What a fitting last name for a race and holiday like this. Jackie and Scott Lovell enjoyed the post race party after participating in the 14K Male/Female Relay division where their combined time was 1:20:29.


By Brenda Barrera

Virginia Beach,  VA February 13, 2010

For the Washington Running Report



They say that Virginia is for Lovers.  Given the weekend’s special holiday, it is safe to assume that is true.  But even with all of that love going around, it was not very warm for this past Saturday’s sold-out Virginia is for Lovers 14K race in Virginia   Beach. More than 2,000 runners participated in the event with temperatures hovering in the low 30s and wind gusts reaching 29 mph. (For any mathematically challenged readers, 14K equals 8.67 miles.)

The chilly temperatures did not deter Aaron Saft, 32, from Fletcher NC winning in 45:38, narrowly edging out local favorite, Ryan Carroll, 27, from Portsmouth, VA who came in second almost 20 seconds later in 45:56.  David Hryvniak, 25, from Chesapeake, VA crossed the line a minute later to take third place with a time of 46:50.

Afterward Carroll gave kudos to his competition.  “It was great to have Aaron to run with today.” The runner-up acknowledged having an 8-week old baby has put his competition into perspective, but he achieved his goal of getting out and feeling good.

The women’s race was not as close and the top three women were all from Virginia Beach. Renee High, 28, had a commanding lead winning in 52:53, but there was a battle for the next two spots as Kelly Taylor, 25, and Natalie Sherbak, 24, finished in 54:56.7 to 54:56.9, respectively.

Taking top honors for the masters were a husband and wife duo from Johnstown, PA.  Michael McGee, 47, handily won his division in 50:53 besting local masters standout Steve Speirs, 43, who ran 52:13.  Meanwhile, his “better” half, Gina McGee, 45, ran 57:12 to beat Williamsburg’s Laura Shannon by 10 seconds.  Shannon’s time was 57:22.

Afterward, runners stayed warm in the post-race tent with a party that featured live music, burritos from local hotspot Moe’s Southwest Grill and plenty of Yuengling beer.  J&A Racing, who also put on the Yeungling Shamrock Sportsfest, organized the race.  Click on the link for complete results and be sure to check out the March


George Mason High Harriers Unfazed by Long Bus Rides

Northern Virginia is littered with high schools, and most are gigantic. George Mason High School is not. With fewer than 650 students in four grades, it is dwarfed by nearby George Marshall, McLean, Falls Church and Yorktown high schools.

But like a sapling under a forest canopy, the Mustang cross country teams have thrived, stretching their roots far away to find the competition that matches their size. Even if that means racking up miles on the bus.

The harriers are dismissed a few hours early for their cross country and track meets, allowing for more than an hour of travel time to reach each dual meet. They all live within the city of Falls Church, a 2.2-square-mile enclave surrounded by Fairfax and Arlington counties. Though many surrounding neighborhoods bear the Falls Church postal address, few fall within the city limits. The high school itself is in Fairfax County, and if anyone claimed it as a residence, their kids would attend McLean High, 2.5 miles away.

It’s a single A school, the smallest division in Virginia, comprising the smallest third of schools in the Virginia High School League. George Mason only has one district opponent, Manassas Park, that’s within a half-hour’s driving distance. The others – Strasburg, Clarke County, Central (Woodstock), William Monroe (Standardville), Madison County, and Rappahannock County – are all well over an hour away.

That means a lot of time on the bus. There’s no snickering or gabbing on the trips, either. Head Coach Alisa Harvey enforces quiet hours so students can work on homework. They might as well, because the quality of the school system (ranked 45th in 2012 among the best schools in america by Newsweek) is the reason they’re in this situation.

In 1949, as the city of Falls Church’s population tripled following World War II, raised taxes to improve their school system. Citizens were upset at paying 2.65 cents off the dollar in taxes to Fairfax County and not having it go towards better schools. The city successfully petitioned the state in 1949 to be independent of Fairfax so it could establish its own school system.

“I don’t think in 1949, we could have foreseen that our athletes would be taking 2-hour bus rides. It has always been that way,” said school spokesman John Brett.

Athletic Director Tom Horn doesn’t see the travel quandary as difficult.

“I don’t know if it’s a response so much as a learned behavior,” he said. “It’s what we’ve been doing for … years. Our district placement says we’re going to compete against the seven smallest schools and they just happen to be several miles away.”

Additionally, the school has no home course. According to Horn, the department looked into a home course ten years ago, but found that the school’s small campus wasn’t suitable. They had to run multiple loops and stop traffic from entering the campus at several entrances.

“If your ‘home course’ isn’t on campus, and it isn’t where you practice every day, then it isn’t really a ‘home’ course,” Horn said “So we decided we could do better by not having one. We certainly didn’t want to bus our kids to a ‘home course’ for practice every day” adding that they already spend enough time on a bus.

At the same time, Horn feels that there is an added advantage to constant away trips.

