Foot Notes: Running has a way of earning your trust
Think back to all of those times you watched a murder show on Netflix. When's the last time a runner was regarded as the primary suspect?
I can't think of a single instance. The runners in these shows are usually the ones who stumble upon the crime scene and immediately report it to the authorities. They are, for all intents and purposes, the good guys.
Perhaps it is naïve of me, but when I'm dealing with a runner in a social or business setting, I can feel an established level of trust before we even shake hands. There are so many runners on my Facebook friends list that I haven't met in real life, yet just from following their running stories, I know these folks are genuinely good people.
One of the "strangers" on my timeline is Richard, a grandfather and marathoner from the U.K., who runs about the same pace as me and is running for a noble cause in JDRF. If I ever take a flight across the pond, you better believe I'm seeking him out to find a good group run.
Then there's Stephanie, an ultrarunner from North Carolina, who I know less for her running and more for her love of her dogs, Mexican food, and '80s nostalgia. Again, I've never met her in person, but somehow I'd feel comfortable letting her babysit my kids. What's the worst she can do, expose my children to classic rock and ThunderCats cartoons?
Even I have been looked to as a runner that can be trusted. I strive to live up to this reputation, like when I collected a wallet on the side of the road, along with multiple $20 bills, and re-mapped my long run route directly to the police station. I've had people come directly to me on messenger, sometimes for running advice, but more often just as a human with a compassionate listening ear.
My trust recently paid off when — after posting a picture of a successful day of yard work — I got a message from one of those years-long running friends that I've never met, asking if he could hire me to power wash his home. I'm still an amateur at these things (as can be confirmed by two broken nozzle heads) but Mike's trust in me inspired me to give my best effort, even as heavy winds battered my wet clothes.
We didn't talk about running until the very end of the job. I can relate to Mike in so many ways. He is a bigger and slower runner who works his tail off, but like me, beats up on himself when he falls short of his pace goals. Mike opened up about his last half marathon in the pouring rain and how he promised himself that time wouldn't matter. He said the race broke him, reduced him to walking, and left him in tears.
He hasn't run since.
Before we parted ways, Mike expressed optimism with his future in running, pointing toward his daughter doing her school work in the living room, who may or may not have witnessed me tripping and falling over the hose and power cords on the deck. Mike says that she is considering running to improve her fitness, and that he is thinking about joining her. I only spent a matter of hours with Mike, but I get the sense that with her trust in him to support her running journey, she'll find more success than she can imagine.
I'm not one to push people into running, but mile by mile, this sport has a way of earning your trust and once you're all the way in, there's such a good feeling that comes with being one of the "good guys."
York's Shaw keeps marathon streak going for 42nd straight year
Hagerstown-based runners were dominant in a record-setting day at the Martin's Mill Covered Bridge 5 Miler in Greencastle.
Hagerstown's Iggy Chalker, 18, a 2019 Maryland state champion in cross country, won the 5 Miler in record time, blazing through the course at a 5:16/mile clip to finish in 26:19 over fellow Hagerstown runners Henry Schmidt (27:07) and David Butts (28:08). The top female in the race was Hagerstown's Jana Fridrichova, who ran away for victory in 32:40 over Hagerstown's Dani Mason (37:19).
Other top runners from the Greencastle race were Smithsburg's Jonah Smith (28:33) and Jesse Smith (37:26), Hagerstown's Gabe Conder (29:15), Griffin Knipp (31:08), Dharma Bhatt (32:12), Walker Mason (35:57), Andy Mason (35:58), Sharon Allen (39:02), and John Gates II (46:44), Chambersburg's Trenton Overcash (30:14), Matthew Walker (38:02), Jeremy Hawk (38:47), Shelby White (39:52), John Gow (40:20), Eric Guyer (40:25), Mark Ward (41:58), Craig Leisher (43:08), Doug Eshleman (44:00), and Donna Meyers (48:26), Greencastle's Isaac Boyer (35:53), Joe Trace (36:01), and Ryan Fitz (41:39), Shippensburg's Bryson Meczywor (35:55) and Sarah Covell (47:08), Waynesboro's Kyle Downs (36:42) and Jeffrey Hein (41:19), Mercersburg's Cory Zimmerman (36:49) and Mitch Hawbaker (45:34), Mont Alto's Christian Silva (43:02), Fayetteville's Brandon Sherman (45:27), and Fort Loudon's Thomas Neil (48:05).
