Want to run your best 5K in 2018? Looking to lose weight, run your first marathon or qualify for the Boston Marathon? Running-themed New Year’s resolutions can be ambitious, but there are some reliable ways to realize your goals.
Setting realistic goals is a major step toward success, said Jerry Alexander, who coaches at both Georgetown Running Club and Northern Virginia Running Club.
“It’s easy to set goals that sound good and sound inspirational, like qualifying for the Boston Marathon, but if you’re someone who is 20-25 minutes off of that time, it may be a bit too much to bite off,” said Alexander, who coaches more than 150 athletes between the two clubs.
Alexander said there’s a sweet spot when setting a running-themed New Year’s resolution.
Pace the Nation host and Pacers owner Chris Farley has run under three hours for the marathon for 18* straight years, but number 19 is in jeopardy after strong headwinds in the last few miles of the Philadelphia Marathon slowed him down to 3:01:04. While some would chide him for waiting until nearly the end of the year to make his attempt, this is neither here nor there.
He will attempt to save his streak at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 29 in East Potomac Park. Breaking3, an adaptation of the two-hour marathon attempt inside a Nike commercial, will feature pace setters honed in on the 6:50-per-mile pace necessary to bring Farley through 26.2 miles with a little breathing room.
The pace group will travel counter-clockwise on Ohio Drive and Buckeye Drive. Roads will remain open with traffic traveling clockwise.
It’s a tough call, but on the basis of Loudoun Valley’s Nike Cross Nationals victory and Abbey Green and Page Lester‘s top-15 finishes at Foot Locker, the D.C. area has likely put together its strongest and most diverse cross country season in recent years. D.C., Maryland and Virginia all had superlative runners who distinguished themselves throughout the season in races near and far.
If you want to keep track of the D.C. area’s graduating top runners, you can easily do it by bookmarking the University of Virginia athletics site. Five of our All-RunWashington postseason runners have committed to the Cavaliers to add to the eight underclassmen on the roster this year.
The RunWashington coaches panel met Nov. 27 to decide whose performances throughout the 2017 cross country season had earned them this honor. State championship meet performances carried the greatest weight, though other post-season performances and outstanding invitational results also figured in.
The coaches panel consisted of John Ausema, Gonzaga; Anthony Belber, Georgetown Day School; Steve Hays, Walt Whitman; Kevin Hughes, Georgetown Visitation; Mike Mangan, Lake Braddock; Chris Pellegrini, West Springfield; Kellie Redmond, T.S. Wootton; Scott Silverstein, Winston Churchill and Cindy Walls, Bishop O’Connell.
In addition to the All-RunWashington team, coaches from each state or D.C. picked their next seven top runners. Those teams can be viewed here:
Montgomery County once again dominated the D.C. area Maryland suburbs. The boys, particularly, put on a show at their county meet Oct. 21. Walter Johnson won its fifth-straight Maryland 4A title and Walt Whitman edged Bethesda-Chevy Chase for top D.C.-area boys’ team honors at the state meet in third.
Virginia’s 6A classification saw some of its traditions torn in half, as the traditional Northern Region was split and the Occoquan Region was born from it. Northern Virginia teams captured state championships in boys and girls 6A (Lake Braddock), girls 5A (Tuscarora) and boys 4A (Loudoun Valley).
This season saw the ascendance of St. John’s College’s teams, with the girls surging to the lead at the D.C. state meet and the boys into second, behind a young Gonzaga team that ran without top returner John Colucci.
- Annandale resident Caleb Hymans ran a 10k single-age world record for 12-year-old boys at the Turkey Trot 10k in Quantico Nov. 18, running 35:34.
- Fairfax’s Sarah Bishop, who won the Marine Corps Marathon seven seconds short of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials standard for 2020 beat that standard Dec. 3 at the California International Marathon, running 2:42:36. Arlington’s Jessica McGuire, who ran 2:43:55, also qualified. McGuire was a guest on Dec. 11’s Pace the Nation podcast. Kyle Stanton, of Rockville, qualified by running 2:17:48.
- Matt Rodjom will represent the United States in the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup, part of the 2018 London Marathon. He runs despite Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, which distorts most of his vision directly ahead.
- Rochelle Basil (1:25:42) of Fairfax and Austin Kidd (1:14:14) of Columbus, Ga. won the RRCA D.C. state half marathon championship at the Gar Williams Half Marathon Dec. 17.
- Three two-time local Foot Locker finalists raced Dec. 9 in San Diego. Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green finished 12th in 18:03.4, exactly a minute behind winner Claudia Lane of California. National Cathedral School’s Page Lester was two places behind Green in 18:06.4. Heather Holt, from George Marshall, was 31st in 18:48.4.
Buying holiday gifts for a runner on your list can be tough. With a bevy of brands and technology changing as fast as twinkle lights, many buyers may be curious about the best things to put under runners’ trees.
Many D.C.-area specialty stores offer options at varying price ranges aimed at runners of all levels, and can help answer questions about what gear runners need, what’s new in tech and what’s hot this season.
Name: Paul Karlsen
Self-described age group: I will be a Masters runner by the end of this year.
Residence: Bethesda. Previously London. Originally Scotland.
Cross country runners aren’t imposing figures, and Peter Morris knows that. The Loudoun Valley guys couldn’t walk up to the rest of the Nike Cross Nationals field, stare everybody down and expect a response, but Morris knew if they could just be themselves on Portland, Ore.’s Glendoveer Golf Course, everyone would have a good reason to be scared of them. Like an alligator’s grin, a Viking’s laugh was a sign of danger to come.
“We just showed up and were united and knew if we ran our best, we’d win,” he said. “The way we’ve bonded has been one of the reasons we’ve run well, and we’ve bonded because we have fun together.”
It wasn’t quite that easy, but it was that straightforward. Hard work, smart training, bonding and some insight from Morris’ experience racing here last year all went into what turned out to be the most dominant boys’ team victory in NXN’s 14-year history as the high school team cross country championship.