West Laurel: Health runs evolved into long-distance races for our neighbor

Ed Masuoka is a guy who started running in 2007 to control his weight and has been running ever since. With a mostly sedentary job at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he ran 1,800 miles on a treadmill and lost almost 50 pounds the first year. At a height of 6 feet 1 inch, he was the ideal weight for a marathon runner. He eventually began running on roads and he ran a 2-mile fun run with some coworkers. In 2008, he ran a 5k (3.1 mile) and a half marathon (13.1 miles) in Baltimore on the same day.

With his success in running two races in one day, he decided that he might also be able to pull off a marathon. He ran the Harrisburg Marathon the next month but was disappointed with his time. Ed made a decision at that point to properly train, so he began training with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club Experienced Marathoners Program (XMP).

Since Harrisburg, he has amazingly run an additional 60 marathons and nine short ultra marathons (races of 31-40 miles). His goals include running faster, and running longer distances, which includes a 50-mile race this summer.

Ultimately, Ed is hoping to run a 100-mile race by next spring as his proud wife, Penny, and daughter, Christine, cheer him on. Suppose you could say that Ed Masuoka has a lot of gumption!

I spy a West Laurel neighbor, Dave Strahle, selflessly tending the main entrance of our community. Daily, he mows the lawn with his push mower and makes sure the flower beds are beautiful. I'm not sure how the corner of Route 198 and Bond Mill Road, with our big West Laurel welcoming sign, would fare without Dave taking his time and energy to be an extra special neighbor to all of us.

The Bond Mill PTO Carnival is on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. What I consider as the best carnival for miles around, the Bond Mill carnival offers rides, games, silent auction baskets and good food. This is a West Laurel tradition that has been most popular for several decades and it only gets better with time.

Bond Mill's Destination ImagiNation Team, with very talented students Drew Robertson, Derek Ohringer, Braelynn South, Cameron Brown, Matthew Stroud, Jacob Breedlove and Mykenna Maniece, has the opportunity to advance to the global competition in Knoxville, Tenn., on Memorial Day weekend. Even though they are very talented critical thinkers, the team has to raise enough money for the trip and it will be very expensive. They are fundraising like crazy. If you would like to help the DI Team reach their dream of competing in the global completion, donations are very welcome. You can mail a check to Bond Mill Elementary, 16001 Sherwood Ave., Laurel, MD 20707 or drop a check off at the school office. Make checks payable to Bond Mill Elementary PTO (memo DI Team). If you have questions, call Erin Maniece at 240 449-0393 or email walk2323@yahoo.com.

It's time for spring cleaning and the West Laurel Civic Association wants to help you. In conjunction with the Waste Management Division, Department of Environmental Affairs, Prince George's County, the West Laurel Civic Association will have Dumpster Day on Saturday, June 2. Three dumpsters will be placed at the West Laurel Community Center parking lot from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or until they are full. No hazardous waste or electronics will be accepted. Volunteers from the association will be on hand to monitor the junk being placed in the dumpsters.

Happy Mother's Day!

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