You know it's going to be a miserable race when you are standing around at the start before the race begins already drenched in sweat. Saturday morning gentle showers started the day, but by the time runners congregated in Druid Hill Park to run the 4th annual Baltimore 10-miler, the rain was gone and a heavy mugginess lingered in the air.
Runners/walkers lined the street of Mansion Drive in close proximity of the Baltimore Zoo for a punctual 7:30 start. This year 'waves' were incorporated into the race. But just like the Baltimore Half-Marathon, it was not enforced. Once the National Anthem was sung, runners took off through the park and out into Baltimore. Over 4200 participants crossed the finish line and were instantly received with water, ice cold towels, and watermelon.
In the mens division a new round of men took over the leaderboard. The official win goes to Ryan Lee Carroll, 28 of Portmouth, VA with a time of 56:07. Coming in second was Luke Belford, 28 (57:11) and behind him was 2008's 4th place finisher Enos Bendow (58:28). Among the top male finishers was Jo Iannuzi who finished with a time of 56:00 which was the fastest time, however his time will not be considered for overall since his gun time was 1:13.
For the women, local multi-5k winner Megan Digregorio, 23 of White Marsh took the lead and held it throughout the entire race. Once quoted as saying that she's 'not a distance runner', Megan placed 4th overall last year and won the women's division this year with a time of 1:05:15. Behind Megan was Becky Parks with a time of 1:06:38. Among the 20-somethings on the leaderboard, Lee DiPietro, 53 showed age will overcome youth finishing third overall (1:07:56). Jackie Truncellito, director of Back On My Feet Baltimore and winner in 2009, switched places with Megan finishing in fourth place.
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There has been some speculation that the course may have been long. The debate still continues and some want answers. Many say their GPS devices measured anywhere from .13-.21 longer than 10 miles. The course is a certified course and therefore the measurements upon design are quite accurate, however it is possible to have misplaced cones leading to a longer run. Consider this before you call fraud:
- A course is measured by the tangents. It is measured this way to assure the shortest possible distance covered is that of the race distance. Most runners cannot run a course the way it is measured. "When the course is laid out, the cones are NOT placed at the tangents", says former Baltimore Marathon race director Dave Cooley, "I was at Lake Montebello and most runners did not run the shortest distance."
- Though the measurement of a course is almost always accurate, the set up of the course is only as accurate as he who reads the map. Case and point, in 2009 the turnaround at mile nine had a misplaced cone resulting in a course that was 2/10 longer than 10 miles--pace times had to be adjusted in the results.
- It is very common for a marathon runner to add .4-.6 to the distance if they are using a Garmin. If a course were merely a straight out and back with no turns or corners then the GPS reading would more likely match that of the real race distance.