Sunday, June 20, 2004

A revival of the Corporate Track Relays is afoot.

“We are going to hold a low-key [track and field] meet on Sunday, June27 to offer corporate teams in the area the chance to compete against each other,” said Anders Ryerson of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. “The idea is to possibly expand this format later this summer or make it an annual event with a larger footprint next year.”

Ryerson said the event is a team competition and open to employees of all ages and abilities from companies, government agencies, organizations and military bases. Competitions will include: 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, mile, 400-meter relay (two men, two women), 1,600-meter relay (two men, two women), shot put, discus and long jump.

Registration begins at 7:30a.m. on race day.

The corporate track meet concept goes back to 1978 when 15 teams competed in Foothill College, Calif. The meets have had more than 250 of America’s corporations competing with this year’s national championship July17 and 18 in Portland, Maine.

Booz Allen, one of 20 teams already registered to compete at the nationals, has participated since 1995 and won the national title in 1998. The team raises almost $10,000 each year for charity, according to Booz Allen’s Gordon Smith.

The two-day national championship has a similar format to a track and field Olympics, with opening ceremonies, trials and finals. The main focus of the championships is to promote health in the workplace and competition among corporate athletes.

Walk fast — Potomac Valley Track Club has extended its Spring Race Walk Clinics to a summer series through July, accommodating both experienced walkers and newbies. The summer clinics, beginning next Sunday, will be before the club’s All Comers meets, so participants can put the training to use.

Race walking, at 1,600 meters and 3,000 meters, are the first events of the All Comers meets. Other race walk dates are July10 and July24, Saturdays, not the usual Sunday meet days.

The one-hour clinics will be led by master race walker John Gersh, with assistance from other club master race walkers. Format includes: basics of race walking for beginners, technique and aerobic workouts for intermediates, and racing strategy and tips for everyone.

Band to play —Sugar Ray and Collective Soul take the stage following the Sept.5 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.

The race has some entries left through Team In Training, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Information: 800/482-8326.

Father’s day — Today my dad turned 75. Like many fathers, he used to talk a lot about his running. These days, discussions focus on medicines, doctor’s appointments and feelings of malaise.

If my dad were up and running right now, we’d be in Annapolis participating in the Annapolis Striders Dawson’s Father’s Day 5-Mile Run at 8 this morning at Severna Park High School or at the Father’s Day 5K at 8 on Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Maybe next year.

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