Sticking with the Hagerstown theme, the Hagerstown Duathlon and 5K drew a large group of locals. Hagerstown's McKenzie Ditty led the way with a 1:01:11 in the duathlon, followed by William Marquiss (1:02:13), Michael Sanders (1:05:14), Ethan Downie (1:07:56), Cheryl Scholl (1:08:01), Rob Moore (1:10:33), Rick Marquiss (1:12:19), Justin Cross (1:23:47), Sara Wharton (1:24:03), Hope Fuss (1:30:04), Julian Lebron (1:38:45), and Nikevia Lebron (1:48:40), Greencastle's Colm Lynch (1:05:17), Fayetteville's James Lewis (1:14:33) and Boonsboro's Mary Zielinski (1:23:36).
The Hagerstown 5K saw Isaac Montgomery claim third overall in 18:51 over fellow Hagerstown runners Landon Downie (20:38), Elizabeth Carrill (30:07), and David Miller (36:01), as well as Chambersburg's Rachel Lilley (21:42), Sue Eyer (29:38), and Aimee Melius (36:14).
Local participants in the Hagerstown Youth Duathlon include Boonsboro's Gavin Arnel (17:52) and Grayson Arnel (20:21), as well as Hagerstown's Jonah Lee (19:02), Maedyn Lee (19:26), and Avery Cramer (21:49).
It was a rainy and sloppy day at the Buck Ridge Burn Half Marathon in Gardners, but that didn't stop Chambersburg's Sarah Boward from finishing as the top female in 2:06:25. Fayetteville's Philip Samotus also ran the race and finished sixth overall in 1:53:57.
Three area runners went the distance at the Salisbury Marathon, with Boonsboro's Jeffrey Gish (3:58:40), and Hagerstown's Tracy Brown (5:59:05) and Stacy Nalley (5:59:05) all finishing the race.
The Two Rivers Tread "Vernal V" Blast Off! Virtual 5 Miler saw Williamsport's Jordyn Truax record a finish in 45:30.
Upcoming running events in central Pa.
Capital 10-Miler: Saturday, 9 a.m., in Harrisburg. Run to support the arts with this scenic run, which starts and finishes on City Island and runs along the riverfront and Capital Area Greenbelt. Learn more at capital10-miler.com.
Butterfly Trail 10K/5K: Saturday, 9 a.m., in Lancaster. Challenge yourself with this trail event, which is held at Lancaster County Park. Find more info at pretzelcitysports.com.
CSY Color Run 5K: Saturday, April 24, 9:30 a.m., in York. Get your run on with this chip-timed race, and enjoy food trucks afterward. Register for the race at runsignup.com.
Also: Be the Difference 5K (Saturday, in Lancaster); Cousler Park 5K/10K (Saturday, in York); Lancaster Junction Trail 5K/10K (Saturday, in Manheim); ACT Capital Campaign 5K (Saturday, in Williamsport, Md.); Gunpowder Trail Ultra 50K (Saturday, in Parkton, Md.); Two Rivers Tread "Vernal V" The Plog Jog 10K (Saturday, Virtual); Tartan 5K Run (Sunday, in Hagerstown, Md); April Foolish 10 Hour Endurance Trail Run (Sunday, in Elverson); Columbia Gateway Duathlon (Sunday, in Columbia, Md.); Tartan 5K (Sunday, in Hagerstown, Md.); BCMS People Who Need People 5K (Saturday, April 24, in Frederick, Md.); Mount Airy Bulldog Dash 5K (Saturday, April 24, Virtual); Hyner View Trail Challenge (Saturday, April 24, in Hyner); Dash for the Sash 5K (Saturday, April 24, in Mt. Joy); Endless Mountain Marathon Race Festival (Saturday, April 24, in Hawley); Hyner Trail Challenge (Saturday, April 24, in Hyner); Patriot Run (Saturday, April 24, in Mechanicsburg); Rock the Nock Half Marathon (Saturday, April 24, in Quakertown); Roof Park 5K/10K (Saturday, April 24, in New Cumberland); Gettysburg Festival of Races (Sunday, April 25, in Gettysburg); Fast and Furriest 5K (Sunday, April 25, in Walkersville, Md.); Discover Downtown 5K/10K (Sunday, April 25, in Columbia, Md.).
Andy Sandrik writes about running in central Pa. for the USA Today Network Pennsylvania. Reach him at email@example.com.