Far from West Virginia, MCRRC runners enjoy country roads

Carlton Conant of Kensington grins while climbing a hill during the Country Roads Run Five Mile. Photo by Ken Trombatore
Carlton Conant of Kensington grins while climbing a hill during the Country Roads Run Five Mile. Photo by Ken Trombatore

Getting up on a chilly, Sunday morning in February is no challenge for Cindy Conant, 51 of Kensington.

In fact, the Country Road Run Five Mile in Olney, she won in 32:30, was really just a warm-up. She still had an additional 15 miles planned for the day and Conant planned on suckering a few of her friends into training with her. After 23 years of racing — including a number of Boston Marathons — Conant hasn’t skipped a beat.

“I just love running,” Conant said. “When I turned 50, I had my fastest races.”

Conant was one of 300 in the second leg of the MCRRC championship series, and started from Brook Manor Park near the Olney Swim Center, where runners stood to stay warm before the start of the race..

Michele Parks of Rockville didn’t mind the cold, though. She eagerly waited for her six-year-old son, Jason Parks, to finish the 1-mile fun run (he won). Jason started with the RockvilleTrack Club one year ago and recently finished his first 5K.

“He really loves it,” Michele Parks said. “He asked to compete in the full race.”

The overall first-place finisher, Joe “the Twinbrook Kid” Wiegner, 30, of Germantown, won in 27:25. After a long layoff from racing in 2012, with a few summer track meets, he’s back to training for the spring track season.

“I am focusing more on middle distance,” Wiegner said. He trains with the GeorgetownRunning Club and is excited for 2013.

The quiet out-and-back course through Olney didn’t lack hills. Near the finish, Janeth Scott, 50, Columbia, admitted the hills were not easy. “You wouldn’t want a 50 year-old to beat you,” Scott shouted at a younger man as she passed him up a hill near the finish. Scott got her start with the Howard County Striders. She ran her first 5K to lose weight and maintain her fitness.

“I looked at the other runners and said I wanted to be like them one day,” Scott said.

Scott is currently training for a 10-mile race and has competed in the Boston Marathon.

“It’s a great venue,” explained Olney resident race announcer and Marc Wolfson, 62. As competitors crossed the finish line, Wolfson passionately cheered them on. Though he was not competing himself, he is an avid runner. Wolfson was recently featured in Runner’s World’s bodies issue that examined how sweat, blisters, hours and miles have physically shaped runners. Wolfson said that one goal for the championship series was to get more runners out to race during the winter months. “It’s a tough time of year for races,” he said.

Willie Flowers, 41, Ellicott City, also mentioned the grueling hills. Flowers has been running for seven years and got his start while he was in charge of a health alliance.

“I wanted to be an example,” Flowers said.

Flowers has competed in seven marathons.

Race organizer Cathie Rosenfeld said the goal of the race was to give the Montgomery County Road Runners a venue to run together as group. This was her fifth and final time organizing the race. She recently moved to Delaware and came back one last time for this race.

“These people are like family to me,” Rosenfeld said.

Though it’s not easy to part with the MCRRC, Rosenfeld plans to get involved with a local running club in Delaware.

February may not be the easiest month to get runners to compete, but Rosenfeld still got to spend her last race in Montgomery County with hundreds of fellow club members willing to conquer the cold. Runners were rewarded with spending the rest of their Sunday morning together in a warm room full of fruit and bagels.

Recent Stories

Running Shorts

Divided lanes coming to Hains Point, safety measures in the works for the Mount Vernon Trail, three locals make national high school XC meet, local collegians race at NCAAs.

St. Albans and GVS’s Vivian Kelly won their first DC cross country titles while St. Johns’ girls and St. Albans’ Pierre Attiogbe repeated.

Running Shorts

Beach Drive remains closed to through traffic year-round, locals win conference, USATF titles.

Capt. Kyle King won the Marine Corps Marathon, a year after he planned to make his debut at the race, and Chelsea Baker of the British Royal Navy made tremendous strides winning the women’s race.

A Salute to Our Troops

Celebrate Memorial Day! Honor our past and present military heroes and first responders by running in the annual RINGING IN HOPE: A SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS! Join your friends and neighbors on May 29, 2023, at

Try Or Fail Spring Forward 10K, 5K, 1 Mile

Come join us for the second annual Try Or Fail Spring Forward races! The 1-mile course will be run on the Workhouse Arts Center property starting and ending at the baseball fields going out and back. The 5K and the


Subscribe to our mailing list