Washington, DC

Running Shorts

With the Virginia outdoor track season canceled, the District Track Club is sponsoring a competition for high school teams to compile their training and performances, and will hold three competitions where time trials will be scored against each other at the end of the month. Learn more here.  More detailed instructions are available here.

Arlington’s Mike Wardian ran 262.53 miles to win the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a competition among runners completing 4.1667-mile loops every hour. He ran for 63 hours. More from Outside.

RunWashington contributor Kelyn Soong wrote in the Washington City Paper, where he is the sports editor, about people turning to running during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dan Frank hadn’t done the training he normally would have for an ultramarathon, and he didn’t have a route planned. There were some tough points during his run, which lasted nearly a day. 

But the Columbia resident and Paint Branch High School math teacher had plenty to keep him going as he ran about 102 miles in a fundraiser for the Community Action Council of Howard County, which includes the Howard County Food Bank. 

The idea came about when Frank and his wife were on a walk. Their daughters’ school, Phelps Luck Elementary, usually has a mobile food pantry available one day per month, he said. But now, schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In good times, about 40 families show up every time we have that mobile food pantry, and I can’t imagine what it would be like now, with how many people have lost their jobs and everything,” Frank said. 

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Fidelity Investments Parks 10k

Join us for the Fidelity Investments Parks 10K in Washington, DC! The starting gun goes off at 8 AM in West Potomac Park and the course takes you through the beautiful streets of downtown Washington DC. Pricing starts at $45

It’s a cool spring day as Vienna’s Ken Quincy finishes his 10 mile run on the WO&D Trail. There is no one around him on the trail, but that’s how he the 82-year-old likes it. The conditions are somewhat of a miracle, given how many runners and walkers have made use of the trail for exercise and a break from staying at home.

As he submits his time for this year’s virtual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, he proves that age won’t stop him from running. Last year, among many, many races, he finished the Lucky Leprechaun 5k in 31:42 

Having lived in Vienna since 1972, Quincy has been a noteworthy presence in the running community for decades. Originally from Colorado, he moved to the area to work for the FDIC after, as Quincy puts it, “[they] made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

He did not start running regularly until his mid-40s after a few unsuccessful attempts at getting introduced to the sport.

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Name: Brian Kapur

Self-described age group: 31

Residence: Arlington

Occupation: Operations manager at a dental office and freelance journalist 

Why you run: I run for the physical and mental health benefits. It helped me reverse several health problems and lose 65 pounds. In addition, the thrill of pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible.

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New Year’s Day 5k

Kick off the New Year in style by joining us for the New Year’s Day 5K! With a race start time of 10am, there’s still time to sleep in a bit after ringing in the New Year! Enjoy music, food,

When the Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Marathon, stripped of its permit in the face of D.C.’s state of emergency order, announced its postponement, it hit a lot of runners right as they were starting their tapers.

But not all were planning to wait for the Nov. 7 makeup date. They had a marathon on their calendars for March 28, and they were going to run a marathon on March 28.

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Run with Santa 5k

Are you ready? Word on the street is Santa and Mrs. Claus have been training like champions! Join us for the 10th annual Run With Santa 5K! The starting gun goes off at 8:30 AM at Reston Town Center. Pricing

New stay-at-home orders in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. carve out exceptions for outdoor exercise, which includes running. I’m sure I’m not the only person breathing a sigh of relief.

It’s up to runners to be responsible with this. In the grand scheme of things, running in a group isn’t as likely as most social activities to promote transmission of the coronavirus, but considering the ground runners cover, it’s a high profile activity that I worry could easily be seen as nonessential. It’s low-hanging fruit. And frankly, you should be doing everything you can to limit your exposure to other people.

Chicago closed its Lakefront Trail after it got too crowded. D.C. closed part of the Mall when people crammed the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms. The D.C. Parks and Recreation Department just closed all of its facilities. In France, you can’t run more than 1.25 miles (they call it 2 kilometers) from your home. It’s not runners tipping the balance in most of those places, but let’s not change that.

Most of the sidewalks and trails around here aren’t wide enough to accomodate two people running side-by-side with approriate distance between them (and six feet is the minimum distance you should keep from people, anyway). Heck, Beach Drive is barely wide enough for that, given all the people out there on weekends. Run alone for a while.

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The response to COVID-19 has been wide reaching, affecting the lives of millions of Americans and shuttering businesses nationwide. The pandemic is affecting businesses in all sectors, and the running community is not exempt. D.C.-area specialty running stores are closing their sales floors, canceling events and working to find ways to virtually connect with patrons in an industry that thrives on face-to-face interactions.

Most specialty running stores rely on business in the spring to help set them up for a successful year. It’s when many runners hit the streets again and think of their apparel and footwear needs, said Potomac River Running Owner Ray Pugsley.

Most years his stores see an uptick in sales in March, and sales stay strong through the Marine Corps Marathon in October. However, the novel coronavirus has been a gut punch to his business and has him concerned about what the future could hold. Potomac River Running’s Virginia stores have reduced hours; the D.C. store closed last week after Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.

“If businesses like us are shut down for two months, we can’t recover … It’s so grave I can’t even wrap my brain around it. I can’t even wrap my arms around how bad this can get so fast,” Pugsley said. “… As long as you’re selling stuff every day, it’s not a problem. But when you pull the sales out, everything stops. We can’t do anything; we’re paralized.”

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