by Charlie Ban May 17, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Name: Dale Learn

Self-described age group: 45-49

Residence: Washington, DC

Occupation: Attorney, Law Partner

Volunteer roles in the running world: I have volunteered at several race water stops, finish lines, etc. for my running club, the Potomac Runners. I have also volunteered to coach track and interval training for my club. The most rewarding volunteer roles have been when I have helped get once non-runners into the sport by given advice and training tips.

Why you run: There are SO many reasons why I run. It is SUCH a central element of who I am – It grounds me, makes me feel like I have done something good for myself, is great stress relief, and is a good way to venture out into a new place. Plus, you are never as free as when you are out there and you body is in a good running rhythm and just humming along.

When did you get started running: My oldest brother was a good runner and I enjoyed watching going to his meets, especially cross county. I did local youth track, but started full time running in junior high school and continued through high school and in college (Go Dawgs!!).

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by Charlie Ban May 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm 0

  • Jim Vandak, race director for the Army Ten-Miler for the past 22 years, will retire at the end of May. During his tenure, the race has sported among the 15 most finishers in the United States and topped the D.C. area’s races.
  • General registration for the Army Ten-Miler opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 15.
  • Four D.C.-area trails will form the eastern end of a continuous trail network that will reach Seattle, the Rails to Trails Conservancy announced. The National Mall, Rock Creek Trail, Capital Crescent Trail and C&O Canal Towpath will take the trail from the U.S. Capitol out to Cumberland, Md. and beyond.
  • The D.C. Road Runners Track Championship will serve as the championship of the Eastern Track League, which comprises the District Track Club, the Hoka One One New Jersey-New York Track Club, the Atlanta Track Club, Furman Elite and the Nashville Track Club. The league formed to give elite runners in the eastern United States competitive opportunities in advance of the national championships in July.
  • The Maryland State Private Schools Cross Country Championships, Nov. 9, will move to Georgetown Prep.
  • Three runners with local connections qualified for the IAAF Outdoor World Championships in the 5,000 meters at the Peyton Jordan Invitational. Loudoun Valley alumnus Drew Hunter ran 13:21.18, Lee alumnus Josef Tessema ran 13:22.28 and Georgetown alumna Rachel Schneider ran 15:21.44.
  • A bevy of local distance runners won NCAA Division I conference championships this outdoor track season:
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by Sarah Beth Hensley May 14, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Alexandria’s Patrick Murray takes a gulp of water during the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer — which can mean one big thing for the running community: more runners are taking to the region’s sidewalks, paths and trails.

As more runners ditch the treadmill in favor of running outside, there are health and safety reminders to consider. Chief among them is knowing the correlation between warmer temperatures and running risk, said Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the medical director of MedStar Sports Medicine for the Washington region. Spring can yield some warm-but-not-too-warm running conditions, but “just because the air feels [cooler], you have to be careful,” he said.

Temperatures can feel comfortable and quickly get dangerous as you exercise, he said. Runners need to be careful with outdoor exercise when temperatures are between 73 and 82 degrees, but with higher humidity levels — a foregone conclusion in the D.C. area — temperatures as low as 73 can be high risk, Dr. Douoguih said.

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by Sara Davidson May 13, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Ajani Simmons and Jameelah Abdul-Rahim Mujaahid at the Athletic Equation 24-Hour run.

Trail racing doesn’t always mean running an ultramarathon.

In addition to various shorter races, DC-area trail runners can look to timed races to run as little — or as much — as they want.

Timed races are a great alternative to traditional set-distance events because the format means your finish line is where ever you want it. Runners have a set amount of time to complete as many — generally short — loops as possible;  who ever runs the farthest is the winner, but everyone is a finisher.

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by Charlie Ban May 10, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Photo: Amanda Hicks

Name: Kristen Serafin

Self-described age group: 30-34

Residence: Gaithersburg, MD

Occupation: Associate Director in Market Regulation Technology at FINRA

Volunteer roles in the running world: I was recently elected as a Board Member At-Large for Montgomery County Road Runners. I also volunteer as the assistant director and pace coach for MCRRC’s Summer Half Marathon Training Program. You’ll often see me at MCRRC’s low key races, volunteering for everything from course marshaling to parking.

Why you run: I find that no matter how I’m feeling, running is always there for me. I can run alone or with friends, on trails or road, fast or slow. The reliability of this sport and a love of being outside motivates me to get out the door.

When did you get started running: In the spring of 2014 I was rushed to the emergency room with pneumonia so bad that I was initially tested for a pulmonary embolism.  After years of repeatedly getting pneumonia and bronchitis I was finally diagnosed with severe asthma and GERD.  My pulmonologist put me on six different medications and asked me to build up my lung strength through running or swimming. I picked running because I figured that if you stop swimming, you drown, but if you stop running, you just walk.  The first day I was well enough to run I made it two blocks, sat down on the sidewalk in Pentworth, and cried.  I was wheezing and had to take my emergency inhaler.  After a few minutes I decided that the next day I would try to run three blocks.  Eventually I worked my way up to a 3 mile loop, and decided on a whim to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon.

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by Andrew Gates May 7, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Sean (left) and Ryan Leahy run the 2018 Jingle All the Way 15k. Photo: Swim Bike Run Photography

Sean and Ryan Leahy love going the miles together. The 25-year-old Alexandria brothers have been running together since high school, but are now upping their mileage out on the trails.

The Leahys both ran at Slippery Rock University, north of Pittsburgh. Sean ran for three years, his main event being the 400-meter hurdles. Ryan ran for only a year and a half, his main events being the 400 and 800.

“After that year and a half, my sister got me into the ultra community in western Pennsylvania,” Ryan said. Intrigued by the longer distances out on the trails, Ryan decided to give it a shot. From there, he put the 400 and 800 behind him.

He ran his first ultra, a 50K, during his sophomore year in college.

“I had no clue what I was getting myself into,” Ryan said. “My sister said, ‘There is this race by my house. It’s a 50K. You should do it.’ I think being naïve helped me out because I had nothing to compare it against. No expectations allowed me to enjoy the experience and get the most of out of it that I could.”

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by Charlie Ban May 3, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Name: Dave Beltz

Self-described age group: 50

Residence: Arlington, Va.

Occupation: Federal Government Manager

Why you run: I run because I love it.  It is a great stress reliever, easy to do almost any time of year, and if you don’t enter races, a cheap form of exercise.  I also really like the running community – at races, online, and just out on the local running trails.  We’re all in it together, and I like that feeling.

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