To understand Jordan Tropf’s devotion to running, start with another of his loves. Around his junior year of high school, Tropf went to cross country camp in Northeast Ohio. He met a girl there. Her name was Hannah Neczypor. She was from Cuyahoga County, like him. They started dating a year later. In 2010, Tropf headed to the Naval Academy while Neczypor finished up high school. A year later, the high school sweethearts found themselves only an hour apart, close enough that, after a long run, they could’ve met each other halfway in Prince George’s County. Which wasn’t out of the question, either: Tropf was on the Midshipmen’s cross country team; Neczypor did both cross country and track and field at Georgetown. “She is definitely the better half of this relationship,” Tropf said of his fiancée as a runner. Never mind that Tropf had just won Saturday’s Baltimore Marathon, edging two-time champion Dave Berdan of Owings Mills by over three minutes with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes, 6 seconds. What he might have lacked in long-distance experience locally — Tropf never had competed in the Baltimore Running Festival — he more than made up for in accomplishments elsewhere. In this past April’s Boston Marathon, he was Maryland’s top finisher, placing 51st overall. Two weeks ago, he ran the Chicago Marathon and came in 58th. Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun Jordan Tropf, the male winner of the 17th Baltimore Marathon, runs down the chute to the finish line. Jordan Tropf, the male winner of the 17th Baltimore Marathon, runs down the chute to the finish line. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun) In both races, Tropf had finished in under 2 hours, 30 minutes. Do that again Saturday, he told himself, and “I knew I’d be competitive.” That might have been underselling it: After his first 5 or 6 miles, there was no runner within sight of the tall guy in the Navy singlet. “All I remember is starting this race and looking around and thinking, 'Where is everybody?’” the Fells Point resident said. “It made me a little nervous, just because I don't want to go out there and torch myself early on. But I just stayed focused, tried to keep that lead, keep trucking.” He reached the halfway