Tunnel Run takes participants under the Patapsco River

The Baltimore Sun

Not many people can say they ran underneath the Patapsco River, but now about 900 Special Olympians and their supporters can add that to their athletic achievements.

The occassion was Sunday's sixth annual Fort McHenry Tunnel 5K run/walk to benefit Special Olympics Maryland.

It was hot inside Fort McHenry tunnel No. 4, even though the ventilation system was on high. The lights were on and the white tiles were shimmering. A group of cadets training to be Maryland Transportation Authority Police was running in formation and shouting cadences that bounced off the tunnel walls.

As they emerged from the tunnel on Interstate 95 into the hazy morning light, the runners were greeted with honking horns of approval from the truckers and motorists from neighboring lanes. Not surprisingly, the runners said they found the race memorable.

Daniel Bisers, 28, a Baltimore engineer, was first across the finish line, completing the 3.1 miles in 17 minutes, 45 seconds. "It was a unique experience," he said. "And a good cause."

Jim Schmutz, president of Special Olympics Maryland, worked the crowd as the runners prepared for the race and again while they were refueling on more than 900 burgers and chicken sandwiches grilled up by the staff of Outback Steakhouse on Boston Street.

"Thanks for coming," he said. "Did you have a good time?"

"We are hoping to raise about $40,000 this year," he said. "But we'd like to eventually get to 1,000 runners."

There are 90,000 Marylanders with intellectual disabilities, but only about 7,000 participate in the two dozen sports offered year round, everything from Alpine skiing to boccie, said Schmutz. "We need to get the word out."

For 10 Special Olympian runners, this race was more than a fun run. It was a qualifying race for the state distance championships that will be held at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg at the end of October.

The first special athlete to finish was Mark Worley, 28, of Columbia, who finishing in under 22 minutes. "The air was hard to breath," he said. "I just pushed through."

Worley raced with his identical twin, Bruce, but pulled away to finish ahead of him. The brothers run daily, but are very competitive and rarely train together. "It's a twin thing," explained Bruce, who, along with the other dozen Howard County Special Olympian runners is trained by his father, John.

It was Madrice Guy's first tunnel run — and his first race of any kind. The 34-year-old software engineer wanted to support the cause and thought running through a tunnel would be a cool first experience.

"It was hot in there," he said. "I have to say it was a breath of fresh air when we saw the light at the end of the tunnel." Sweat dripping, he laughed when he realized the string of cliches he'd just uttered.

Rebecca Hemler, 34, was the first woman to finish, crossing in 21:19. She works for the therapeutic recreation program in the Baltimore Recreation and Parks Department, heard about the race at the office.

The runners entered the tunnel and ran about a mile and a half before turning and coming back through, and the stragglers cheered the leaders as they did.

"It was warm but really exciting," said Hemler as she waited for her dad, Bob Hemler, to finish. "The crowd coming the other way was shouting for us and I loved it. It was so energizing. And the novelty is nice."

It was the first race ever for Janet Payton, 51, from Severn. Her husband signed them both up and she wasn't thrilled. But she finished in 40 minutes and was motivated by the chanting of the police cadets, who also raised more than $5,000 in pledges.

"This was a different way to start [running races], but the spirit was exciting."

sreimer@baltsun.com

twitter.com/susanreimer

 

