- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 24, 2003

Yesterday’s Prefontaine Classic in Oregon kicked off the outdoor track season for many of the nation’s elite athletes. Those meets can be seen on TV today between 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Track and field is a great spectator sport, but even more so, it is a tremendous participatory sport.

Some of us compete in area meets throughout the summer, and others utilize these low-key meets as speed workouts for 5K and 10K races.

Between Philadelphia and Richmond, there are at least a couple of track meets a week from June through August.

Locally, Potomac Valley Track Club has its 2003 Outdoor All-Comers Track & Field Meets. The bi-weekly meets have nearly a full track and field program at Langley High School in McLean.

The meets, which begin at 8:30 a.m., are scheduled for June1, 15 and 29, July12 and 26, August9 and 23, and end with the Potomac Valley Games on Aug.30-31. Go to www.pvtc.org for information.

There are two abbreviated track meets organized by the Montgomery County Road Runners Club: the July 11 Midsummer Night’s Mile in Rockville and the Aug.22 Go For the Glory Track Meet in Bethesda. See www.mcrrc.org.

In Glen Burnie, Md., Metro Harriers is in its eighth year of playing host to summer meets at North County High School. The meets will contest numerous track and field events — the school has a newly-resurfaced, eight-lane track — on July2, 9, 16 and 23 (championships) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. See https://members.aol.com/metroxc/ metro.html.

For years, the Richmond Road Runners Club has successfully run its Summer Track Series at the Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers Stadium.

The 6:30 p.m. meets are scheduled for every Wednesday from June18 to August27, excluding July2. This summer series began in the early ‘60s, and contests five track-only events each meet. Each meet will have a 100 or 200, a 400 or 800, a 1,500 or 3,000, a featured event, and a Predict Your Time Mile. See www.rrrc.org.

The Philadelphia Masters Track & Field Association has numerous events in the summer, from its Saturday developmental track and field meets in Philadelphia (June3, 10, 17, and 24) to its June7 Throw-a-thon, to its Wednesday developmental meets in Fort Washington, Pa., (July9 and 16) to its Mid-Atlantic USATF summer championship meet on July27 in Fort Washington. Call Joel Dubow 484/437-9463 in the evenings for more information.

Big Apple, big talk — Hype is not something usually seen in excess in the long distance running community.

So I had to chuckle when the race director of the New York City Marathon boldly stated Dieter Baumann could win the 2003 New York City Marathon in his debut race.

“It takes a special type of athlete to win the New York City Marathon and Dieter Baumann has all the right stuff to be the next New York City Marathon champion,” Allan Steinfeld said last week. “Many of the greatest champions in our history like Alberto Salazar and Grete Waitz won in their first time in New York. I believe that Dieter Baumann can follow in those illustrious footsteps.”

Some might remember the 38-year-old German for his global promotion of dental hygiene a few years ago. He’s the guy who tested positive for drugs, then responded that somebody had spiked his toothpaste. Others might remember him as the Olympic 5,000-meter gold medalist in 1992 and silver medalist in 1988.

Most recently, Baumann finished second in last year’s European Championships 10,000 meters.

C’mon folks, Baumann is not 2:08 material. He will be lucky to crack the top 20, and even then he may not even be the top European in the Nov.2 race.

The news release announcing Baumann’s entry ends with an inaccurate statement, however. “No German man has ever won the race,” it reads.

Not true. German Silva of Mexico won back-to-back New York City Marathons in 1994 and 1995.

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