ASTLE CELEBRATES A-10
BY GEORGE BANKER
ANNAPOLIS, MD--Standing the test of time, 25 years later, "It's a good feeling that in my life I've accomplished one thing that no one else has done. I'm fortunate that my health has held up. The first year I ran in basketball shoes. I'll see if I can do 30," said State Senator John Astle of Maryland, after being the only person to have completed all 25 years of the Annapolis 10-Mile Run held Sunday, August 27, 2000, in 1:32:34. The race closed out at 3 p.m., June 3, 2000.
"In the first year as Randy Fox and I neared the finish line, I sprinted and won," added Astle. There were seven finishers in 1976 and this year, 4,099. The race has a trademark of heat and humidity."
Astle served in the Marine Corps as a captain, 1966-75 (31 air medals, 2 purple hearts, presidential service badges) and served three-and-a-half years as the presidential pilot. Now, he is a Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
The action was in the female field. Defending champion (1:01:14), Connie Buckwalter, of Lancaster, PA, had to face Jill Hargis, of Annapolis, Kim Robinson, of Arlington, and Patty Fulton, of Silver Spring. All had the speed to unseat Buckwalter. Fulton was runner-up last year (1:01:23). Hargis was the winner of last June's Lawyers Have Heart 10K and Robinson was the 1998 winner of the Marine Corps Marathon and both were Olympic Trials marathon qualifiers.
The race started at the Navy-Marine Corps stadium and went towards the City Dock and then a couple of miles on the grounds of the Naval Academy, along the sea wall. Near mile five, the runners had to face the 80-foot-high bridge span over the Severn River, returned back to it around mile eight, and then went back to the stadium.
Buckwalter was holding a slight lead over Robinson, Hargis, Fulton, and Jacquie Merritt, of King of Prussia, PA. At the base of the bridge, Hargis made a final move on Buckwalter. Near the crest, Hargis had the lead. The trailing runners were separated by thirty-seconds each.
"Living here, everyone was talking about the race. It was on my mind all summer. I was going to have my day cut out for me and I was nervous about it. It was the most competitive field as far as abilities. Once I got over the bridge, I did not feel that I had it wrapped up until I hit the grass at the finish," said Hargis.
"I like running through the Naval Academy and I have a tendency to catch people around mile three. I try to run my race and against myself. It's hard not to compare yourself to others. My goal was to break 6:10 for each mile. Right now, that's about all that I can do," added Hargis.
Hargis collected the Pat O'Brien Memorial Award which is presented to the first female Anne Arundel finisher. O'Brien died of heart disease in 1992. Also, Hargis was the RRCA Maryland State 10-Mile Champion, an award presented to both male and female first place finishers.
"I knew Jill was the favorite and she had a good incentive. I thought it was a great field and I was glad to hold on for second. I thought my chances of catching her were decreasing and that she might run into trouble. I knew on the downhill I was fighting an 'uphill battle.' There is nothing wrong with coming in second. I was excited to see Dave win. He's been working so hard," said Buckwalter.
"It got much tougher
At the high point in the race, the top of the bridge, David Brendle had a sizable lead over the entire field and the runners began to make the climb. The defending three-time winner Merrill Hausenfluck did not return and the field was open.
David Brendle, of Baltimore, MD, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, went through the first mile in 5:19 followed by a 5:04 mile split. The mile three time was 15:40. At the bridge near mile five, the split time was 26:51.
The focus shifted to the Masters. Defending two-time winner, Anthony Basile, formerly of Annapolis, was going for a third win. Chuck Moeser, of Sterling, VA, was the leading Masters at the top of the bridge. Basile was trailing by ten seconds and was watching every move just waiting for the right time.
Brendle maintained the lead to take first with 55:16, the slowest time since 1977 (the year of a three-way tie). The event record for the race was set in 1980 (48:09) by Terry Baker.
David Mead, of Bethesda, was second with 55:38 and Dusty Lieb, of Arnold, was third with 55:58.
"I thought I had a chance to win or the top three. I thought Merrill would be there and I could stay with him for five miles. I opened up in the second mile. I ran as hard as I could. I could not let up. It was pretty taxing," said Brendle.
"I knew the pack was catching me and I was whipped. I was running out of fear, coming back over the bridge the second time I was really hurting. The crowd was awesome, they were going crazy, they were helping me out. I didn't know I had the win until I had made the last left turn, I could hear the people calling," added Brendle.
It was a three-peat for Basile, a Naval Academy graduate, who finished in fourth place in 56:08. Basile ran 55:42 in '98 and 58:46 last year. Basile is the Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Moeser came in second with 56:48 (5th overall). Scott Eden, of Edgewater, was third with 1:01:15 (15th place).
"It was a trip worth coming back for. It was like last year when I caught James Pryde near the eight-mile mark. I went as hard as I could when I went by Chuck. He's the mile champion. At mile nine, someone passed me and I thought it was Chuck at first. It felt good seeing the Navy track guys," said Basile.
"My training had been going well and I had been sick and yesterday was one of those days. This was my slowest ten miler, I did 55 minutes here five years ago and it was before the new bridge. Let Tony celebrate and be king for a day. There will be others," said Moeser.
Pat Wilkerson, of Baltimore, was the first Masters woman with 1:09:09, followed by Joan Fowler, of Silver Spring, with 1:09:16.
Kim Robinson finished 7th with 1:03:45. "At mile four my hamstring tightened up and I slowed down and I felt that I could not stride out. I felt lucky that I could hold my own. That bridge was cruel and we had to do it twice. It was a challenging course. I had three evils: heat, hills, and hamstring," said Robinson.
"It was a t
Hedy Marque, age 83, of Alexandria, VA, was first in the 80-84 age group with 1:58:10. Pending verification, Marque adds another single age record for 10 miles. Marque currently holds records for ages 72-81.
"We have gone from 4 to 20 runners coming to this race. We even named our Club after the Annapolis Striders. The course does not seem to be getting any easier. I thought it was great coming back over the ridge. The crowd support was great. I like going through the Naval Academy. We'll be back next year," said Jennifer Janis of the Valley Forge Striders.
"I was at the start line and I was impressed to see it. They were all dedicated," said Midshipmen Russ Meier of the Amateur Radio Club at the Naval Academy.