CVAC turns Frederick Marathon into own fun run

May 03, 2004|by ANDY MASON

FREDERICK, Md. - What the Kenyans are to Boston every April is what Hagerstown's Cumberland Valley Athletic Club was to Frederick on Sunday.

Absolutely dominating.

Jaime Dick, 32, of Williamsport, Chris Monheim, 35, of Chambersburg, Pa., and Greg Sellers, 48, of Boonsboro - each sporting a CVAC racing singlet - swept the top three places at the Frederick Marathon.

"I'm pleased," said Mike Spinnler, president of the CVAC. "But I'd hate to say that we're surprised."

Dick led the entire field of 1,000-plus competitors - roughly half of whom were competing on relay teams - hitting the finish line at Harry Grove Stadium with his arms raised in 2 hours, 50 minutes, 8 seconds. Monheim took second in 2:52:46 and Sellers was third in 2:54:36.


"I love it," Sellers said moments after completing the CVAC's sweep of the $950 in men's-open prize money. "We're hoping for Susan now."

But no one had to squeeze his fingers too tightly together for Greencastle, Pa.'s Susan Graham-Gray, 35, also of the CVAC.

Graham-Gray never was challenged on her way to winning the women's title in 3:05:50. Patricia Zerfas, 42, of Kensington, Md., was the runner-up in 3:11:18.

"It wasn't the best race I've run," said Graham-Gray of her first marathon victory, which was worth $500. "I wanted to break 3 hours, but I wasn't going to run myself into the ground. I just wanted to win. I guess it was a smart race."

Dick, who prior to Sunday had only finished one of his four marathon attempts, said his goal also was to break 3 hours.

"I was joking around one day in December and said I wanted to break 3 hours at Frederick," said Dick, the former Hagerstown Junior College running standout who works as the director of recreation for Washington County. "(Sellers) and I made a gentlemen's bet on it. I weighed 172 pounds in December. I weigh 152 now."

By Mile 17, Dick was alone in the lead, more than a minute ahead of Monheim. However, the miles and muggy weather conditions began to take their tolls.

"I was feeling miserable, but you just have to talk yourself out of it. I never thought about dropping out," Dick said. "I was feeling bad, but I knew everyone else was feeling bad. Nobody trained in this kind of weather over the winter."

Dick slowed to a walk four times, each for about 10-15 seconds, between miles 21 and 24, allowing Monheim, who trailed by 2 1/2 minutes at Mile 20, to make a late charge.

"I was catching him pretty quick. I got within 30 seconds by 24," said Monheim, the girls track and cross country coach at Chambersburg High School. "But I just used too much energy trying to catch him."

Dick burned the final two miles, running the last in less than 6 minutes, and never looked back, as his gentlemen's bet turned into a $500 payday - and a sharper looking softball team.

"I definitely didn't do it for the money, so I'm going to put it to good use," Dick said. "Because I didn't get a sponsor for our co-rec softball team, I told the staff, 'If I win the race, I'm buying the team's T-shirts.' I might buy the button-down ones now."

Tri-State race schedule


Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance 5K, Chambersburg, Pa., 10 a.m., 717-263-7191.

Mother's Day Mission of Mercy 5K, Baker Park, Frederick, 8:30 a.m., 301-447-3939.

May 15

National Pike Days 5K, Clear Spring, 9 a.m., 301-733-4103.

Armed Forces Day 10K, Fort Detrick, Frederick, 301-619-2498.

May 22

Ballenger Creek 5K, Frederick, 8 a.m., 240-236-2508.

June 1

Ausherman X-C Series No. 1, Hagerstown Community College, 7 p.m., 717-263-0168.

June 5

Chambersburg YMCA 5K Pump-n-Run, 7:30 a.m., 717-263-8508.

June 6

Run Through History 10K, Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, 240-420-2183.

June 12

Jack E. Barr 5K, Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, 8 a.m. 800-841-4584, ext. 296.

FMH Race for Leukemia 5-Miler, Frederick, 8 a.m., 301-371-3379.

June 15

Ausherman X-C Series No. 2, Greencastle-Antrim High School, 7 p.m., 717-263-0168.

June 19

Vince Tantillo Memorial 5K, Hagerstown, 301-739-3990.

June 29

Ausherman X-C Series No. 3, Waynesboro High School, 7 p.m., 717-263-0168.

Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Morning Herald. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at

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