APPROACHING THE finish line Saturday for the Crofton 10K Challenge, Tim Jenkins slowed a bit and looked ahead. No one was there. Then he looked back, to see the next runner trailing several yards back.
With a surprised expression on his face, Jenkins strode through the tape, winning the 12th annual running of the race, sponsored by Crofton Kiwanis and Chesapeake Bagel Bakery.
A 24-year-old medical student at Johns Hopkins, Jenkins, a Colorado resident living in Baltimore, enjoys running and has taken part in other events, including the Governor's Race across the Bay Bridge. But Saturday marked his first win, as he came in ahead of the field of nearly 200.
The women's division prize was claimed by Gloria Santarpia of Odenton.
The winning time of 37 minutes, 53 seconds was slower than the best of previous years, including the course record of 31:51 set by Tom Brown in 1992. But Jenkins and the rest of the runners faced heat and humidity that resulted in slower times.
Along the race course, which wound through Crofton neighborhoods, members of Arundel High School's Key Club operated water stands to help runners deal with the heat. One Crofton homeowner arranged a surprise, setting up a stepladder on his sidewalk and attaching a water hose that sprayed a cooling mist across the street.
It was one of the favorite spots in the race.
Although runners were from all over the area, it was the community nature of the event that made it special. Several fathers waited with strollers at the finish line to cheer on wives. Three-year-old Ross Filostrat yelled, "Yea, Daddy," when his dad finished, bringing a big grin to father Toney Filostrat's face.
Todd Warner, Crofton resident and 1998 Anne Arundel County High School cross country champion, greeted friends as he ran through the streets.
Sara Adcock, also of Crofton, stopped at the finish line, exhausted. But when the judge took her runner's tag, her face broke into a huge smile. She had done it. She had finished the race - hot, tired and happy.
Beth Parady jumped over the finish line with a skip of glee.
John Joseph "J. J." Wetzel , a 14-year-old freshman at Spalding High School, was the youngest racer but finished fourth overall. He ran track at Spalding this year as a freshman and plans to join its cross country team in the fall. Oldest racer honors go to two 72-year-olds, Bernie Noziac and Thomas McKee.
Before the race, Derek Ammons was awarded runner tag No. 1, honoring his devotion to the sport. A resident of Russett and member of the Annapolis Striders runners group, he has taken part in every Crofton 10K since its inception.
Crofton 10K organizer Reggie Haseltine said this year's event was a great race, despite the uncomfortable weather, and he is looking forward to next year's.
Teens helping needy
School is out today, and all around the area, teen-agers are planning their summer.
They might be sleeping late, working at summer jobs, taking trips to the beach - and for one group of Crofton youths, helping the needy.
Ruth Beebe, David Fries, Lindsey Hanson, Laura Lo and Matt Stoy, participants in a senior high work camp program sponsored by Crofton's Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, will spend next week repairing homes in the mountains of West Virginia. They will be accompanied by their pastor, the Rev. Jon Fregger, and Jan Hanson, the group's adult sponsor.
Preparations for the trip have been under way for several months.
Next month, the group will report to the church about the experience in Appalachia.
Group marking anniversary
The Christian German American Women's Group will celebrate its fifth anniversary at noon Monday in the blue room of the Chapel Center in Fort Meade.
After praise and reflection, a German lunch will be served.
Music will be provided by pianist Heidi Zeich and guitarist Claudia Friend.
New members are welcome. Information: Irene Kucholik, 301- 621-7862 or Lisa Beilke, 301-604-5880.
"Bull, Bear, Do You Really Care?" is the title of a free investment seminar being presented at 7 p.m. June 22 at Walden Golf Club by the Crofton office of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Al McGarity, a regional mutual fund coordinator for the firm, will discuss how to deal with uncertainty in the volatile stock market. Refreshments will be served.
Reservations and information: Frank Dobbyn, 410-451-6000.