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8-miler helps Nicholson train for Boston classic RUNNING

Stacey Nicholson says Sunday's Valentine 8-Miler at Loch Raven fit nicely into her training for this spring's Boston Marathon.

"There's a 10-miler -- a club race -- next week," said Nicholson, who won the female division of the Baltimore Road Runners Club's Valentine race in 48 minutes, 36 seconds. "There's a half-marathon in another month. That's pretty good [competitive] racing [training] for a spring marathon."

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Nicholson, who has been doing 70 miles of training each week in addition to a speed workout, qualified for Boston at the Marine Corps Marathon, which she finished in 3:04:44.

"That was the first time I ran it [a marathon]," Nicholson, 28, said. "It seemed pretty easy."

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That's easy for someone who ran in both high school (Hereford) and college (Bucknell) to say. But after that, she took off for several years.

"I became a fat vegetable," Nicholson, a civil engineer, said. "I was running only 15 to 30 miles a week. That's a far cry from what it takes to compete with the runners out here."

Robert Yara, 36, was the overall Valentine winner in 42:23. The top finishers:


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