Top finishers

5K Male
Male Overall Winners                                                                                   
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Daniel Bisers           Baltimore  MD     47      28        1        17:47.2
       2    Chris Vesely            Baltimore  MD     565     20        2        18:49.0
       3    Greg Jubb               Baltimore  MD     646     24        3        19:00.9
Male 15 and Under                                                                                 
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age    Overall     Time 
       1    RUSSELL SCHWARTZ        Ellicott City  MD 743     14       10        21:07.7
       2    GEORGE DUNCAN           Annapolis  MD     727     15       28        23:23.2
       3    JARED LEATH             Severn  MD        754     13       37        24:17.4
Male 16 to 19                                                                                      
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    CODY ORDAK              Baltimore  MD      711    18       32        23:48.1
       2    Trip Logue              Columbia  MD       314    18       39        24:32.8
       3    Matthew Weingram        Owings mills  MD   587    18       42        24:49.6
Male 20 to 29                                                                                   
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Aaron Long              Baltimore  MD     315     23        4        19:07.4
       2    Paul Jerry              Clinton  MD       248     24        5        19:11.6
       3    Joe Roy-Mayhew          Baltimore  MD     456     28        6        19:47.7
Male 30 to 39                                                                                      
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Michael Potts           Laurel  MD        429     30        7        20:37.0
       2    Phillip Pawlukovic      forest hill  MD   410     35        8        21:00.4
       3    William Aleshire        Gambrills  MD      17     38        9        21:02.9
Male 40 to 49                                                                                    
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    David Lang              Olney  MD         289     44       12        21:21.2
       2    Tim Brown               Baltimore  MD     69      44       13        21:37.4
       3    Hunter Spotts           Baltimore  MD    507      45       15        21:58.7
Male 50 to 59*                                                                                       
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall       Time 
       1    DUANE CHRISTY           Havre de Grace  MD 708     51       23        22:50.6
       2    Steve Phillips          Crofton  MD        425     53       30        23:30.3
       3    Elliott Weinstein       Baltimore MD       588     53       31        23:34.4
Male 60 to 69                                                                                    
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall       Time 
       1    Pim Brouwers            Silver Spring  MD  64      66       63        26:37.7
       2    Charles Kuning          Baltimore  MD      687     62      105        29:49.5
       3    Larry Stake             Hanover  MD        510     66      197        35:21.7
Male 70 and over                                                                                     
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall       Time 
       1    David Graham            New Windsor  MD    205     72      311        49:05.2
       2    Newell Devilbiss        Abingdon  MD       147     71      345        1:00:39.3
5K Female
Female Overall Winners                                                                                    
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Rebecca Hemler          Nottingham  MD      224   34        1        21:19.4
       2    Paige Boehmcke          Baltimore  MD        50   23        2        22:41.4
       3    Ana Lesho               Ellicott City  MD   304   13        3        23:48.9
Female 15 and Under                                                                                   
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Emily Coard             Abingdon  MD        113   13       70        32:23.9
       2    CAROLINE BOYD           DAVIDSONVILLE  MD   785   14       86        34:00.4
       3    grace frazier           ijamsville  MD      183   12       93        34:12.0
Female 16 to 19                                                                                 
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Jordan Levush           ABingdon  MD        650   16       20        28:26.4
       2    Emma Sullivan           Abingdon  MD        528   16       31        29:43.2
       3    Alivia Ruggiero         Elkridge  MD        662   16       88        34:02.5
Female 20 to 29                                                                                  
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    MARIA SAMBUTO           Owings Mills  MD   722    22        5        24:47.5
       2    Mary Olson              Baltimore  MD      394    23        6        25:06.2
       3    Ashley Canter           Baltimore  MD       84    24        8        25:35.8
Female 30 to 39                                                                                
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Kristin Cunningham      Baltimore  MD       675   30        4        24:20.7
       2    Amanda Kingsland        Catonsville  MD     266   33        7        25:21.1
       3    Jennifer Coletta        Columbia  MD        116   32       11        26:21.3
Female 40 to 49                                                                                  
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Kim Novak               Laurel  MD          389    44      23        28:39.1
       2    Adrienne Stith          Laurel  MD          669   46       26        29:00.5
       3    Amy Dorman              Hampstead  MD       156   47       30        29:40.4
Female 50 to 59                                                                              
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall       Time 
       1    Terry Merritt           Baltimore  MD       353    53       10        26:16.8
       2    Laurie Kimbel           Baltimore  MD       262    50       15        27:29.1
       3    Brenda Placke           Hanover  PA         660    57       19        28:20.8
Female 60 to 69                                                                              
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall       Time 
       1    Joan Koch               Allentown  PA       270    60       24        28:44.1
       2    Linda Tice              Timonium  MD        548    69       34        29:44.8
       3    Marina Stewart          Baltimore  MD       516    68      116        35:25.6
Female 70 and over                                                                                
    Place    Name                   City              Bib No  Age   Overall      Time 
       1    Karen Ohlrich           New Market  MD      392   72      180        39:10.9
       2    Jeanette A Novak        Damascus  MD        388   70      234        44:45.8
       3    DEBORA LARRY            Lutherville  MD     759   72      259     

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
86°