By Jim Carbary

Last year Dave Berdan won the Annual 10 Mile Challenge in an amazingly fast time of 51:43. At this year’s race, Ryan McGrath, captain of the Falls Road Running team offered a bonus of $100 to his teammate Alexander Battaglino if he could better that time. Having every intention of collecting, Battaglino bolted from the start and immediately assumed a commanding lead.

“He went out so fast that we thought he’d fade and we’d reel him in,” said Carlos Renjifo, captain of the Howard County Strider/Feet First racing team.

Battaglino  (left in photo by Doug Hawkland) kept a relentless pace, however, and slowed down only slightly in the hilly section of the course around six miles. “I never looked back,” he said, “so I really didn’t know how far ahead I was.” He finished nearly two minutes ahead of Matt Barresi in second place. Battaglino clocked 51:34 – nine seconds ahead of Berdan’s time— so he earned his bonus.

Falls Road may have claimed the top finisher, but they placed only six in the top 20 finishers, while the home team from Howard County placed seven in the top 20. This was enough for the locals to win the men’s team trophy. The top 12 men scored, with the next 80 serving as “displacers.”

Howard County’s Kara Waters (below in photo by Jim Carbary) won the woman’s race in 1:01:55 by a margin similar to that of Battaglino. She ran the race as an independent last year, but signed on with the Striders this year and ran several minutes faster, mostly competing against the men. “There were some good hills,” Kara said about the course. Her time and margin of victory were all the more amazing since she had just finished the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon (Arizona) a month ago in 2:52:31. She plans to improve her time by doing some speed work in the near future.

Kara’s valiant effort was not enough for the Strider women to beat back the women’s team from Falls Road. Led by Denise Knickman, the Falls Road women collected the next five places behind Waters and swept to a resounding victory in the women’s team challenge. “It was the best race I’ve had in a while,” Knickman said. The top six women on a team scored.

The mixed or coed team victory was decided by a scoring system as complicated as the NFL’s tie-breaker rules. Fortunately, the scoring was handled by a computer, which eventually determined that the men and women of Falls Road had also won the mixed team championship. By dint of its two team victories, Falls Road also took the overall championship. They retained the ancient trophy, which dates to 1980. Battaglino and Waters also took home trophies for their individual victories. The men, women’s, and mixed teams received trophies. But there were no more awards, since this was purely a team challenge race. All finishers did receive the trademark painter’s gloves.

The race was directed by Richard Bernstein, who received support from dozens of Howard County Strider volunteers and the Boy Scouts. The Howard County police not only provided traffic control, they also gave Battaglino a motorcycle escort all through his 10-mile jaunt. The Striders also wish to thank Steve Musselman and the Howard Community college, which served as the venue for the race and allowed use of its gymnasium for post-race ceremonies.

Ten complete teams from all over central Maryland and the District of Columbia competed in the 10 Mile Challenge, which is an official RRCA Championship race. The Challenge race also represents the first race in the Maryland RRCA Grand Prix Championship series. Although 800 signed up for the race, only 564 finished. The registration of the 800 individuals marked the largest field ever for the 10 Mile Challenge and the first time the event ever closed out.

Top  Men

1. Alexander Battaglino Falls Road 51:34
2. Matthew Barresi Howard 53:21
3. Carlos Renjifo Howard 53:27
4. Tristam Thomas Falls Road 53:51
5. Ed Aramayo Falls Road 53:57
6. Dustin Meeker Falls Road 54:02
7. Dave Miller Unattached 54:30
8. Andrew Madison Howard County 54:37
9. James Henry Montgomery County 55:03
10. Mark Buschman Howard 55:39
11. Garrett Ash Falls Road 56:00
12. Kyle Stanton Howard County 56:14
13. Luke Bedford RASAC 56:22
14. Daniel Miranda Baltimore 56:54
15. Karsten Brown Annapolis 57:01
16. Alex Loper RASAC 57:09
17. Randall McDermott Howard County 57:25
18. Seth Tibbitts Falls Road 57:29
19. Philip Diven Howard County 57:34
20. Matthew Klaschus RASAC 57:53

Top  Women

1. Kara Waters Howard County 1:01:55
2. Denise Knickman Falls Road 1:03:49
3. Diane Heiser Falls Road 1:04:17
4. Melissa Majundar Falls Road 1:04:57
5. Suzanne Hurst Falls Road 1:06:47
6. Jaclyn Truncellito Falls Road 1:07:04
7. Stefanie Commins Howard County 1:07:16
8. Megan DiGregorio Falls Road 1:08:09
9. Megan McNew Falls Road 1:08:18
10. Robyn Humphrey Howard County 1:08:25
11. Donna Wecker Howard County 1:08:28
12. Patricia Soumoff Montgomery County 1:08:38
13. Caroline Bauer Howard County 1:08:43
14. Kristin Van Eron Baltimore 1:08:49
15. Nicole Deziel Montgomery County 1:11:00
16. Ulrike Robinson Montgomery County 1:11:34
17. Utonna Sherrod Annapolis 1:11:57
18. Sarah Lebro Howard County 1:12:01
19. Alyssa Godesky Falls Road 1:12:19
20. Audrey Perlow DCRRC 1:12:20

Men’s Teams (low score wins)

1. HCS 198
2. FRR 222
3. RASAC 522
4. MCRRC 814
5. BRRC 834
6. DCRRC 1199
7. FSC 1433
8. AS 1455
9. WRRC 1885
10. PGRC 2703

Women’s Teams

1. FRR 28
2. HCS 60
3. MRRC 121
4. BRRC 178
5. RASAC 320
6. FSC 333
7. AS 389
8. DCRRC 456
9. WRR 598
10. PGRC 678

Mixed Teams

1. FRR 497
2. HCS 532
3. MRRC 1286
4. RASAC 1350
5. BRRC 1408
6. DCRRC 2056
7. FSC 2322
8. AS 2502
9. WRR 3198
10. PGRC 4490



This event was the first race of the 2011 Maryland Grand Prix Championship Series


Below is this year’s schedule.



Maryland State RRCA Championship Series Schedule

1. MD RRCA Challenge (the 1st race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) was run Sunday 2/27/11- 8:00 a.m.
2. Springburst 8K (2nd race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Saturday 4/9/11 – 9:00 a.m.
3. Bel Air Town Run 5K (3th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 6/05/11 – 8:00 a.m.
4. Fatburger 5 Miler (4th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 6/19/11 – 8:00 a.m.
5. Dog Day’s 8K (5th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 8/7/11 – 8:00 a.m.
6. Frederick Mile (6th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Saturday 9/10/11 – 8:00 a.m.
7. Dave Herlocker Memorial Bachmann Valley Half Marathon (7th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 9/25/11 – 8:00 a.m.
8. Falls Road 15K (8th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 10/02/12 – 8:30 a.m.
9. Rockville 10K (9th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Sunday 11/06/11 – 8:30 a.m.
10. Northern Central Trail Marathon (10th race of the Maryland RRCA State Championship Series) will be run Saturday 11/26/16 – 9:30 a.m.


Subscribe to our mailing list