Washington, DC
Roman Gurule. Photo: Niamh Brennan

As a gregarious extrovert, Roman Gurule met a number of his friends through happy hours and dinners during his time as a federal government employee. He joined his colleagues whenever they drank alcohol and Gurule went out about five times a week to relieve stress from work. It felt like a normal thing to do, even if he would wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and a scant memory of what happened the previous night.

He repeatedly told his friends he would cut back on his self-proclaimed “rockstar lifestyle” that he started after college, but then it would happen again the following weekend. And the next. “I think that nobody took me seriously,” Gurule says. 

Finally, he had enough. Drinking all week began to negatively affect all aspects of his life. 

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2019 Glory Days XC 5k

Join us on Saturday, October 12 and enjoy running a Cross Country 5K race at Bull Run Regional Park Special Events Center. The first race of the day, at 8:30 am, will be open to the general public. Then feel

Pictured with Tracey Dahl is Furbutt, the VHTRC mascot, who she bought for the 25th Women’s Half Marathon in 2017.

Putting on a race is no small task.

Race directing usually involves hours (and hours) of prep work to scout course routes, secure permits, find and order materials on time, and coordinate an army of volunteers. Not to mention scrambling to make last-minute adjustments for terrible weather or missing volunteers.

Even with all the logistical gymnastics and giant drains on free time, most race directors certainly arent in the game to make money.

We talked with four local trail RDs about how they got started with their events, why they keep at it, and how every single one believes race directing is a team sport.

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Name: Gregory Boutin

Self-described age group: 65-69

Residence: Burke, Va.

Occupation: Retired

Why you run: Started running for general health reasons.  This quickly morphed into: enjoyment of the quiet time running provides, the ability to push my limits in either a competitive or non-competitive way, and the feeling of accomplishment I get after finishing a hard workout or race.

When did you get started running: I started walking 4 – 4.5 miles a day when I was 50 years old and 35 pounds overweight.  After five or six months I transitioned to walking/jogging, and finally to just running.

Have you taken a break from running:  Yes, for about 4 years in my later-50’s.  At that point in my work career I had changed jobs and found that working much longer hours left little time for running.  Trying to make up for that by running on the weekends was not a good idea.

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Holiday Half and 4 miler

The Holiday Half Marathon and 4 Mile Fun Run showcases beautiful Wakefield Park, Lake Accotink and the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail. Come and join in on the fun!

The races begin at 8:30 am at Wakefield Park. With fees

Natalia demonstrates Knifehands form, supported by her teammates. Photo: Rich Woods

Covering 18 miles at once may not sound difficult to many runners, but it becomes far more difficult when those 18 miles are split up over the course of the three separate runs without proper recovery time in between, lack of sleep or square meals. Plus at least one of those legs takes place in the middle of the night.

Road relays like Ragnar or American Odyssey have become popular staples in the running world. These 24-hour, 12-person races involve runners taking turns running three legs of various lengths across 100+ mile distances across either road or trails. Some teams run short-handed for an extra challenge.

The idle runners follow their active runner in a van, and wait at an exchange zone until it is time to hand off the running responsibility.  Trail races, on the other hand, follow loop courses, with participants staying in a camp or village until it is time for their leg.

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Runners, parents and coaches await the start of the 2019 preseason pep rally. Photo: Charlie Ban

RunWashington, along with Pacers Running and New Balance, will be celebrating the start of the 2019 cross country season Aug. 25 by recognizing 62 of the most promising young cross country runners in the D.C. area.

A preseason pep rally, held at the Pacers Running pop-up at 600 H Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, will open at 5:30 p.m. and start up at 6 p.m.

It’s a chance to mix with the people you’ll be running into on race courses throughout the fall while you’re not trying to grind each other into the grass, hear from a Foot Locker Cross Country champion and get excited for the upcoming season. Wear your team’s t-shirt to show off [insert mascot’s name here] pride, intimidate your rivals by telling them how much you ran during your vacation at altitude, show off your watch tan lines … it’s going to be great!


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

Michael Ogunsalu leads a pack of his teammates in the first mile. Photo: Charlie Ban

The Bowie State football team, following its first CIAA title last fall, took a break from preseason practice for its inaugural 5k. Senior safety John Johnson IV, 21, demonstrated that he hadn’t been slacking off on days he hadn’t made practice by winning the race around the campus in 19:49. Reston’s Robyn Kenul, 32, a recent transplant from Long Island, won the women’s race in 21:08.

Check out photos from the race here


Name:  Laura Povlich

Self-described age group: 35-39

Residence: D.C.

Occupation: Program Director at NIH

Volunteer roles in the running world: Event Coordinator for my local triathlon club, District Multisport

Why you run: My motivation for running has changed throughout the years, but I’m currently motivated to get outside, see new and beautiful places, and spend some miles with running friends.

When did you get started running: I started running about 12 years ago to try to get into shape after undergrad. I spent most of my younger years dancing and running seemed like a logical hobby to pick up. My husband also started racing triathlons around that time and I was inspired by the variety of athletes that competed.

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