Montgomery County Police officers (left to right) Lieutenant Mark Plazinski, Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds, Captain Laura Lanham and Detective John Reinikka at the 2013 New York Marathon.
Fast forward to 2012. Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Luther Reynolds set a new goal of running a marathon and joined in the training runs with now-Captain Laura Lanham, Lieutenant Mark Plazinski and Detective John Reinikka. Their goal -- to run the New York City Marathon.
However, they encountered an unexpected obstacle when Superstorm Sandy caused cancellation of the race. Undeterred, Reynolds, Lanham and Plazinski headed to Raleigh, NC, and ran the City of Oaks marathon taking place that same weekend.
With their shared goal of running in the 2012 NYC marathon unfulfilled, the four agreed to try to compete in 2013. On November 3, they achieved their original goal of running the New York City race. Afterward, Detective Reinikka said, “It was the best marathon ever. I love the city, and the crowds of supporters were just fantastic.”
But Reynolds, Lanham and Plazinski truly peaked on November 23, when they completed the grueling JFK Ultra-marathon – 50.2 miles - held in Boonsboro. The event was created in 1963 as one of the many 50-mile races held across the country as a result of President John F. Kennedy’s efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle for Americans. The JFK 50 Mile in Washington County is the only original JFK race that has been held every year since Kennedy’s assassination.
Of the approximately 1,100 participants, about 750 completed the race. The course took runners over South Mountain on the Appalachian Trail and 26 miles on the C&O Canal towpath, ending with eight miles on a hilly country road.
Running the ultra-marathon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Reynolds. Lanham said, “The JFK 50-miler was on my bucket list, and now I can cross that off.” Would Lt. Plazinski tackle another ultra-marathon? “Once was definitely enough for me!”
This doesn’t mean that any of the four will stop running. A new year has begun, bringing new running goals for the officers.
Shown before the ultra-marathon in Boonsboro are (left to right in red): Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds, Captain Laura Lanham and Lieutenant Mark Plazinski.