10K is road to trials for marathon

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Travis Walter is on a training path that he hopes will take him to the Men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and Sunday's Constellation Classic 10K at the Inner Harbor proved a pleasant stop along the road.

"My girlfriend and her parents live in Ellicott City and we were up in Philadelphia last [Saturday] night for a wedding so I'm here," said Walter, who lives in Raleigh, N.C.

His 29-minute, 46-second, first-place finish in the Constellation -- eight seconds faster than defending champion Paul Mbugua's second place -- attests to that.

A few weeks ago, Walker ran in the 25K National Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of a plan to get to February's marathon trials in Charlotte, N.C. He finished third in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 20 seconds -- and on pace to meet the marathon qualifying standard of 2:20.

Next are the National Track Championships in Sacramento, Calif., where Walter will compete in 10,000 meters.

"They're more of a sprint for me," he said.

But Walter, 25, realizes the 10K distance does not afford him the best opportunity.

"My PR [personal record] is 28:50," he said. "The Kenyans are running 26:50."

Enter the marathon, a distance Walter first ran at last year's Columbus (Ohio) Marathon, which he finished in 2:26.

"I was on a 2:16 pace until 16 miles," Walter said. "I hit that wall they talk about."

He is undecided whether he will return to Columbus in an attempt to qualify for the trials.

"I can't decide if I will do a late-fall or an early-fall marathon," he said. "Basically, all I want to do is hit the 2:20 standard."

In any event, Walter knows the 10K is a steppingstone.

"With marathons, I'll do a lot of 10Ks," said Walter, who was graduated last year from Virginia Tech -- where he ran cross country and track. "They are excellent races to see where your fitness level is."

In Sunday's race, Walter stayed among the leaders for the race's first leg east on Pratt Street -- made more difficult by a headwind in otherwise near-perfect racing conditions.

"There was a headwind all the way out," said seventh-place finisher Ken Fowler.

"We were playing games out there," Walter said. "We were surging, slowing down."

Old Dominion women's cross country coach Lorraine Hochella was the top women's finisher in 34:21.

:. The top runners among the 1,680 finishers:

Males: 1. Travis Walter, 29:46; 2. Paul Mbugua, 29:54; 3. Brian Ferrari, 30:03; 4. Gerry Clapper, 30:10; 5. Bruce Frame, 30:12; 6. Robert Conder, 30:37; 7. Ken Fowler, 31:05; 8. Tom Stevens, 31:42; 9. Chris Chattin, 31:49; 10. Edmund Burke, 32:01; 11. Brian Daugherty, 32:09; 12. Robert Marino, 32:11; 13. Mike Woodman, 32:13; 14. Neville Anderson, 32:15; 15. Peter Kirk, 32:28. Masters: 1. Michael Lieder, 33:51; 2. Gary Wolfram, 33:54.

Females: 1. Lorraine Hochella, 34:21; 2. Bea Marie Altieri, 35:25; 3. Connie Buckwalter, 35:40; 4. Cathy Stanmeyer, 35:59; 5. Stacey Nicholson, 36:34; 6. Maureen Hall, 37:23; 7. Amy Dalton, 37:25; 8. Claudia Kasin, 37:58; 9. Denise Knickman, 38:38; 10. Margaret Starnes, 38:42; 11. Vicki Lang, 38:47; 12. Kimberlee Burns, 39:26; 13. Gwen Esdale-Torchia, 39:38; 14. Carole Rosasco, 39:50; 15. Deborah Barnett, 39:52. Masters: 1. Starnes; 2. Esdale-Torchia.

Briefly

Area finishers in Saturday's Big Boy Classic 20K in Wheeling, W.Va.: Ty Lanahan, 1:13; Dave Lowe, 1:13:28; Allen Hannigan, 1:22:33; Linda Wack, 1:24:33; Rick Bingham, 1:24:48; Geriann Bell, 1:26:01; Keith Burkhart, 1:26:40; Denise Hannigan, 1:30:19; Linda Lash, 1:30:19; Ed Luke, 1:35:37; Patrick Raymond, 1:35:39; Nancy Myers, 1:38:33.

Coming events

Saturday, Tri-Maryland Cambridge Biathlon (3M run, 20M bike, 3M run), Cambridge, 9 a.m., (410) 882-6103.

Saturday, MCRRC Capital Crescent Run 5K, Bethesda, 9:15 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

Saturday, 24-Hour Relay for Life, Alexandria, Va., (703) 938-5550.

Sunday, Herndon Festival 10K, Herndon, Va., 7:30 a.m., (703) 435-6866.

Sunday, BRRC Championship Series 5K, Lake Montebello, 8 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

Sunday, RASAC Bel Air Town Run 5K, Bel Air, 8 a.m., (410) 879-0056.

Sunday, HCS Spring Series 2M, 5M, 8M, Swansfield Hill Elementary School, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

June 6, Pennsylvania Avenue Mile, Wilmington, Del., 6:30 p.m., (302) 654-6400.

June 7, Carderock 10K, Carderock, 7 p.m., (703) 241-0395.

June 8, WRRC Twilight Series #1 Two-Mile Track Run, Westminster, 7 p.m., (410) 848-8332.

June 8, MCRRC Loch NIST Monster Cross Country #2 8K, Gaithersburg, 7 p.m., (301) 353-0200.

June 10, Baltimore County Police Chase 5-Miler, Oregon Ridge Park, 8:30 a.m., (410) 377-8882.

June 10, Western Heights 5,000, Hagerstown, 8:30 a.m., (301) 733-6076.

June 10, Flag Day 5K, Somerset, Pa., 9 a.m., (814) 445-2208.

June 10, Rocky Gap Triathlon, Cumberland, (301) 724-5445.

AJune 10, Advil Mini Marathon 10K, New York City, (212) 423-2294.

June 11, Essex Community College 5K Run, Essex CC, 8 a.m., (410) 882-5455.

June 11, RASAC Rock Spring McDonalds 5K, Bel Air, 8 a.m., (410) 569-7732.

June 11, Flag Day 5K, Johnstown, Pa., 9:30 a.m., (814) 266-8470.

June 11, HCS Spring Series 2M, 10K, 15K, Thunder Hill Elementary School, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

June 14, BRRC Summer Track Series No. 1 (1,500M, 100M, 1,000M, 400M, 3 miles, 4 x 100M relay), Loyola High School, 6:30 p.m., (410) 243-3153.

June 17, RASAC Gunpowder 10-Miler, APG-Edgewood Area, 8 a.m., (410) 638-1091.

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