- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2004

If you don’t own a piece of Under Armour athletic clothing, you are truly missing out. That said, it came as great news recently when the rapidly growing Baltimore apparel manufacturer committed $100,000 in prize money for the 2004 Baltimore Marathon.

That purse puts the 4-year-old marathon, scheduled for Oct.16, in the top10 for largest guaranteed prize money in America. The cash is nearly four times that offered in last year’s race.

It is the second consecutive year that Under Armour will supply all marathon and half-marathon participants with its signature performance apparel. The highlight for me last year was the huge tent Under Armour set up on race day to sell its skin-tights at heavy discounts.

“The quality of the course and the enthusiasm of the fans combined with the Under Armour Performance Apparel premium for participants have made this a must-attend event for runners from around the country,” said Lee Corrigan, who heads Corrigan Sports Enterprises, the event’s organizer.

Prize money will go to the top 10 males and females, plus in unique categories such as the first Terrapin (past or present University of Maryland student), first Maryland resident, first first-time marathoner and first armed forces member to complete the course.

Run vs. row — This year it was sun vs. rain, and rain won. But it did not dampen the spirits of some 475 runners at yesterday’s 14th Run vs. Row 10K in Alexandria. Close races occurred for both genders, with James Bales of Alexandria (33:41) and Janet Urbanski of Frederick, Md., (39:27) emerging as winners.

The highlight this year was that the crew teams beat the runners. “Most of the time, the river’s too rough,” said race director Peter Smeallie, whose event benefits the Alexandria Crew Boosters Club. “This year the river was like glass, and the crew won by more than three minutes.”

Track on the tube — The 2004 Outdoor Golden Spike Tour, five elite track and field meets, will be televised on national TV or cable.

The season begins with the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on April24 (4:30 to 6p.m., NBC), then moves to the Home Depot Invitational on May22 (4 to 6p.m., NBC). ESPN2 picks up the U.S. Open at Stanford University on June1 (9 to 10p.m.), the Adidas Oregon Track Classic on June5 (6 to 7p.m.) and the Nike Prefontaine Classic on June19 (9:30 to 11p.m.).

The meets end with the U.S. Olympic Track & Field trials in Sacramento, Calif., which will be on NBC and potentially one of its cable partners, on July9-12 and July15-18, with 14 hours of coverage.

Another reason to be a runner — On Thursday morning I locked my car with the keys inside after arriving at my office. While I was trying to open the car door at lunchtime with a coat hanger, an SUV pulled up and the driver yelled, “Hey, I think I have some tools that can help you out.”

Within seconds, he unlocked the door of my car. It turns out that he is a marathoner, and we exchanged a few stories before I was off to my run and he was off to his lawn sprinkler system business.

That hero was Glen Stone of Alexandria, who said he is registered for the Frederick Marathon on May2. He has run marathons, including the Washington DC Marathon last year in 4:17:12.

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