Dreaded Druid Hills race report

I went to Baltimore’s Dreaded Druid Hills 10k last Saturday with fear and trepidation in my heart. There were four PGRC runners there, all of us for the same reason: this year the Dreaded Druids was Race No. 3 in the Maryland RRCA Grand Prix series, where showing up is 9/10 of the game. Since I had not been able to run the first 2 races in the series, I really needed this race, but still would not have had the nerve if I didn’t know that some of my PGRC teammates would be there. The hills in this race have been called torturous, wicked, mean (and worse)—and I was convinced they were far beyond my ability. Nor had my training runs gone longer than 8k yet this spring. Strangely, very strangely, it turned out to be fun. I just decided to relax, walk when I couldn’t run straight up anymore, and the heck with worrying about my finish time (expecting anywhere from 1:20 to 1:40). To my great surprise, my time wasn’t much worse than in the Jingle All the Way 10k (which admittedly had been disastrous for me), and I felt great when I finished. Due to a low supply of older runners, I managed at 1:13:53 to be the third woman in my age group. Laurie Fisher easily took second in her class with 1:04:06 and Sharlene Deskins was right behind her with 1:05:46. Other PGRCers Chris Caravoulias (albeit running under a rival flag) and Lucy Younes finished in 1:19:05 and 1:33:47, respectively. Hail Druids!

— Clare Imholtz

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