Braving the cold, Westminster Road Runners Club starts off 2018 running the Winfield Mile

Braving the cold, Westminster Road Runners Club starts off 2018 running the Winfield Mile.

Defying temperatures as low as 19 degrees, twenty runners assembled at noon on New Years Day to pound the Winfield Mile. The Westminster Road Runners Club has held the race since 1985.

“The challenge today is to keep their hands and extremities warm enough to run comfortably,” WRRC President Frank Schaeffer said. “Once they start running their body heat should keep them warm in most conditions.”


Schaeffer said the club has been around since 1978 and is celebrating its 40th year. He said it is a great club for people who are looking to run races year round.

The club’s goal is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle through running. Schaeffer said the club’s members range widely in age, ability and running goals. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Karen Rinehart, of Eldersburg, described this year’s race as “invigorating!”

“This year I plan to do a race a month so I’ve got one in for January,” Rinehart said.

John Way, of Montgomery Village, said it was his 13th consecutive year running the race.

“I do a 5k in the morning and then I do the mile at noon. I’m glad I did it!”

Liuda Galinaitis, of Westminster, said she has run this race for many years.

“I do this to motivate myself to run,” Galinaitis said. “The race wasn’t hard because it was downhill and the wind was at my back.”

Samantha Merkle, of Baltimore, said she had been training alone over winter break and she was happy to be part of a “fun run with other people.”

“During the warmup, I ran into the wind and that was horrible, but when I raced the mile I just got warm because I running so hard,” Merkle said.

Patty Engler, of Eldersburg, said she “just wanted to start the year off right.”

“After a week of eating, I thought it would be a good thing to do,” Engler said. “I had a lot of layers on and I actually started sweating. It wasn’t that bad except for the wind.”

Tonna Arbaugh, of Westminster, said she participates in races to “keep improving my time and set my own personal record.”

“The important is just to get out and do it and then stick with it,” Arbaugh said. “Don’t give up. It can be hard at the beginning but it gets easier.”