Hill, and maybe shorts, to return for Constellation


Runners of all abilities from the old Maryland Marathon probably will recognize a familiar sight in this year's Constellation Classic.

Marathoners at the front of the field will recall a tail-end view of a pair of Union Jack shorts. Middle-of-the-pack runners will remember a frontal view as the leaders made the turn at Peerce's Plantation and returned through Loch Raven watershed. Back-of-the-packers got their frontal glimpse as the leaders made their way back up Satyr Hill.

That's because Ron Hill, native of Great Britain and proud wearer of shorts emblazoned with the Union Jack, was at the front of the field in his seven Maryland Marathon appearances in the late 1970s and early '80s.

Now, he's back -- scheduled to make his first area appearance since then, in the 18th annual Constellation Classic 10K on May 23 at the Inner Harbor.

"I'm running in what used to be called the Big Boy 20K Classic the weekend after the Constellation," Hill, 55, said last week. "I'm coming over to do that race in Wheeling [W.Va.], and I'm going to do a 5K in Meadville, Pa., the Monday after that. I was looking through Running Times and saw the advertisement for Constellation and decided to do it."

Constellation race director Les Kinion says: "He says he loves Baltimore, so he wants to come here and run in Baltimore again."

There's good reason for the love affair. Always a favorite among spectators, as well as fellow runners, Hill won the Maryland Marathon in 1974 and had second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in 1975 through 1978, respectively. A former Olympian, Hill probably is known best for what is believed to be the world's longest running streak.

During a stretch that began Dec. 20, 1964, Hill has run every day -- and often twice a day.

"That [running twice a day] ended after 26.2 years," Hill said. "You'll probably recognize the significance of that figure. It was good while I was running well, but one day I was out running a nine-mile run and thought, 'This is not going well at all.' "

That was enough to curtail his two-a-day outings, but his streak of running every day has reached 28 years, 4 months, 21 days.

"A year ago, I went through 10,000 miles," Hill said.

These days, Hill, who won the Boston Marathon in 1970 in the then-record time of 2:10:30, limits his distances to something less than the 26-mile, 385-yard distance.

"The half-marathon is really where I want to go these days," says Hill, who recently made Lichtenstein the 54th country in which he has run.

But he still has fond memories of his runs in Baltimore.

"I know I ran 2:29 there, which -- looking back -- was a pretty good time," he says.

Even the Union Jack shorts, which he has foregone, might be making a return for the Constellation, Baltimore's largest 10K.

"I think I might dig them out," Hill said.


The Annapolis Striders team of Rose Malloy (3:12), Danalee Green (3:36) and Meredith Bonta (3:58) won the Boston Marathon women's masters team award. They took home a Waterford bowl for their effort. . . . Evan Thomas of the Annapolis Striders will conduct a 10-week beginners' running class starting next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Bates Junior High Track in Annapolis. For information, call Thomas at (410) 760-9188. . . . Chandini Bachman will give a workshop on meditation and marathon running on Friday at 8 p.m. at Sri Chinmoy Book Room, 3121 St. Paul St., Room 27. For information, call (410) 467-3223.

Coming events

Saturday, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

Saturday, RASAC Fallston 5-Miler, Fallston, 8 a.m., (410) 879-1796.

Saturday, WRRC Mill Run 4-Miler, Westminster, 8 a.m., (410) 795-2086.

Sunday, BRRC Championship 5-Miler, Hillside and Stevenson Roads, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

Sunday, Post Preakness Party 5K, Children's Hospital, 9 a.m., (410) 494-8649.

Sunday, Western Heights Middle School 5K, Hagerstown, 10 a.m., (301) 733-6076.

Sunday, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

May 22, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

May 22, RASAC Meadowvale Mallard 5K, Susquehanna State Park, 8 a.m.May 22, Edgewood Community Fair 5K, Edgewood, 9 a.m., (410) 679-9783.

May 22, Constellation Classic Expo, Marriott Hotel Inner Harbor, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 23, Constellation Classic 10K, Inner Harbor, 8 a.m., (410) 882-5455.

May 23, Columbia Triathlon, Centennial Lake Park, 7 a.m., (410) 730-3880.

May 28, Crustacean Crawl 4-miler, Goucher College, 7 p.m., (410) 666-1840.

May 29, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

May 29, RASAC Memorial Day Wilderness 5-Miler, 8 a.m., (410) 836-3192.

May 30, People Encouraging People 5Karibbean Run, Boston Street, 9 a.m, (410) 494-8649.

May 31, MCRRC Ekiden Relay, Kensington, 8 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

May 31, HCS Fruit Relay 10M, Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

June 3, WRRC Twilight Series #1, Two-Mile Track Run, Western Maryland College, (410) 848-8332.

June 4, MCRRC Go For the Gold Track, Rockville, 7:15 p.m., (301) 353-0200.

June 5, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

June 5, Sri Chinmoy Runners Are Smilers 2-miler, Patterson Park, 8 a.m., (410) 467-3223.

June 5, Roll, Stride and Ride Triathlon (6M in-line skate, 13.6M bike, 3.4M run), Columbia, 9 a.m., (410) 882-6103.

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