Washington, DC
Bethany Graham leads Taryn Parks in the second mile of the 2019 Oatlands Invitational. Photo: Charlie Ban

Bethany Graham wasn’t sure what to make of Taryn Parks. The senior from Greencastle-Atrim in Pennsylvania has been a mainstay at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships since her freshman year and had run 4:37 for 1600 meters over Memorial Day weekend. Graham ultimately chose not to change her plans for the Oatlands Invitational.

“I knew she raced pretty similar to me, that she liked to get out,” Graham said. “I decided to just run normally and see what happened. I didn’t want to change too much because she was in the race.”

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Ellie Desmond finishes second in the 5A race at the 2018 Virginia state cross country meet. Photo: Bruce Buckley

Successful partnerships between coaches and runners all involve some give and take. Regardless of how established a coach is, two-way communication is crucial to keeping runners healthy and improving. For a new coach whose native sport is soccer, like Lauren Brewer at Broad Run, having a runner who knows the ropes helps a lot.

Senior Ellie Desmond has been doing her fair share of teaching.

“When last year started winding down, she saw how many seniors we were losing and knew she had to step up,” Brewer said. “As soon as the track season ended, she asked if she could take on more responsibility and help guide the team.”

Brewer had been an assistant cross country coach the previous two years, but was still new to the structure of distance running training programs. Fortunately Desmond was a voracious student and willing to offer her experience.

“We got the coaches and captains together and came up with a program together — the long runs, tempo runs, track work, why it’s important to schedule things a certain way,” Brewer said. “She’s absolutely put her footprint on the way we run the team. She’s setting the standard, and she knows how to communicate to the other runners how I want to run this team.”

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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

Monumental Runner – Cody Uhing

Name: Cody Uhing

Self-described age group: 25-29

Residence: SE D.C.

Occupation: Press Secretary, First Five Years Fund

Why you run: There is no better way to learn about your city than hitting the streets. When I first moved to D.C., knowing no one, I decided it was time to pick a hobby that got me out of my neighborhood and into the city. Since then, I joined a running club and my motivation became running my first marathon. Like many others, that first marathon was all it took. I signed up for my second the next year. This year, I am taking my running home to Nebraska for the Sept. 15 Omaha Marathon, which is also going to be my final long training run for the MCM50K.

When did you get started running: As a high school student I was never fast enough to compete in track, and our small town had no XC team. That said, I still enjoyed the alone time I had when I would go for a run around town. Now I do it for the camaraderie and friendships I have made over the years of running in D.C.

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Charles Colgan junior Bryce Lentz. Photo: Ed Lull

Bryce Lentz was frustrated with his dead legs. After he dropped a place to finish third at last week’s Pole Green Invitational, he aired his bodily grievances to his coach Dave Davis.

“I really don’t care, it’s September,” Davis recalled saying to Lentz, who is starting his junior year at Colgan High School. “The leaves are still green and you’re running 65 miles a week. Nothing matters.”

Lentz is still a little green himself. Even though he has been running since seventh grade, the last year, since moving to Virginia and winning the JV race at Great Meadow in his 2018 debut, has been steadily finishing toward the front of races. He won the Cardinal District last year, plus the 1600 and 3200 meters during the track season.

After finishing fifth in Virginia’s 6A cross country state championship, and because he’s 6’4″, he is losing the element of surprise.

“He won’t be able to sneak up on people anymore,” Davis said. “It was nice to hide, but we can’t hide anymore.”

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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

Arthur Scott wisely displays some of his marathon medals, including 24 from the Marine Corps Marathon, on his wall, in addition to around his neck. Photo: Courtesy of Arthur Scott

When Arthur Scott celebrates his 60th birthday on Oct. 7, he’ll be gearing up to mark another milestone — his 25th consecutive Marine Corps Marathon.

The Washingtonian native, who now lives in Charlotte, has run every Marine Corps Marathon since 1995, despite vowing never to run a marathon, then to run only one, then to stop after his 20th… you get the idea.

“Like many things, it was not planned,” Scott said.

The makings of Scott’s impressive run streak started in 1993, when a colleague planned to run the Marine Corps Marathon, but only to mile 20. He asked Scott to join him at the 13th mile to help get him through the last leg of the run.

“I said, ‘Sure, I’ll be there,'” recalled Scott, who already had been running consecutive Cherry Blossom Ten Mile races since the mid-80s. “I ran with him to 20 and in the excitement of the race he said, ‘I think I want to finish this.’ So, I said, ‘Well, if you’ve come this far and you want to try to finish it, I’ll stick with you.'”

What Scott saw at the finish line, shook him to his core.

“I had never been to the finish line at a marathon, and it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” Scott said. “I saw people getting sick. I saw one person faint. I saw people draped over other people. I saw toenails bleeding. I saw nipples bleeding. And I thought to myself ‘This is crazy.'”

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John Champe senior Bethany Graham. Photo: Ed Lull

Bethany Graham has plenty of reasons to fuel her running with frustration.

Despite brilliant starts to the past two cross country seasons, she hasn’t made the state meet since her freshman year. Stress fractures in 2017 and a sprained ankle in 2018 have kept her out of postseason racing.

Yet, she falls back on positive thinking. Back to something she learned through Girls on the Run.

“You just take the negative plug out,” she said. “It sounds silly but it still works for me today. Mentality is a big part of racing. If you’re not mentally confident, you’re not going to do well. You won’t have the confidence to compete with the best.

“I had to work on that for a while, but now it’s one of my strongest points.”

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VIDA Thrive 5K

The 5th Annual VIDA Thrive 5k
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at ROCK CREEK PARK!

Join VIDA Fitness and Thrive DC for the annual 5k! All proceeds will benefit Thrive DC – a non-profit organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness

West Springfield senior Sean Stuck. Photo: Ed Lull

Race car driver and raconteur Reece Bobby said it best, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Sean Stuck knows that. At last spring’s Virginia 6A track championships, he brought up the rear in the 1600 meters, finishing just 16 seconds out of first place. Fortunately, he won the 3200 meters.

Sometimes races go well and sometimes they don’t, and for Stuck, it’s much more more of the former, lately. Since he hit is growth spurt after his freshman year and dropped baseball, he has found a home on West Springfield’s top seven, and he’s an integral part of the Spartans’ state title hopes this fall.

“Sean’s main strength is that he doesn’t fear anybody or anything,” said West Springfield coach Chris Pellegrini. “That governor in everyone’s brain that tells people they maybe shouldn’t do something, that gives them doubt? He just doesn’t have that; his confidence exists in that moment of truth during races.”

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