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34th annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K kicks off holiday celebrations

Dave Berdan won the Arbutus Firecracker 10K last year for the fourth time since 2007.
Dave Berdan won the Arbutus Firecracker 10K last year for the fourth time since 2007. (File photo/2015)

Nobody knows who will cross the finish line first at the 34th annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K, which kicks off a day of Fourth of July holiday festivities at 8 a.m., but the runners know they will be well-hydrated and wet at the end of the race.

Arbutus families living along the 6.2-mile course will provide cooling spray with hoses and sprinkles and area churches will provide water stations.

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The winner is anybody's guess, but if 2015 champion Dave Berdan runs, there is no doubt he will be among the favorites.

Berdan, 35, won the event for the fourth time last year in a time of 32.56.4

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He also won in 2007, 2008, 2009 and was second in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

He didn't run in 2013 or 2014, but made his comeback a special one.

The Stevenson University outdoor track head coach and cross country assistant got no help from the rain last year on a humid morning because it came late in his race, but he did take advantage of the sprinklers.

"I used them every time I could," he said.

The Owings Mills resident, who also won the Baltimore Marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival in October, admitted last year he loves the atmosphere at the Arbutus race.

"I just like the course and I like the atmosphere," he said. "It's great with people sitting out in their chairs, and it's a great community event with people handing out water in front of their house."

Tyler Muse (34.11.8), Eric Schuler (35:12.0), Nathon Drenkow (36:42.3) and Jason Bui (37:02.3) rounded out the top five at last year's race.

Catonsville High graduate Ty Stump, winner of the 2012 and 2013 races, finished eighth (37:26.0) and Catonsvile resident Ben Bartlett's sixth place (37:11.9) was tops among area finishers.

There were 241 male runners and 174 female for a total of 415 last year.

The female champion was Alex Wang, who crossed the line in 37:06.1.

She was followed by 2014 race champion Julia Roman-Duval (37:57.8), Nicole Wilson (38:11.5), Sherry Stick (38:26.6) and Megan DiGregorio (39:26.7).

The top local resident to cross the line was Catonsville High graduate Hannah Llorin, who placed 11th (44:35.2).

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Wang, who like Berdan is an accomplished marathoner, was running her first 10K in a year.

The race, sponsored by Chesapeake Bank of Maryland, Northwest Bank and the Arbutus Recreation and Parks Council, starts and finishes at Arbutus Middle School.

Cost is $50 and there will be a one-mile free fun run.

T-Shirts are guaranteed to the first 450 registered runners.

Packet pickup is June 29-30, from 4-7 p.m. at the Arbutus Middle School recreation office and on race day from 6:30-7:30 a.m. at Arbutus Middle School.

Awards will be giving to age group winners and the overall male and female winners will win $100 each.

Second place will receive $50 and third place will get $25.

Contact Valerie Stocksdale at rstocksdale32426@comcast.net for more information.

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