“One advantage to our current schedule is we don’t want them travelling two hours and running a cross-country meet for the first time when they hit postseason,” Horn said.

“They already have had practice running after lengthy bus trips, and have run on the regional and state courses before running on them for those meets.”

And the postseason has been good to the Mustangs, with four state titles for the girls and one for the boys.

“I mean, sometimes I think it would be nice to not have that travel schedule,” said Mustang captain and senior Jesse Schaffer. “But we wouldn’t have all those other advantages of running in a small school.”

Assistant coach Matt Kirk and Harvey try to use those challenges to instill their kids with responsibility.

“Alisa and I constantly talk to the team about time management and making the best use of time in school and time after school,” he said. “New runners might complain a little bit about the travel time, but the team quickly adapts to the demands and does a fairly decent job of managing academic and athletic demands.”

According to senior Jesse Shaffer, the ride over to the meets is fairly uneventful, but the bus gets a little livelier on the way back, especially if they win.

“Especially last year at states when both the guys and boys won,” said Shaffer. “We really were feeling great and happy for each other.”

Shaffer says that the team bonds together but he doesn’t think it’s because of the long bus rides or the unique circumstances.

“I just think it’s a great group of people and we’re really happy for each other and encourage one another to do well, and that would be the case either way.”

Shaffer’s favorite tradition is the seniors leading the team into a song when the bus arrives back at George Mason and is pulling into the parking lot.

“I’m not sure why we do it,” said Shaffer. “One of the reasons is I think it wakes up anyone who fell asleep.”


By James Moreland
Ashburn, VA
May 22, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

May is the month of maybe. It may be really hot (2009). It may be real humid (2010). Or it may be both (2011). Running is still booming so the field drew 25% more than last year race for the two events, 5K and 10K. The awards expanded out to two deep in ten year age groups.

Before the race Bernie Gallagher, 70, proudly announced he would be running the 5K with his granddaughters. Gallagher, always near the top of his division when healthy, claims he has recovered from an injured humerus (like he needs an arm to run a race), and will soon be mounting a charge for the division crown. He allowed Greer to step on the ChronoTrack mats a second ahead of him. Her older sister Taitumn jetted on ahead to finish eighth overall in 24:11.

The race is very well marshaled and policed. Still with the 5K and 10K going off together a half block from the first turn onto Ashburn Village Boulevard, bodies jammed the racing lane. The 5K turnaround comes around 2K into the race. As runners fold back, longer distance racers now have clear sailing.

Last year the 5K race was won overall by Katherine Hoenig in 21:22. Before the race Ted Poulos was lining up for the race. Having finished the Atoms 5K yesterday in 17:25, it seemed unlikely that Hoenig would get a repeat. With nearly 5,000 races in his résumé, Poulos saw the hand writing on the wall. Six months shy of fifty, he was not going to take down Justin Fritzius, 26, for the win. As he approached the turnaround he was right with second place Robert Jones, 41, but nobody else. A quick, measured look around and a shot of adrenaline and he whipped past the turnaround to take the lead in the 10K race.

Like most of us Poulos likes to win. In his case, usually about fifty races a year. He had 39-year-old Rob Meadows riding his wake to keep him honest. He would not get to coast to victory today. Christopher Green, 42, was not too far behind hoping to mop up if the heat altered their second half tempo.

Poulos returned to finish line around the last corner alone to win it all in 37:59. Meadows piled in 25 seconds later.

Five of the top eight finishers in the 10K were masters. The first grandmaster was Mark Drosky in 41:02, seventh overall. Coming in next was the first woman 52-year-old DeeDee Loughran (41:46). Comparisons have been made with this race and Pike’s Peek, mostly because both races have been run on the same date, (2009) and killer heat made for some slower times. “Don’t write that this course is flat or fast,” was the refrain heard at the end of the race.

No, the course is not flat but the rolling hills are not monsters that you hear about on the “scenic” courses. None of the little rises were enough to even slow your pace. They just gave you incentive to glide by the runner in front of you that was feeling the reverse placebo effect. Indeed the courses many turns helped because as you turned a corner if you fired up the after burners for a couple hundred meters, the competition would round the corner and think you were gone.

Last year’s woman’s winner in the 10K would have been fifth this year. Runners do go to www.runwashington.com and read race results. When the winning times are soft, the next year there is much stiffer competition. Coming in for her 53rd race of the year, people might think last year’s runner up Karen Young would be due for a vacation. Rumor has it she is going across the pond next week but that she has already lined up four races for next week. She won handily yesterday in Annandale but had to settle for third in her age group today. Tonya Stotler, 44, was the masters winner in 44:16. Stotler won the 5K in 2007 as nearly every year a master runner takes the top spot.

