When Dave Berardi and Stacey Nicholson won their divisions of Paolo's 5K last year, it was a preview of the Runners of the Year honors that the Baltimore Road Runners Club awarded them in February.
Though Berardi concedes that no one in the area is running better than Ken Fowler this year and that a repeat award in the male division is not likely, Berardi and Nicholson repeated their .. 1993 first-place Paolo's performances in this year's run.
While Fowler was winning the same day's Columbus Chase 10K, Berardi finished Paolo's in 15 minutes, 25 seconds and Nicholson in 17:59 nine days ago.
But the day was far from over for Berardi, who did an 18-mile training run with Brian Pownall on the Northern Central Railroad Trail after the race.
"He ended up running 20 miles," Berardi said about Pownall. "I ran 18 miles. I needed to get in -- basically -- a long day."
That's because he is in training for this month's Chicago Marathon, in which he hopes to qualify for the men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
To qualify, Berardi must run a 2-hour, 20-minute or better marathon, something he did at last year's Columbus Marathon, where he ran a 2:19:58. Since the window for Olympic qualifying didn't open until Jan. 1 of this year, Berardi must record a similar performance to get in.
"I feel like I'm a little stronger than last year," Berardi said. "I might not be quite as quick. Last year, the Columbus conditions were absolutely perfect and I ran a solid race. I was fortunate to run with people who were trying to do the same kind of thing as I."
Berardi says he isn't deterred by what he considers a subpar performance in the Philadelphia Distance Run half-marathon last month.
"It was almost three minutes slower than last year," Berardi said about his 1:08:23, 28th-place finish. "I never got going properly."
That is something that 18-mile runs on top of first-place 5K finishes tend to cure.
"Basically, I'm putting in 80- to 100-mile weeks," Berardi said about his training.
There were 191 finishers in Saturday's Cardinal Run 3.3-miler at Calvert Hall and 613 finishers in Sunday's Lawyers Have Heart 5K at Towson. . . . As part of the Baltimore Road Runners Club's fall cross country series, the BRRC and the Annapolis Striders will square off in a dual meet on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at Baybrook Park. For information, call (410) 789-7560. . . . The weekend's top finishers:
Saturday, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven Reservoir, 8 a.m., (410) 243-3153.
Saturday, Aloha 5K, Baltimore, 9 a.m., (410) 377-8882.
Saturday, Sallies Homecoming 5K, Wilmington, Del., 9 a.m., (302) 654-6400.
Saturday, Covered Bridge 10-Mile Run, Atglen, Pa., 9 a.m., (610) 593-6538.
Saturday, U. of Delaware Campus Run-Around 5K, Newark, Del., 9:30 a.m., (302) 831-1437.
Sunday, Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, 9 a.m.Sunday, Women's Race Against Breast Cancer 5K, Wilmington, Del., 10 a.m., (302) 239-0838.
Sunday, Bill Brown Youth Cross Country Series, Bel Air, 2 p.m., (410) 879-2168.
Oct. 29, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven Reservoir, 8 a.m., (410) 243-3153.
Oct. 29, Halloween Happening 4-miler, Oregon Ridge, 9 a.m., children's events, 9:30 a.m., (410) 377-8882.
Oct. 29, Monster Mash Dash 5K, APG-Aberdeen, 9 a.m., (410) 272-5379.
Oct. 29, MCRRC Halloween Young Run, Rockville, 9 a.m., (301) 353-0200.
Oct. 29, Sea Witch 5K, Rehoboth Beach, Del., 9 a.m., (302) 684-1512.
Oct. 29, Seaside 10-Mile Run, 5K fun run, Ocean City, 9:30 a.m., (410) 882-5455.
Oct. 29, Autumn Leaves 5-Miler, Emmitsburg, 10 a.m., (301) 447-5330.
Oct. 29, Ride and Tie 6-, 12-, 20-milers (2 people, 1 horse), Centreville, Va., 11 a.m., (703) 830-8394.
Oct. 30, WRRC Baugher's 10K, 20K, Westminster, 8 a.m.Oct. 30, MCRRC Rockville 10K, Rockville, 8 a.m., (301) 353-0200.
Oct. 30, BRRC Masters' 10K, Loch Raven, 9 a.m., (410) 243-3153.
Oct. 30, Tri-Maryland Biathlon (4M run, 35M bike, 4M run), Pylesville, 9 a.m., (410) 882-6103.
Oct. 30, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Thunder Hill Elementary, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.
Oct. 30, Harrier's Harvest 5-Mile Run, New Castle, Del.
Nov. 5, BRRC Cross Country Series, Baybrook Park, Brooklyn, dual meet between BRRC and Annapolis Striders, 10 a.m., (410) 789-7560.
Nov. 6, HCS Run Through the Grapevine 8K, Mount Airy, 8 a.m., (301) 776-3153.
Nov. 6, BRRC Children's Cross Country Championships, Goucher College, 9 a.m., (410) 243-3153.
Nov. 6, WRRC Caple's 3-Mile Cross Country Caper, Westminster, 9 a.m.Nov. 6, Bill Brown Youth Cross Country Series, Bel Air, 2 p.m., (410) 879-2168.
Nov. 6, Patapsco Ramble 5- and 10-Milers, Patapsco State Park.
Nov. 6, New York City Marathon, New York City, (212) 860-4455.
Nov. 6, Tri-Maryland Biathlon Series (3M run, 18M bike, 3M run), Hagerstown, 10 a.m., (410) 882-6103.