Looking at a running challenge in the abstract can be daunting. How does one approach a run in mountains you have never seen before? How do you prepare to run 26.2 miles in a marathon when you have never run more than 20 miles? How do you run in heat and humidity with 10 miles between aid stations? How does a runner approach a 24-hour run when their “long” run each week is two hours?
But it is these challenges — and the unknowns that lurk in the event — that fuel our desire to get out there and run. Many times, what the runner is concerned about during an event (how will I get over that mountain; how will I run that long; it is how far to the next aid station?) ultimately turns out to be non-issues; rather, it is the unexpected turn during the race that suddenly becomes a front and center concern. A good runner plans for the expected challenges and embraces the unexpected.
On June 2 and 3, Charm City Run-Annapolis (CCR) offered runners the opportunity to meet a 24-hour run challenge while supporting a great cause, Danny’s Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County that raises funds directed to changing the course of addiction in Anne Arundel County.
Since 2018, CCR has put on the 24-hour Run Your Town Challenge at the Annapolis Towne Center. It’s the brainchild of Kelly Maurer, the Training Program Director. The course is deceptively simple, a 0.94-mile loop around the Towne Center. Sounds straightforward, right? Run and repeat. Well, it isn’t, but it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was simple.
The race started at 6 p.m. and went until 6 p.m. the next day, a daunting challenge on its own. It is run entirely on concrete, and the weather can be quite hot and humid, which it was this year. Despite those obstacles, 104 runners competed, with Serge Arbonna of Parkville winning the men’s division with 118.44 miles, averaging 11:00 minutes per mile, and Meghan Curley taking the women’s division (third place overall) by running 82.72 miles. Next time you go to the Towne Center and complain about having to walk from one end to the other, imagine doing it 118 times!
The race raised $12,500 this year for Danny’s Fund from donations, race registrations and matched donations from CCR and Brooks. As Danny’s mother said, the impact of these funds, which total well over $50,000 since the event’s founding, are used to “educate about addiction, rather than stigmatize, and an ultimate goal to save lives.”
Even though some may not want to do a 0.94-mile course repeated 100 times, Jimmy Wilson, who finished second in the race with 101.52 miles, echoed the joy of working towards a result while supporting a great cause.
“Charm City Run totally spoiled us with an aid station, an empty storefront to rest if needed, and real bathrooms with indoor plumbing,” he said. What more could a runner want?
The big takeaway is this: if you have the right mindset and motivation, you are well-equipped to take on any challenge thrown at you. You just need to pick the right one and dedicate yourself to it.
Annapolis Striders Junior Striders
Speaking of right mindsets, the Annapolis Striders will be holding its annual Junior Striders training sessions starting June 21. These low-key training sessions teach our younger runners the importance of exercise and the benefits that come from it.
The free program is open to children between the ages of 5-9 and 10-14 whose parents are Striders members. The program implements games and activities designed to encourage youngsters and build the stamina required for a one-mile run, or four laps around a track. The program is conducted assuming zero running experience and is designed to be fun and memorable, while achieving the goal of completing their target run.
The graduation race is the John Wall Mile, held in July. Go to annapolisstriders.org/junior-striders/ for more information.
(All subject to government approval and compliance with COVID-19 restrictions)
- June 20: Dawson’s Father’s Day 10K, Severna Park High School (live). More information: annapolisstriders.org
- July 4: Autism Speaks 5K in Potomac. More Information: act.autismspeaks.org
- July 10: Annapolis Striders Women’s Distance Festival 5K/Run After the Women 5K in West Annapolis (live). More Information: annapolisstriders.org
- July 31: Endless Summer 6-Hour run, Greenbury Point (in-person). More information: annapolisstriders.org
- Sept. 11-19: Annapolis Run for the Light House (virtual) and with in-person race on Sept. 19. More information: annapolisrunforthelighthouse.org
Have a question, comment or additional calendar items? Email Bob Cawood at firstname.lastname@example.org.