The inaugural “10k Across the Bay” took place Sunday, November 9th with over 20,000 runners ready to be the first to win the event. For the first time since 2006, runners had their chance to run across the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The scene was perfect for the return of the crossing. At the sound of the pistol, runners were blessed with a sunny, 42 degree day which later rose up into the 50’s. The event had previously been disbanded but thanks to the continuing efforts of various groups, the race was reinstated this year.
Sparrow Rodgers and Peter Paris are the two people to thank for this event, both of whom pushed for it to be brought back due to Maryland’s beautiful scenery and prime running locations. The event was such a success that the event registration was open for less than three weeks before selling out. According to race director Dave McGillivray, this is the fastest for any inaugural event to his knowledge. In its inaugural year, the “10k Across the Bay’ is the fifth largest 10k in the U.S. Race Co-Founder Sparrow Rodgers says, “Peter Paris and I are overwhelmed by the tremendous response that we had from Sunday’s Race. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring this event back to Maryland and hope that is will become a long-lasting Maryland tradition for years to come.”
Within the 20,000 participants in the race, over 17 countries/territories were represented and all 50 states in the U.S. had a least one participant. But of all who participated, there can only be one male and female winner. For the males, the winner was Steve Heagy of Lansdale, Pennsylvania with a finishing time of 33:29. The 31 year old finished seven seconds ahead of the second place men’s finisher Steve Kartalia. For the women, the first place finisher was Susan Hendrick, 29, who finished almost a full minute ahead of the second place finisher, Anne Putnam. Hendrick is from Silver Spring, Maryland and finished with a time of 38:35. While the winners were the top runners in the race, there were also a few interesting stories. The oldest runner was 88 year old Bob Hayes of Missoula, Montana, while the youngest runner was Elizabeth Bastic of Ijamsville, Maryland; who is just 5 years old.
What really is important is that the race was done for charity. Four main charities were the beneficiary of this event, none more important than the other. First, is the Bosom Buddies Charities of Queen Anne’s County, which promotes breast cancer awareness, encourages early detection, supports treatment and celebrates the healing of survivors. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was also a main charity. Their goal is to save the Chesapeake Bay from pollution and keep it clean. The next is the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which provides support for injured service members and their families while they’re at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and after they return to their hometowns. Last but not least is the Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This charity is designed to create awareness about Leukemia and Lymphoma, along with raising money to help patients and their families.
Overall, the event was a huge success. Runners from near and far came out to participate in the race and try to compete for first place. If you missed this year’s run, don’t worry, registration for next year’s “10k Across the Bay” will begin soon. To receive more information, go to http://www.bridgerace.com/ and get your chance to cross the bay.