Dustin Meeker and Melissa Tanner, a marathoning and blogging couple from Baltimore, raced to victory on weary legs in the Bel Air Town Run Sunday.

Meeker led the men's field, finishing with a 55-second lead in 15:27. Tanner won the women's race in 17:37, leading four-time Town Run champ Megan DiGregorio by 18 seconds at the finish.


Each took a day off from marathon training for the race, pausing in their 70-to-80-miles-per-week preparations for the Eugene Marathon at the University of Oregon on July 27. Meeker has a marathon best of 2:33:27, and Tanner, 2:51:14.

Tanner, a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, completed an 18-mile training run two days before the race, leaving her legs fatigued but strong enough to carry her through mile splits of 5:18, 5:51 and 5:50. Her time was well off her career best of 17:02 but her fastest of this season by 5 seconds. DiGregorio finished seconds behind her in 18:03. Carly Page was third in 18:51.

It was Tanner's first and Meeker's second appearance in the Bel Air Town Run. The 2009 Town Run was Meeker's first race upon moving to Maryland, and in it he finished 10th in 16:39. Better conditioned this time, the 32-year-old federal employee surged halfway through the course and pulled away to lead all 1,469 runners to the finish. Rory Jenkins finished second in 16:22, and Daniel Colopietro, third in 16:28.

Afterward, Meeker and Tanner presented comments on racing and training in blog posts (at melissatanner.blogspot.com and ddmeeker.blogspot.com) and in Twitter tweets.

Karsten Brown, newly 40, won the men's masters division in 16:30, with Rob Tisch second in 17:14 and Charles Powell II third in 17:15. First place among women's masters went to Denise Knickman in 19:39 with Maureen Hall second in 21:27 and Ruth Taylor third in 21:29.

In this, the 34th annual running, the family theme of the Town Run was apparent. Ten members of Jim and Germaine Vadas' family ran. Grandson James Vadas led the family with a 13th place finish in 17:22. Grandmom Germaine placed third in the over-70 age group.

The Kays family had four finishers, with the two youngest, Grace and Victoria, winning age-group awards. Jerry Henderson led the 45-49 age group, and daughter Savannah led the 11-14 group in 24:03. Katherine Eckhart placed third in 15-19 in 22:39 and mom Karla was first in 50-59 in 22:13.

Age-group winners were Joshua Spencer, 26:00, and Grace Kays, 24:51, in under-9; Tiller Jennings, 22:52, in 9-11; Kieran McDermott, 17:25, and Jessica Rogers, 19:32, in 12-14; Nick Fransham, 16:35, and Emily League, 21:09, in 15-19; Nick Pasko, 16:43, and Taryn Shank, 19:44, in 20-24; Alex Loper, 16:37, and Rebecca Seery, 20:02, in 25-29; Nick Klastava, 17:38, and Kelly Coogan, 19:44, in 30-34.

Also, Zach Zander, 17:29, and Sarah Westervelt, 20:34, in 35-39; Maurizio Illiano, 18:36, and Jennifer Bouffard, 21:33, in 40-44. Juda McGannon, 22:17, in 45-49; Ted Poulos, 18:48, in 50-54; John Chall, 19:18, and Diane Hohman, 25:44, in 55-59; Pete Hens, 21:38, and Lydia Johnson, 23:19, in 60-64; Ronnie Wong, 22:56, and Esther Buchser, 25:51, in 65-69; and Art Gregory, 22:47, and Zoena Yannakakis, 39:32, in over-70.

Coming Races

June 7 – Moon Light 5K, Tollgate Park in Bel Air, 8 a.m., eliteracemanagement.com

June 7 – RASAC Gunpowder Neck 10 Miler, Deerfield Elementary in Edgewood, 8 a.m., http://www.runharford.com

June 8 – 6-Dot Dash 6K, Baltimore, 8 a.m, charmcityrun.com

June 8 – Red Devils 5K, Goucher College, 8:30 a.m., charmcityrun.com


June 8 – Ilan-a-thon 5K, Patterson Park in Baltimore, 9 a.m., eliteracemanagement.com