been leading after the 23-mile mark before getting a cramp. "I felt bad for passing him," Brown said.

Malloy said she sees many more women running in marathons than when she started in 1992.

"They're trying to be fit," she said. "There's a lot more support for it."

Evan Thomas, who is 69 and finished the half marathon, said the trail provides a terrific setting for the marathon. "We're lucky we have facilities like this," the marathon's publicity chairman said. "The B&A is a great resource."

ed.gunts@baltsun.com

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