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Classic Road Race Set for August 25
Chaptico, MD - 8/15/2012
By Marty Madden
For the 27th year in a row the Chaptico Classic will be run rain or shine. Last year that provision was severely tested as Hurricane Irene came up the East Coast on race day. The potent storm uprooted trees, flooded streets and knocked out electricity, but the undaunted participants of the venerated 10 kilometer (K)/5K road race beat Irene to the finish line. The 2011 race is one for the ages.
“I thought it was a great morning to run a race,” said Kathleen Hammett of Hollywood, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Running Club (CBRC), the organization that will be timing the race and doing other important tasks to ensure the event’s success. Hammett, who finished second in the 10K, said she had her home prepared for the storm well prior to the race, which was once rated by Running Times as “one of the best country road races.”
“Towards the end it got a little stormy,” Hammett recalled. “Your hard-core runners were there.”
“We got the race in,” said event director Mike Whitson, who held steady to the plan to keep the Chaptico Classic on a consistent course. A similar race scheduled for the same day in Annapolis was cancelled.
This year’s race will be held Saturday, Aug. 25 with a start time of 8 a.m. Both segments will begin and end at Christ Church Hall on Zach Fowler Road in Chaptico. The event was originally held to mark the riverside town’s 350th anniversary.
Whitson said he believes “about 250” runners and walkers will await the traditional boom of a cannon at race time before pounding the country roads. The 2011 race had 111 5K runners and 72 entrants in the 10K. Walkers, who participate in the 5K, go undocumented. While many are drawn by the thrill of competing, others are there to lend support for the four race beneficiaries—Three Oaks Shelter, St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, Southern Maryland Community Network and the Mary Lou Gough Food Pantry. Over 40 corporate sponsors also provide support for the event. “We are fortunate,” said Whitson. “We’ve had sponsors who have been with us a long time.”
Prizes are awarded in six age groups for both the 5K and 10K.
“Everybody’s competitive, even if they don’t receive awards,” said CBRC member Liza Recto, who admitted she was skeptical at first about focusing on running as a routine. “Then I started getting awards in my age group.” Recto has qualified and run in the Boston Marathon, but declared, ‘I’m a terrible marathoner. I like short distances better. I just don’t have the attention span to run a marathon.”
While many CBRC members are triathletes or participate in other sports, such as soccer, club member Crystal Rapp conceded, “running takes up so much time there’s not much time for other sports.”
Another CBRC member, Scott Payne, has run in the Chaptico Classic four times but isn’t sure if he’ll be doing this year’s event. The classic does have two rituals Payne and some of the other club members enjoy—the aforementioned starting cannon and the group of race volunteers who play music in front of a farmhouse from a flatbed truck along the 10K route.
An early morning run through rural America on a hot August day awaits the participants in the 2012 Chaptico Classic. That and a chance to assimilate with the region’s road race culture. “I love the culture of runners,” said Hammett. “There’s no drama. We pound out all our stress on the pavement. You are really competing with yourself.”
Random facts from the 2011 Chaptico Classic
Of the 111 runners who participated in the 5K, over half (60) were from St. Mary’s County. There were 19 Calvert County residents, 15 Charles County residents, eight from other Maryland jurisdictions, two runners from Virginia, one from Washington, DC and a runner from Tennessee. The race results also indicated two “unknown” runners and three whose hometowns were not listed.
Of the 72 10K participants, over half (39) were from St. Mary’s, there were more runners from Virginia (8) than runners from Calvert County (7) and one participant from New York.
The top finishers in the 2011 5K were: male- Michael Sheehy of Washington, DC (17 minutes and 25 seconds) and female - Jenny Lizzy of Leonardtown (21 minutes, 52 seconds).
The top finishers in the 2011 10K were: male – Edi Turco of Arlington, VA (35 minutes 23 seconds) and female – Allison Palmer of California (43 seconds and 45 seconds).
There was a tie for last place among 5K finishers, both completing the race in 47 minutes and 24 seconds.
The last runner to finish the 10K posted a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 42 seconds—still faster to the finish line than Hurricane Irene.
For more information on the 2012 Chaptico Classic, visit www.active.com or call 301-475-2886.
For more information on CBRC, visit www.cbrcmd.org
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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