- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2002

The Washington DC Marathon will not be the only one in the area next spring. Plans are in the works for a 26.2-mile race less than an hour north of the District in Frederick, Md., according to race director extraordinaire Dave Cooley.
The Frederick Marathon will be set for March30, one week after the Washington affair. The race is being organized by the City of Frederick, Frederick Chamber of Commerce and Frederick Regional Sports Commission, Cooley said.
He added that many details are still being worked out but that the race probably will start at 7:30a.m. from Frederick High School, with an Olympic-style finish on the school track. Cooley expected the course to have been certified yesterday.
Cooley expects 500 runners and 125 four-person teams, which for me is the optimal size field. He said initial brochures will be available in the next week or so, with the final ones available in early November.
I like Cooley's motto for the race: "A great marathon in a small town setting." If the race is anything like the other Frederick races Market Street Mile (Oct.4) and Fourth of July 5K it should be a scenic and friendly experience.
Meanwhile, marathon training for fall endurance tests goes on throughout the area. Runners are preparing for Chicago (Oct.13), Baltimore (Oct.19), Marine Corps (Oct.27), New York City (Nov.3), Richmond (Nov.9), Montgomery County Marathon in the Parks (Nov.17) and Philadelphia (Nov.24).
I feel for you people training in this weird Washington weather. Just as it seemed that the heat and humidity were gone, the garbage weather came back. We did have a couple of great running days Wednesday and Thursday, but it didn't last for long. Friday was a killer again as I lost eight pounds of water in a 40-minute run.
Only a runner can appreciate this: many people felt sorry that I had to run in the pouring rain Thursday, but truth be told, it was one of the best days in four months to train because it was cool and the rain kept me from overheating.
Maybe it wasn't so much fun for those poor souls/soles running for a couple of hours.
Rankings out
The 2001 U.S. Largest Road Race list compiled by USA Track & Field ranks the Marine Corps Marathon as No.13 among races of all sizes and the sixth largest marathon, with 14,341 finishers last year.
Chicago took top billing with 28,771, New York was next with 23,664 and Honolulu, the perennial winner, was third with 19,236.
The D.C. Race for the Cure dropped off the top of the all-distance list as the Examiner Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco grabbed the first position with 46,894 finishers. "Cure" had 46,558, a major decrease from previous years.
The Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, in its inaugural showing last year, was the 18th largest race and second largest half in the nation. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler also made the list (35th with 6,531 finishers), as did the inaugural Baltimore Marathon (58th with 4,829 finishers).
Wanna be a USATF official?
The Potomac Valley Association of USATF and the Maryland Road Runners Club of America, in conjunction with the Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon, has scheduled two Long Distance Running Officials' Training and Certification sessions in October.
Each session will include a race management component and offer attendees the opportunity to get some hands-on experience at the host race.
Officials at a road race or cross country meet are supposed to assure an equitable and safe event along with fair competition among athletes. The training is designed to give race officials an understanding of the rules and a perspective on how to apply the rules with dignity, common sense, and fairness.
The first two-hour session coincides with the Army Ten-Miler at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, on Oct.19, a day before the race. The second will occur a day before the Marine Corps, on Oct.26 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. It costs just $30 per session. Call Tim Baker at 301-588-4426 for more information.

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