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Race Recap: RRCA Club Challenge 10-Miler

By Mary Doman

March 7, 2013 - In its 33rd year, the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) Club Challenge was about due for some good weather after years of cold, dreary start lines—and on Sunday, February 24th, 2013, local runners were shocked and pleased line up amidst sunny skies and cool (but not too cool) 42-degree air.

Though the weather for the 2013 had changed, the race course’s reputation as a “crazy hilly course” had not. Runners were eager to tackle a series of steep hills among a windy, wide course—and compete for their local running club with each step.

Hosted by the Howard County Striders, the RRCA Club Challenge is a ten-mile moment where all Maryland chapters of the Road Runners Club of America (as well as the DC Road Runners) meet and compete. More than 1,000 runners attended the event this year on behalf of running clubs including the Montgomery County Striders, the Falls Road Running Store, Prince George’s Running Road Runners, the Annapolis Striders, and more.

The race’s friendly-yet-competitive nature makes it unique among other local races. “ It’s one of the few times you get to see runners work in teams to compete, outside of a school environment,” said Race Director Brad Murach.

The race is hosted at a Howard County Community College athletic center, which boasts locker rooms, an open gymnasium, and plenty of space for runners and fans to get ready and recover outside of the race. The 2013 course was well marshalled and featured three water stops along the way with plenty of snacks offered at the finish line. For a small, local race, I was very impressed with the professionalism and coordination of the event.

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