October 18, 2003
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
Every year when we go to the East Coast to run the Marine Corps Marathon,
we seek out another marathon for the week before or
afterward.....preferably one to add to my state list. This year the
Baltimore Marathon on October 18, 2003, got the nod from Lenore and me
since I had never run in Maryland before.
We made a good selection as the Baltimore Marathon was well-organized. We
had good running weather, and the course provided a good tour of the city.
Race headquarters was at the Ravens Football Stadium, and we reported
there to pick up my bib, racing chip and T-shirt. Lenore had been in
contact with Stan Neumann of the Balitmore area, and she had pre-arranged
a meeting with him at the Expo. Stan is a 100 Marathon Club North America
member and a 50 Stater. He was a pace setter for 4:30 runners and invited
me to run with the group. I declined since I hoped to run faster than
that. The next day Stan crossed the line in 4:29:22 (chip time) to bring
his runners home just under 4:30.
At the Expo he introduced us to Steve Kruse, 51, of Platte City, MO.
Steve has run 106 marathons, and one of them was our inaugural YAKIMA
RIVER CANYON MARATHON on March 31, 2001. At Baltimore he led the 3:30
pace group that finished in 3:29:29.8!
Bill Farnoff of Baltimore was also introduced to us at the Expo. He has
run 107 marathons. Both Bill and Steve plan to join the 100 Marathon Club
The race started from the city center near the Camden Yards Baseball
Field. It was a clear day with temperatures in the 50's and little or no
wind. The course ran in three loops in different directions from the
downtown area. It provided the runners with a good tour of the city
center, residential areas of 25 foot-wide two-storied row-houses, suburban
homes, three large parks, and a waterfront.
This was the third annual marathon, and it has been won by the same man
and woman runner each year. Erick Kimaiyo, 34, the winner in 2001 and
2002, ran side by side for 26 miles with fellow Kenyan (his student)
Christopher Kipkosger, 24. Then Erick surged and finished in 2:18:40, a
few seconds ahead of Christopher's 2:18:44.
Elvira Kolpakova, 29, of Russia also won for the third time with a
2:48:49. She ran with Lee Dipietro, 45, of Ruxtona, MD, for 17 miles and
then pulled away. Lee finished with a 2:50:36.
My race went well. The first three miles were up a long hill, and by the
time I reached the summit I was convinced that I was going to have a slow
finishing time. However, running downhill in a park improved the
situation, and I actually started to pass a few runners. My halfway split
was at the Baltimore Harbor at about 2:02, so my final time depended on
how I ran the many hills to come. There was a long climb to a park and
lakeshore road, but at least the last 10K was mostly downhill to the
finish line in the football stadium parking lot. My chip time was
4:08:05, my second best time of the year. I finished in 686th position of
2, 976 participants. I was also first of 8 in the 70+Male Division. Ron
Jess, 71, of Dover, DE, was second with a 4:17:17.
The finish line was in a carnival-like setting know as "Celebration
Village." There were tents with booths for food, drinks, sponsors' wares,
games and merchandise plus an outdoor stage with a band.
As we walked about the Village, we met John Shull and his wife Sheri of
Arlington, VA. When they lived in Spokane, John had run the inaugural
YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON. The Baltimore Marathon was Sheri's first,
and we congratulated her for this accomplishment. This couple had run
together and finished in 5:46:22.
We also talked with Ben Vazquez of Laurel, MD. He ran a 3:43:59 and plans
to run the Marine Corps Marathon next weekend, too.
We visited with Ken Berger, the announcer for the race. We had become
acquainted with him at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001. Ken had a busy
day as the announcer for the start and finish of the marathon, marathon
relay, half marathon, 5K Race, Kids Run and the awards ceremony. Then he
left to go to the Bay Bridge Marathon in Virginia City, VA, to be their
announcer the next day. We'll see him again in Washington, DC, and hear
him as the "Voice of the Marine Corps Marathon."
Before we left the Village, we thanked the race director for putting on a
great marathon.....and told him that we'd recommend it to our running
Written by Bob Dolphin