Washington, DC

Walt Whitman cross country and track runner Ben Lesser is fighting acute myeloid leukemia — and he has a hurdle to get past.

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Sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program

Send Ben a card or note: 

Ben Lesser
6106 Harvard Ave. PO Box 607
Glen Echo, MD 20812

He needs a bone marrow transplant, but he doesn’t have a match in the nationwide Be The Match Registry. Family members have been checked, too, without success, said Kelly Fischer, who is Lesser’s dad’s significant other.

The first round of chemotherapy worked, but it’s not a permanent fix, said Fischer, who has known Ben since he was 6. He just turned 18.

“The match is a lifesaving bone marrow transplant,” she said.

People ages 18-44 who meet the health requirements can sign up at bethematch.org for free and do a cheek swab to see if they are a match for someone who needs a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donation. The majority of donors are ages 18-44, but those ages 45-60 can join for $100.

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Name:  Lisa Johnston

Self-described age group: Almost a Master

Residence: Reston

Occupation: Environmental Scientist 

Volunteer roles in the running world: Run club at my girl’s elementary school

Why you run:  loaded question, could write a novel on this topic, but for today – I run for self therapy and to set a good example for my girls (8 and 12)

When did you get started running: eighth grade track (like 1,000 years ago)

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South Lakes 10k

Join us for the 7th annual South Lakes 10k through the streets of Reston! The starting gun goes off at 7:30 AM at South Lakes High School. Pricing starts at $40 for early birds, then increases to $45 for standard,

A warm day for marathoners can be pleasant for spectators, at least. But the weather in Los Angeles for the last Olympic Marathon Trials wasn’t good for anyone: A combo of high temperatures and noontime sun made it hurt just to be outside. My favorite spot to watch the race was in the shade beneath an overpass.

Which is why I’ll never forget the first time I saw my friend Kieran O’Connor pass by me. 

His top-10 American finish at the brutally hot 2012 Boston Marathon proved he had the ability to thrive in tough conditions. But what I saw still feels almost unreal to me. 

It was early in the race and athletes already looked delirious. Kits were soaked. Sweat was flying off hair. 

And there was O’Connor, cruising along, beard dry — cool, collected and completely in the zone, an athlete seeded 145th on his way to a 24th-place finish in 2:21:37. 

Reading Charlie Ban’s post-race article, the quote from O’Connor that brings me back to that moment is this one:

I knew I just had to keep grinding for six more miles. There’s nothing else I had to do, just keep grinding. With about three miles to go, I thought, ‘I just have to finish up this loop and I can go home and see my daughter.‘”

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It’s that time of year — when stuffy noses, sore throats and congestion abound. During cold and flu season it can be tempting to ignore symptoms to get in a run or a workout as spring race season approaches, but it begs the question: when is it OK to run when you have a cold, and when should you take a break?

It all boils down to how severe your symptoms are and how your body is feeling, said Dr. Glenn Wortmann, director of infectious diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and an avid runner himself for about 20 years.

“Everybody is a little bit different, but if you’re so congested you’re having trouble breathing, then you should take the day off,” Wortmann said.

There’s some good news though: if cold symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches, headaches and sneezing aren’t too severe, it’s fine for runners to power through them to get a workout in, Wortmann said. Over the course of the winter, people may get the cold several times and if they feel up to it, they can run, he added.

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Fall Classic 10k

Potomac River Running Fall Classic 10K is sure to become one of your new favorite events! Kick off the fall in style and run the Fall Classic! The starting gun goes off at 8 AM in One Loudoun. Pricing starts

Through the sheets of rain, Bonnie Keating embraced the challenges that the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon dished out.

The distance wasn’t a problem, she could easily handle 26 miles, and she finished fifth among women. But while the sunny Southern California weather she has gotten used to over the last 13 years hasn’t necessarily made her soft, she does realize she’s missing a certain edge, something she wanted to regain before her second Olympic Marathon Trials.

“On one hand, you never have an excuse why you can’t go out and train, but you also don’t get things like really windy snow drifts to give you that grit,” she said.

Keating moved to San Diego after three years at Frostburg State University that culminated in a 21st place finish at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. That followed her time, as Bonnie Axman, playing soccer and running cross country at Robinson Secondary School in Virginia, forgoing soccer at the end of her senior year to run track.

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Name: Bobby Huang

Self-described age group: I am smack dab in the middle of the 20-29 age group
Residence: Silver Spring, Md.
Occupation: Scientific Software Developer at NASA
Volunteer Roles in the Running World: I once coached a Pacers 14th Street track workout with Lauren Bartels because everyone else was too busy
Why you run: Because one day I won’t be able to run and it would be a shame if I didn’t take advantage of it now

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Ben’s Run 5 miler/5K

This is the 10th anniversary and final Ben’s Run. This well-organized event benefits kids with cancer at Children’s National where Ben was treated for leukemia before he passed away. More than 1,000 runners and walkers typically register for the 5

Finishing the For the Love of It 10K was special for Reston’s Kate Hutton.  After having her first child eight months ago, she has taken her return to running slowly and cautiously, essentially re-starting her running career from scratch. She was finally capable of running more than six miles.

For her, pregnancy threw her fine-tuned body out of whack, far from the easy pregnancies she had heard about, and her initial goal of running as long as she could. And she’s not alone.

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