- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did you read about the 16 siblings of the Kapral family of Oshkosh, Wis., all of whom finished the Fox Cities Marathon in nearby Appleton to break a Guinness World Record for number of siblings competing in a marathon?

I award the gold medal to their mother for marathon labor and delivery.

Actually, 16 kids would be a metric marathon.

The Kapral kids range in age from 18 to 44 and range in finishing times from 3:09:51 to 5:31:49.

The fact that they even keep tabs like this is unbelievable. The previous mark of 15 siblings was set by the O’Donaghue family of Ireland in 2007.

But the Kapral record could be in jeopardy if the Duggar family of Arkansas, made famous by TLC’s “18 Kids & Counting” and expecting No. 19 next year, starts a housewide running program.

Stay on Course - Runners in the Oct. 10 Baltimore Marathon will see some course changes this year. With renovations taking place at Fort McHenry, the course will miss this historic landmark and make up the distance between Miles 3 and 5 in Druid Hill.

This marathon is set up well for spectators, too. You can watch the start and finish from Camden Yards, and with a short walk to the Inner Harbor you can see the runners at Miles 9 and 13. Organizers project a record 20,000 total runners will participate in this year’s festival - with marathon, marathon relay, half marathon and 5-kilometer runs - compared with 17,000 last year.

Secure your teams - Race director Bob Fleshner’s belt is already organizing his second American Odyssey Relay, a 200-mile relay from Gettysburg, Pa., to the District for 12-person teams from April 23 to 24.

Fleshner said he is expanding the event to 250 teams and creating larger and better-marked transition areas to eliminate any confusion as to course direction or the finish point of a leg. At the inaugural event this year, runners complained that they went off course because of inadequate signage.

Fleshner is urging an “early registration” deadline of Wednesday. For more information, go to americanodysseyrelay.com

Some old, some new - With marathon racing season under way and runners looking for those long training runs for preparation, the Annapolis Striders Metric Marathon on Sunday could fit the bill.

The annual scenic race, staged out of Southern High School in Harwood, Md., covers 26.2 kilometers or 16.27 miles of paved roads with challenging hills at 12 and 14 miles. Sign up on race day, and it will cost you just 61 cents a mile. See annapolisstriders.org.

Also, a new race on the schedule is the GCF Half Marathon on Nov. 8 in the District to benefit the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation. The field is limited to 2,000 runners.

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