RANDY MCDERMOTT, WINNER OF THE RACE,
WITH HIS NEW FIANCéE JANET GRATTON AND
OLIVER THE DOG, WHO BROUGHT THE
ENGAGEMENT RING.
JIM CARBARY PHOTO

Taking Home the Prize--and the Girl--
at Grapevine

BY JIM CARBARY

MT. AIRY, MD--Randy McDermott may have won the 15th annual Run Through the Grapevine 8K on November 2, but he did something far more important after the race.  In front of the audience at the awards ceremony, Randy proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Janet Gratton.  Randy’s dog, Oliver, brought the engagement ring in a green bag and tangled the two with the leash.  Janet accepted, the audience applauded, and the couple hugged blissfully.  “That was better than winning,” Randy said.

In the actual race, McDermott took the lead in the hilly race near the three-mile mark when he passed Strider racing team captain Carlos Renjifo.  Carlos exhausted his energy holding the lead going up that ridiculously steep hill at 2½ miles.  “I didn’t know about the course,” Carlos confessed.  Perhaps contemplating his proposal, McDermott went off course near the finish and prematurely ran 100 yards downhill.  Renjifo and Paul Hannsen, in third place, followed him off course.  All three had to run back uphill to regain the course, and so lost precious time.  “Maybe 30 seconds,” Carlos reckoned.  Nevertheless, they all broke 30 minutes.

Such drama and mis-navigation did not occur during the women’s race.  Sherry Stick and Dianna Pool dueled for the women’s lead in the early going, but Stick took the lead for good after the big hill and went on win in 33:57, the only female to break 34 minutes.  “This is definitely the hardest [cross-country] course I’ve ever run,” said Stick, who was once a runner for Salisbury State.

The top Masters runner was Mark Hoon, who finished fourth.  Mark earned a top-five finish, so the official honor of first among the 40+ males went to Junior Strider coach Phil Lang, who is a cross-country animal.  The top female Masters was Pat Wilkerson in 37:49.

Although most runners commented on the very steep hills of the Grapevine’s course, they also had to contend with wild animals.  A deer darted downhill across the course and knocked down Karen Mawdsley.  “It just came plowing through,” she said.  Luckily, the deer was a doe, not a buck.  The event occurred around the three-mile point just before the course went back into the woods.  After the collision, Karen got up and finished without further incident.

The race not only featured five-year age groups, but also myriad team competitions.  There were two Open male teams, two Masters male teams, five Open female teams, three Masters female teams, eight Coed teams, four Masters coed teams, and four Family teams. 

Stumbling, weaving, occasionally walking, some 524 runners completed the Run Through the Grapevine 8K, which takes place every autumn at the Linganore Winery.  The Howard County Striders stage the race with the cooperation of Anthony Aellen, owner of the Winery. All finishers received a wine glass, and the award winners (at least those of the appropriate age) received gift certificates for wine, which they redeemed immediately after the awards ceremony.

Jason Tripp directed the race, with the assistance of various Howard County Striders at the finish line, registration table, and on the course.  In particular, the Striders wish to thank Dave Tripp, who baked over 1000 cookies and a dozen (or so) loaves of the traditional banana-nut bread for the postrace refreshments.

MALE

Overall

1. Randy McDermott 28:59

2. Carlos Renjifo 29:20

3. Paul Hannsen 29:38

4. Mark Hoon 30:01

5. Pekka Stenholm 30:34


1-19

1. Will Sickenberger 33:18

2. Nick Guarnaccia 33:20

3. Kyle Dilling 33:50

20-24

1. Andrew Sovonick 31:12

2. Ken Kreis 34:24

3. Richard Malt 34:55


25-29

1. Philip Rogers 31:37

2. Jeremy Rea 32:16

3. Thomas Stott 33:25

30-34

1. Luis Diaz 32:32

2. Brendan Trombly 33:33

3. Michael Stenson                                     33:42

35-39

1. Michael Matney 36:50

2. Jason Anderson 37:20

3. Jason Duelge 38:13

40-44

1. Philip Lang 30:48

2. Jordan Snyder 31:15

3. Sheldon Degenhardt 31:42

45-49

1. Greg Schuler 34:07

2. Steven Hyde 35:23

3. Stephan Dobson 36:39

50-54

1. Keith McIntyre 31:47

2. Weems McFadden 33:08

3. John Chall 33:16

55-59

1. Timothy Morgan 35:15

2. James Carbary 35:35

3. Richard Morgan 36:59

60-64

1. Doug Hawkland 40:14

2. Piriya Pinit 41:31

3. Steve Duerwachter 46:59

65-69

1. Jack Clark 43:36

2. Gabriel Hiza 45:04

3. Kent Walker 46:19

70-99

1. Bob Horst 1:01:31

2. Gene Lehr 1:09:56


FEMALE

Overall

1. Sherry Stick 33:57

2. Kelly Gruber 34:11

3. Diana Pool 34:34

4. Sari Stenholm 35:34

5. Tasha Clearman 35:40


1-19


1. Julie Gessler 37:52

2. Avery Cunningham 38:48

3. Amy Gessler 44:02

 

20-24

1. Joan Namasinga 45:48

2. Carrielyn O'Connell 46:02

3. Diana Clearwater 46:33

 

25-29

1. Tiffany Hevner 37:26

2. Terri Gibbons 43:54

3. Lindsey Presser 45:52

 

30-34

1. Kelsie Bernot 42:48

2. Karen Carpenter 43:12

3. Grace Tran 45:14


35-39

1. Rachel Ridgway 37:33

2. Christy Lawson 39:19

3. Michele Firlie 39:51

 

 

40-44

1. Jennifer Mariano 39:05

2. Monica Bachman 39:31

3. Ruth Schluter 39:41

 

45-49

1. Pat Wilkerson 37:49

2. Jane Wikman 39:23

3. Trish Cunningham 40:06


50-54

1. Robin Goodwin 39:59

2. Shelley Ralston 40:14

3. Valerie Guilfoil 45:34

55-59


1. Jane Godfrey 48:49

2. Kathy Hennes 52:37

3. Cindy Clark 53:42

 

60-64


1. Carole Cox 51:34

2. Lissa George 52:26

3. Rose Fleg 58:18

 

65-69

1. Sadie Bartolo 55:11

2. Sharon Wilson 59:26