- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2003

BOSTON Runners are some of the most charitable people in the world. Just don't get between them and food samples at a Marathon Expo.
It's true. Here at the 107th Boston Marathon, which yesterday morning was named "Charitable Race of the Year" by USA Track & Field, most of the field's 20,000 participants seemed to crawl over my back trying to make their way through the expo.
For a bite of Powerbar, a thimble of rice and a shot of Clif, these people will kill their own. Now I understand what marathoners mean when they say that actually running the 26.2-mile course is easy; getting there is the tough part.
But, of course, the road to that destination is paved with good intentions. So USATF, not to be outdone by the NBA, NHL and other professional sports organizations who quantify their generosity to mankind, studied the charitable impact runners make on society.
The numbers are pretty amazing, as staggering as a tapped-out athlete after 25 miles of pounding the pavement.
More than $520million was raised for charitable causes by runners in 2002 alone, in a poll that did not include every race and charitable organization in America. Some $78million of that money was raised by Team in Training (TNT), the largest endurance sports training program of its type in the world. Since TNT's inception in 1988, 190,000 participants have raised more than $430million to fund research for finding cures for leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma.
Live track meets
USA Track & Field has unveiled its 2003 Outdoor Golden Spike Tour. Unfortunately for East Coast fans, five of the six world-class meets are scheduled for the Other Coast.
Fortunately, there is this rather new technology called "live television," so we can still take in the action.
The outdoor season begins with the 108th running of the Penn Relays on Saturday in Philadelphia. Live coverage on NBC spans from 4:30 to 6p.m.
The Tour begins May17 with the Adidas Oregon Track Classic in Portland, Ore. (live on ESPN from 5 to 6p.m.), continues May24 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. (NBC from 2 to 3:30 p.m.), then travels on June1 to the Home Depot Track & Field Invitational in Carson, Calif. (ESPN2 from 3:30 to 5p.m.); and on June7 hits the Oracle U.S. Open in Palo Alto, Calif. (ESPN2 from 5 to 6p.m.).
The Tour concludes at Stanford for the 2003 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on June 19-22 (June21 on NBC from 4 to 6p.m. and June22 on ESPN2 from 4 to 5:30p.m.).
Bay Bridge alternate
When Maryland Transportation officials canned the Bay Bridge Walk and accompanying 10K run, the Annapolis Striders were not deterred. The organizing club quickly designed a new course for the May4 event. It looks like the 10K run will be a reality, sans the Bay Bridge.
"It will be a very flat course," race director Charlie Muskin said yesterday. "We have presented the new course to the State Park people, and the county police have given us tentative approval."
Muskin said he will know for sure by Tuesday.
The new course is an out-and-back run from the start at Sandy Point State Park down the access road along U.S. Route50 and back to the finish in the park, with a loop inside the park. Muskin said all participants should park in the park for the 8a.m. race.
Get moving Elite Racing Inc., organizers of the third annual Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on Aug.31, said its race soon will close at 15,000 entries. So far, more than 12,000 applications have been received, according to Elite Racing. Register online at www.RnRHalf.com or call 800/311-1255.

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