This year’s Father’s Day 10k was yet another reminder of the popularity of running and racing in Maryland. As the larger races in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are filling up ever faster, locally runners are looking to clubs like the Annapolis Strider’s to provide well organized events at a fraction of the cost of the big city races.
With the help of 60 volunteers including club members and local families, race directors, Ross Heisman and Rick Aulbach and the Annapolis Strider’s hosted 478 runners despite the soaring temperatures and humidity.
The race started in the bus loop at and traveled east towards the Baltimore Annapolis Trail before spilling runners onto the bike trail in an out and back course.
As has become par for the course in Annapolis Strider’s events, the competition was fierce.
The race was won by 19-year-old Daniel Swain in a blazing 34:24 while the first woman across the line, 25-year-old Katie Powell came in at an equally blistering time of 42:49. Once again, SPHS Coach Elmer McPhail was the first Masters runner to cross the line.
While the middle and back of the pack runners felt the heat and humidity of the course for a longer period of time, most of these runners took the time to replenish their fluids at the two waters stops along the course. Unfortunately, many of the front runners went without water leaving some of them dangerously overheated and dehydrated after the race.
One runner, a 29-year-old athlete from Baltimore, made it to the finish line before collapsing due to the heat. Luckily, a doctor was on hand to assist and an ambulance showed up shortly afterwards. The runner was transported to the hospital where he was treated for severe dehydration and released four hours later.
“I think the point cannot be emphasized enough to hydrate before and during a race of any duration, especially during the hot, humid summer months,” said Race Director Ross Heisman.
Erin O’Neill, a personal trainer at Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club, signed up for the race at a little before 7 a.m. on race morning, but as she waited for the race to begin and the temperatures began to creep up, she and her brother decided to forgo the formalities and run the course on their own.
“We were there when the runner collapsed,” O’Neill said, “It is a huge reminder not only to drink water along the course but also to make sure to come into the race properly hydrated.”
Racing is an activity that many local runners have turned to in order to stay in shape, add a social aspect to their fitness routine and even to remain competitive as they age. The benefits far outweigh the dangers but it is important to remember the strain we are putting our bodies under as the temperatures rise and to plan accordingly.
The next race in the Strider’s Series will be the One Mile John Wall Track Run held at Broadneck High School on July 16.