RacePacket’s 2007 Top Ten Contributors to the Area Running Scene

By Brian Murphy
For the third time, RacePacket is honoring ten contributors to the area running scene. The hard work these men and women do is an integral part of the vibrant and high caliber running scene that we all enjoy throughout the DC, MD and VA area. These unsung heroes put in countless volunteer hours behind the scenes coaching, running area clubs, managing races and encouraging new and old runners to explore new facets of this wonderful sport. To identify the most deserving contributors, Race Packet solicited nominations from our readers. Our panel of judges then narrowed down the many worthy nominations to just ten. The other nominees will be considered in future years. The top ten will be honored guests at the Race Packet awards dinner to be held in January. For all that these men and women do for our running community, this honor is a small tribute and thank you. If you should happen to see any of these exemplary people at a local running event please join in the tribute by saying “thanks”:

Bev Byron coaches and is co-chair in both the Females in Training (FIT) and Girls inspired to Run for Life (GIRL) programs for the Howard County Striders. After starting out as a walker herself, Byron moved up to being a runner through these programs and now gives back with all her energy and enthusiasm. She believes that there is nothing more powerful than a fit woman and seeing the spark that develops in these girls when they finally finish the program drives home that fact. It is seeing this spark and new passion for running develop in others that makes her keep coaching and giving year after year. Her most inspired running moment came this year when she ran the Baltimore Running Festival 5k when it was 51 degrees outside and she had a fever of 102 degrees. She had to dig deep to not only finish the race but set a new personal record. She learned that the deeper you dig, the brighter the spark glows.

Ed Carmines has been president of the Richmond Road Runners Club for four years and treasurer for two years prior. His leadership and management skills have been indispensable in organizing a plethora of races during his tenure including the Scholarship 10k, 20k and 30k as well as the Carytown 10k and No Frills 5k. Carmines’ passion for the running community comes from an enjoyment in meeting new people, helping them overcome the challenges that face every runner and improving the services available to them. This passion has led him ultimately to his most prized running achievement which is growing the club. The RRRC has grown from a membership of 400 to 2500 in the years Carmines has been president. They are now the fourth largest RRCA club, and if the constant sight of people running in the area is any indication, the RRRC now runs Richmond.

Nicholas Delambo has been a lifelong member of the Baltimore Road Runners Club since 1975. His hard training and congenial attitude have been inspiring and influential to many area runners as he would consistently win age group awards throughout his thirty year career. Participation in the BRRC and the athletic cub at an area university have allowed Delambo to spread the excitement of road racing to many runners young and old. When new policies were instated that made school tracks off-limits to area runners, Delambo campaigned to open up the tracks for everyone. His consistent training, racing and encouragement have been an example to many of how running can be embraced as a sport for a lifetime.

Jim Hage has been a focal point of the local running scene for years; first as an Olympic trials qualifying marathoner and now as a perennial age group winner and enthusiastic volunteer. His running resume is impressive including three Olympic trials Marathon races in which he placed twenty-sixth in 1988, eighth in 1992 and thirty-seventh in 1996. He also ran on two US World Championships teams at the marathon in 1989 (Milan, Italy) and 1993 (San Sebastian, Spain). Locally, he is known for being the first to win two consecutive Marine Corps Marathon (1988, 1989) as well as his dominating performances among his age group in local races around the area. His service to the running community is equally impressive. He has served on the DCRRC board of directors, gives talks to running groups, serves on race committees, volunteers at local races, and writes about running for the Washington Post as well as various other national and regional publications. He could be found volunteering most recently at the MCM Expo working a cash register in the MCM store.

Ed Harte is in his eighteenth year of coaching of track and cross country at North County High School. His pure love for the sport has led him to go beyond school grounds and set up the Metro Harriers cross country club based in Linthicum, MD. Through the Harriers, Harte introduces runners young and old to the joys of racing by providing well managed cross country and track races to the general public. Not only does he put together all these races but Harte has run in every one of them.

Bob Hilson started the Baltimore Pacemakers running club with a few colleagues at the Baltimore Sun newspaper years ago and now it boasts a membership of over 75 runners. Without fail, any runner willing to forego sleeping in can find Hilson’s smiling face at the Gilman track at 5:30 am on Wednesday mornings for track workouts and on Saturday mornings for long runs every week of the year. He charges nothing for these outings, just bring yourself and a little dedication and he’ll help you do the rest. Hilson has also linked his group with the Baltimore running festival to provide training for marathon hopefuls through his downtown marathon training runs. Aside from just one on one training, Hilson also sends out weekly emails about upcoming races, tips and training info to all his runners, volunteers at local races and done charity work such as collecting running shoes to send to the needy in Haiti.

Paul Goldenberg has provided logistical and hands-on support for safety and security for many of the races in Howard County. His experience and knowledge has helped to make many of the races held by the Howard County Striders (of which he is a member) to run smoothly and problem free. He coordinates police, recruits runners to do course marshaling, lays out and picks up cones and takes the safety of race participants seriously. In other words, if Goldenberg does his job well, and he always does, participants should never notice all the work he did. A true unsung hero, Goldenberg also finds time to be the volunteer coordinator for the Metric Marathon, a 26.2k race held each fall in Columbia, MD.

Joanne Mallet has been a strong supporter of the Women’s Distance Festival series of races held throughout the area since its inception and as a result of her hard work the series has grown to include twelve races this past summer. Her encouragement to fellow runners as well as her evident dedication to the sport shown by her competing in nearly every WDF race has been influential in improving the fitness and quality of life for women throughout the area. She is also a devoted, contributing member of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club.

Christine Morin founded DC FIT in 2000 to bring to the area an award winning 26 week marathon training program that works to help train runners and walkers of all abilities to finish the Marine Corps Marathon. Morin lead DC FIT for seven years growing its enrollment to 850 in 2006.

John Sissala is one of the founders of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club and a master at all the behind the scenes work needed to keep a successful club going. Course measurement, race management and scoring are just a few of the jobs he takes up to ensure a successful race day for all competitors. No job is too small or large; he can be found handing out water bottles all the way to serving as the president of the MCRRC for a number of years. Sissala has been the race director for a number of large local races such as the Pike’s Peek 10k and the Bethesda Chevy Chase Turkey Trot which saw a record number of participants this year.

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