Washington, DC
Adrian Stuphan runs the open mile at the DC Road Runners Track Championships. Photo: Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

Back in middle school I played soccer like I wanted to be the next Ronaldo or Messi.

I thought I had found a sport that I would stick with for a long time. But before official fall sports season started, my school wanted to try out a couple of new sports. Cross country sounded like fun. I asked a friend of mine if he wanted to join the team with me, and we both agreed that we would do it.

We started so late in the season that we didn’t have any training or practices, and we had a race on one of our first days of being a formal team. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it, and our school didn’t even have a bus yet, so our parents drove us to the meet.

When we got there I got really nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I was completely new to the sport. I take a lot of things in athletics seriously, so I just thought of it as another challenge and was just afraid to fail because it was something unknown to me.

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Spectators lined the infield during the D.C. Road Runners Track Championships, close enough to hear breathing as elite runners circled the track. Photo: Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

When I got to the D.C. Road Runners Track Championship at Dunbar High School, the final meet in the Eastern Track League series, the women’s masters mile was starting. 

As a high school runner, I race from September to June. These weeks in between seasons are for following dramatic professional races and the pursuit of record breaking performances. My morning routine now consists of checking Twitter to see which all-time mark went down or which finishing kick dazzled the day before.  

I have the entire world of track and field at my fingertips whenever I care to look, and that is exactly why I could not pass up the opportunity to drive an hour into D.C. to watch the this meet in person. I wanted to move beyond the times and splits on a static results page and the occasional suspense-free race video that broadcasts the winner and time in the title and instead experience track and field first hand.

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Revenge Of The Penguins

10/20 Mile start at 8:00 AM on September 15th, 2018
Registration Fee:
20 mile from $60 to $80
10 mile from $50 to $70

Sara Davidson cruises through mile 29 of the Old Dominion 100. Photo: Karsten Brown

During the pre-race brief, organizers of the Old Dominion 100-Mile Endurance Run described the race as a battle of the runner against the course against the clock.

Runners have to conquer 100.01 miles of all types of terrain, 14,000 feet of elevation gain, all in Virginias oppressive early June heat and humidity. To count as a finisher, they must complete the course in less than 28 hours; but those who want to go home with a coveted silver belt buckle must do so in less than 24.

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Willy Fink closes in on the first sub-four-minute mile run in Washington, D.C. at the 2019 DC Road Runners Track Championship at Dunbar High School. He ran 3:58.84. Photo by Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

Willy Fink came into Saturday’s D.C. Road Runners Track Championship wanting to accomplish something great. He accomplished something monumental.

Competing in a heat with nine runners who had previously broken the four minute mile barrier, Fink led from wire to wire at D.C.’s Dunbar High School and ran the first sub-four minute track mile recorded on D.C. soil (3:58.84). The race had its share of drama, however. Instead of the quick pace many spectators and athletes anticipated, the field started off conservatively and kept the audience in suspense as to whether the four-minute barrier would actually be broken.

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Boo! 10K Run

The 14th annual Boo! 10K run and Tidal Basin walk will take place on Sunday, October 6th in West Potomac Park, Washington, DC. The event is Halloween-themed and is a seasonal favorite of many runners. Run in costume if you

Name: Natalie Atabek

Self-described age group: F 25-29

Residence: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: Director of Communications at AFS Financial Group

Why you run: I run because I never feel more like myself than when I’m running. No matter what kind of day I’m having, I know that once I start my run, nothing else matters and everything else can wait until I hit stop on my watch.

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Roy Englert pauses briefly after setting the world record for 95-99-year-old men at the USATF Masters Championships in Ames, Iowa July 11. Photo: Courtesy of Jay Jacob Wind

Springfield resident Roy Englert, 96, ran 42:20.33 to shatter the 5k world record for men 95-99 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships July 11 in Ames, Iowa. The previous record was 50:10.56.

This article was initially published in June 2018.

At age 95, Roy Englert may not have competition in his age group. But he does have the clock.

“I was running against time, actually,” Englert said of his recent performance at the USATF Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships, where he broke three age group world records.

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Spook Hill Cider & Wine 4 Mile Run

Wine? YES! The Spook Hill Cider & Wine 4 Mile Run starts at 0830 and takes participants on a journey through historic Burkittsville MD., Boordy’s South Mountain Vineyard, and the Distillery Lane Ciderworks’ orchard, utilizing a beautiful hybrid cross-country/road course.

Marc Goldman makes announcements ahead of the Marine Corps Marathon start. Photo: Courtesy of Marc Goldman

You can hear it bellowing from speakers as soon as you arrive at a race: directions to gear check, instructions to get into corrals and details about the race course. And when you finish: encouragement, commentary and pleas to keep moving beyond the finish line.

Race announcers play a huge role in running events — from keeping the race-day timeline to interacting with spectators and informing and encouraging participants. And there are scores of D.C.-area announcers who dedicate their weekends to help make races run smoothly and see that runners have fun and feel a sense of accomplishment no matter their finish time.

Creigh Kelley’s voice may sound familiar if you’ve run one of the more than 20 races he has announced for around the country, including the Chicago Marathon, the Walt Disney World Marathon or many in the popular Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon and half marathon series. In the D.C. area, he serves as the announcer for the D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll races as well as the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile race.

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