The National Park Service will close Rock Creek Park’s Beach Drive, between Joyce Road and the Maryland state line, for roughly a year starting in mid-July. At the same time, Beach Drive will be reopened between Broad Branch Road and Joyce Road. The closure will include the paved path alongside Beach between Joyce Road and Bingham Drive and the Valley Trail between Joyce Road and Sherill Drive. Wise Road will remain open until work crews reach it.
It doesn’t take long in the D.C. area to see a flyer for a 5K, a social media post about a group run or a specialty running store. There are dozens of local outlets for runners, but the specialty running store industry is facing a changing landscape, as online competitors siphon business and customers adopt new shopping habits.
Potomac River Running is one of many stores that has felt the pinch. Owner Ray Pugsley said over the last five years, sales have been down 15 to 20 percent. He attributes some of that decline to a shift in consumer habits: more people are turning to online and big-box retailers for lower prices and convenience.
Self-described age group: Thirties
Residence: Columbia Heights
Occupation: External relations and outreach manager, Trust for America’s Health
Why you run: I love it – both competitively and recreationally – and, it makes me feel good. I also love the outdoors and exploring, so running is a great way to combine the two.
In 2007, Greg Mariano ran the worst race of his life when he attempted, and did not finish, the New York City Marathon. He considered giving up running for good after that. But less than 11 years later, Mariano is turning heads as one of DC’s fastest improving sub-elite runners.
Originally from Colonie, N.Y., Mariano can still remember the first time he discovered his knack for running. During his high school freshman gym class, he was asked to run as far as he could for 12 minutes. Mariano ended up running 8.5 laps. “I don’t know what possessed me to try so hard,” he jokes.
As of May 9, all but three W&OD Trail-owned water fountains were working. The exceptions are Buckthorn Lane, Loudoun County High School, and Lee Highway
Georgetown senior Amos Bartel was named track performer of the meet at the Big East Track and Field Championships. His wins in the 800 meters and 4×800 meter relay were among four distance titles for the Hoyas:
- 3000 meter steeplechase
- 1.Margie Cullen 10:33.42
- 800 meters
- 1. Amos Bartelsmeyer Georgetown 1:49.50 10
2. Ruach Padhal Georgetown 1:49.75 8
- 1 Georgetown 7:38.39 Charles Cooper, Joshua Bell, Jack Salisbury, Amos Bartelsmeyer
- 10,000 meters
1. Nicholas Golebiowski 30:10.36
Runners with local connections have been featured on some running podcasts. Among them:
Jamies Watts, who has cerebral palsy, completed the New Jersey Marathon, starting the night of April 28 and finishing the next day. RunWashington featured her three years ago when she sought to complete 34 races in the year before her 34th birthday.
Name: Patrick Hughes
Self-described age group: Too young for masters, too old to beat the college kids
Residence: H Street NE
Occupation: Clean energy lobbyist
Why you run: I have a competitive personality, no matter what I’m doing, and that definitely keeps me working to improve myself. I do my best training when I have a goal race coming up. That being said, running also gives me time to think about things without the distractions of everyday life. I also run to connect with friends, whether it’s my old college teammates or the Argonaut Running Club squad, I love running as a social activity. Running is also a great way to get around the city (I often run-commute to and from work and “run” errands).
Between the Techs and the Wolfpacks, the Hoos and the Hoyas on the starting line, there are dozens of other college teams. Their uniform designs might be a little funkier. There might just be five runners in their boxes, if that. And they might need to give you a hint as to what state their school is in, but what they lack in scholarships they make up for in passion for running.
The 90 Division III schools that carry D.C. area natives on their rosters are giving them an opportunity to continue their love for running, for being part of a team and for pushing their bodies’ limits. The non-scholarship division, mostly small private schools, represents the NCAA’s largest division, with 451 colleges and universities, besting Division I by 100.
You think Virginia Tech is the college destination of choice for local runners? The Hokies sport 15, but on the other end of the state, 18 runners are on Christopher Newport University’s roster. Freshman Eric Speeney is one of them, picking it over Division I schools because of the freedom the program would give him to live his life as a student athlete.
After dealing with injury, the 2017 Chicago Marathon was supposed to be Kathy Hoenig’s big return back to marathoning after a five-year hiatus. At mile 13, she felt awesome. At mile 14, she felt like death.
“I never thought I was never going to finish a marathon,” said Hoenig, of South Riding, Va. “But I didn’t think I was going to finish this race.”
Her legs hurt and her stomach felt queasy. She switched to straight walking around mile 16, as it was the only way to keep moving forward. Finishing the race felt out of reach. Her goal switched from one of time to one of simply crossing the finish line.
Twenty-two miles in, she heard the kind words, “Are you okay?”