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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Howard County Striders---Running is life

     I have blogged on a variety of events that the Howard County Striders hold during the year like the Penquin Pace, Centennial Fun Runs and the Bagel Runs but have never highlighted some of the other activities that show the full range of programs of the Striders.  The Junior Striders is a running program for youth from elementary through middle school.  Many of the cross country and track athletes in our high schools started out in the Junior Striders.  I have experienced seeing one of these young people that I saw at the 1 mile Centennial Fun Run eventually pass me as an aging runner.  Time marches on.

       Probably the event that gains the Striders the most attention every year is the Clydes 10K race.  This race has been an April fixture in Columbia for over 30 years.  Hundreds of runners of all levels start near the walkway over Little Patuxent Parkway in Town Center and wind their way through western Columbia and back to the starting line.  In the Fall the Metric Marathon is a leisurely 26.2K (16.3 mile) run from Columbia to Ellicott City and back that tests the more committed runners.  I am not sure if the course is the same but the one I remember had a number of hills in the first 8 miles and then it was mostly level and downhill the second 8 miles.
         Just to show that the Striders have a less serious side they hold an All Fruit Relay that has teams passing off a fruit on each leg of the race.  I can attest that a starfruit becomes mushy to hold after a lap or two!
          Finally for all of us who will never be the fastest to win a race there are two prediction runs on Thanksgiving and New Years that the winner is the person who runs the 8K course closest to their predicted time.  No watches allowed during these runs.  The goal of a prediction run is that you want to finish as close to 11 am as possible.  So if you think you will run a 50 minute 8K you start running when the clock shows 50 minutes at the start.  The unusual aspect of a prediction run is that you start running with a few people but the finish is usually crowded with runners---- just the opposite of most other races.  The winner is usually within a second or two of their predicted time.  I never came any closer than 40 seconds of my predicted time.


1 comment:

Death Race said...

I love those pics, it was a nice race event. Congratulations to all the participants for a great job well done and looking forward always for more updates.