Locals Finish First, Second in Komen Race

OCEAN CITY- The pouring rain and terrible conditions did not put a damper on the inaugural Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Ocean City last weekend with nearly 3,600 competitors in the 5K run-walk and about $260,000 raised for the charity.

After weeks of near perfect weather, conditions were less than stellar for the first annual Komen race in Ocean City last weekend. However, the poor conditions did not deter thousands of competitors from participating as around 3,600 racers crammed around the start line on the Boardwalk near Somerset Street early last Sunday morning.

Of the 3,600 competitors, about 84 percent were from Maryland, while the other 16 percent came from all over the country with 20 other states represented. There were 251 total teams registered, including 55 teams of 10 members or more. The course ran from Somerset Street up the Boardwalk to 15th Street, then to Baltimore Ave., where huge puddles hindered the racers’ progress. The course continued down Baltimore Ave. back to the finish line at the Inlet parking lot.

Just over 10 seconds separated the two local competitors who finished first and second in the race. Lance Ward of Bishopville finished the course in 18:32.5, just ahead of Robert Hammond III of Bishopville, who came in at 18:42.8. Ward and Hammond finished in a dead sprint to the finish line with Ward coming in just over 10 second ahead.

For the record, the third-place overall finisher was T.J. Rhodes of Bowie, Md., who came in at 20:17.3. The top female open finishers were Sarah Mandes of Arlington, Va.; Diane Walsh of Ocean Pines; and Megan Richards of Baltimore.

Of course, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was all about breast cancer survival and awareness, and the local area was well represented with survivors in the field of competitors. The top local survivors included Anne Braniff (3rd), Sallie Custodio (6th), Sheryl Mitrecic (10th), Laura Powell (13th) and Susan Braniecki (18th).