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Race for the Rose: A 0.1k "Marathon" benefits Girls Inc. of Washington County

July 23, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Allen Grove, left, and Stacey Bishop race each other in the Run For The Rose at Knob Hill Winery on Saturday. Following behind them is Grove's wife, Maureen, and Bishop's husband, Rocky Jr., carrying their son Rocky III.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING, Md. — A small, but spirited crowd of runners were on their marks, wine goblets in hand.

Most had forgone sneakers for sandals, and all had opted for clothing the likes of Hawaiian shirts and sundresses rather than synthetic running apparel.

One eager participant was poised at the starting line sporting a straw hat, while another donned a ball cap with a string attached to the visor. Dangling from the string was a plastic goblet with a fermented juice.

Dick Seibert had led the runners through a clearing among his vineyards.

"Here is your carefully marked starting line," he told them, indicating a stripe of orange spray paint flanked by tiki torches. He warned runners to be vigilant for "groundhog heaven," a hole in the ground about midfield, and said he didn't know if they could see all the way to the finish line.

With that, a tongue-in-cheek Seibert hurried there, just 328 short feet from the starting point.

He was hosting Race for the Rosé: A 0.1k "Marathon" Saturday at Knob Hall Winery in Clear Spring to benefit Girls Inc. of Washington County.

Seibert, who moved to Washington County in 2006, said he had known of a 0.1k race when he lived in Annapolis and thought it was "great fun."

"I became aware of Girls Inc.," he said. "I have two daughters, and I wanted to do something for girls in Washington County. So now, Kentucky has its (Run) for the Roses, and we have our Race for the Rosé."

With Seibert perched at the finished line, a bottle of wine held high in each hand, about 12 runners did their "get set, go." Some bolted off, while others gingerly tiptoed across the field, being careful not to spill their beverages.

Christine "Cricket" Tucker of Martinsburg, W.Va., had asked special permission to run the race relay-style with her friend Corey Shifflett of Greencastle, Pa. Shifflett ran about 320 feet, while Tucker waited about 8 feet from the finish line to finish up.

"I did it that way because I am an intelligent, smart and wise woman, and you have to think and plan ahead," Tucker said.

Shifflett said he works as a student intervention specialist for Washington County Public Schools.

"Part of my job is to try to keep kids in school, so I was happy to support Girls Inc.," he said.

Shifflett said he is not a runner, so he was "definitely happy that the race wasn't any longer."

Cynthia and Jeff Grills of Boonsboro said friends asked them to run the race and they agreed "for the fun of it." Just seconds after it started, Jeff Grills crossed the finish line in first place.

"When I saw (Seibert) at the finish line holding those bottles of wine up there, I thought, 'This is serious now,'" Grills said.

Stacey Bishop of Hagerstown followed just behind Grills, coming in a close second.

Maureen Grove is executive director of Girls Inc. of Washington County, a nonprofit with a mission that seeks, in part, to inspire girls to be "strong, smart and bold."

"We are very excited that Girls Inc. is important to (Seibert), and that he chose us to be the recipient of these funds," Grove said. "We thought it was a really fun and unique idea."

Runners paid a $15 registration fee. Seibert said he expected to donate a couple of hundred dollars to Girls Inc. as a result of the event.

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