Back to the 5K, Katherine Hoenig repeated as the women’s winner in 21:34, though she was tenth overall this year just behind 59-year-old Dan Eddy, 21:34 (10K equivalent of 44:59). The answer to whether it was hot or slower than Pike’s Peek can be answered by Eddy’s 41:26 at Pike’s Peek. The second woman was also a masters, Susan Winklosky in 22:10.

The 10K race had five runners with a combined 250 races run already this year. Top with 61 races was second grandmaster Bill Stahr, followed by Poulos with 57. Young has 53 races which keeps her just behind 76-year-old Bob Gurtler who has 55. Normally it would not be fair to have an extended 60 and older division. Today, Al Rider, 75, looked around at the finish and said, “I didn’t see any other old guys. I may have won an award.” He did, first place, followed by Gurtler in second.

Karen Young and Bill Stahr relax after a combined 114 races in 2011.

    1     9 Ted Poulos           49 McLean VA               37:59 X 
    2   593 Rob Meadows          39 Ashburn VA              38:24 X 
    3   636 Christopher Green    42 Sterling VA             38:47 X 

    1   438 Deedee Loughran      52 Oak Hill VA             41:46 X 
    2   617 Meredith Samson      30 South Riding VA         42:37 X 
    3   634 Tammy Tribett        38 Manassas VA             43:20 X 

    1   426 Jack Knibb           11 Washington DC           54:10 X 

    1   311 Kate Brunotts        11 Ashburn VA              53:22 X 

    1    59 John Baldwin         19 Reston VA               41:33 X 
    2   483 Kyle Czech           14 Ashburn VA              54:35 X 

    1   425 Taylor Knibb         13 Washington DC           45:25 X 
    2   259 Alison Mabery        16 Ashburn VA            1:04:01 X 

    1    71 Gregory Mihalik      27 Ashburn VA              40:20 X 
    2   378 Adam Jones           25 Ashburn VA              47:41 X 

    1   233 Allyson McKechnie    22 Oakton VA               46:13 X 
    2    51 Natalie Nguyen       29 Leesburg VA             51:19 X 

    1   266 Rui Rodrigues        35 Ashburn VA              40:46 X 
    2   320 Sergey Yudkovsky     35 Reston VA               41:45 X 

    1   641 Jennifer Schwartz    39 Bethesda MD             47:42 X 
    2   468 Rebecca Walter       32 Washington DC           50:22 X 

    1   194 Bryan Tenney         43 Ashburn VA              39:03 X 
    2   153 Chris Stotler        43 Leesburg VA             42:59 X 

    1   424 Leslie Knibb         47 Washington DC           44:07 X 
    2   267 Tonya Stotler        44 Leesburg VA             44:16 X 

    1   506 Mark Drosky          50 Alexandria VA           41:01 X 
    2   630 Bill Stahr           50 The Plains VA           42:57 X 

    1   435 Jan Merna            51 Fairfax VA              53:03 X 
    2   269 Carol Beaupre        55 Ashburn VA              54:51 X 

    1   603 Alan Rider           75 Reston VA               57:04 X 
    2   601 Robert Gurtler       76 The Plains VA         1:04:38 X 

    1   491 Pat Welch            66 Vienna VA               59:31 X

By Dickson Mercer
Washington, DC
May 15, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

Name a local road race and Wilson Komen has probably won it. In 2005 and 2006, not long after the Eldoret, Kenya native moved to Washington, DC, the now 33-year-old runner more or less ruled the local roads. After winning the Capitol Hill Classic, though, Komen admitted that today’s race was his first taste of victory in quite some time.

“I just wanted to get a race in and see how I could do,” Komen said shortly before the awards ceremony. “I’m happy with it. It’s been awhile since I won a race.”

Komen won the Capitol Hill Classic, a challenging 10K race that starts and finishes at Stanton Park, at 5th and C streets in northeast Washington, DC, on a sunny, slightly humid morning in 32:24. Garrett Ash, 27 from Connecticut took second in 33:29. He then cruised to victory in the 3K, held about two hours after the 10K in 10:14.

This year’s Capitol Hill Classic, which offers a 10K, 3K, and fun run on historic Capitol Hill, had about 3,000 participants who traveled to the event from more than 20 states.

Kumsa Eticha, 27, of Washington, DC took third in 33:49, a day after placing second in the We’ve Got Your Back 5K in Reston, VA.

Local ace Maggie Infeld, 25, of Washington, DC was the top female, running 36:37 to hold off Alexandria, VA’s Lisa Thomas, 35, by 29 seconds. Kristi Markowicz, 41, of Arlington, VA took third in 38:24.

Top finishers received prize money of $200, $150, and $100, respectively. The top male masters finisher was DC resident Rodney Loeppky, running 35:51to place fifth overall. Markowicz was the top female masters finisher in matching her time that earned her second place in the Winter Runner Rankings.

Although Komen is losing track of the exact number, the Georgetown Running Company employee and Reebok-sponsored runner guesses he has run at least 30 marathons. In peak form, he ran 2:18:26, good for 14th place at the 2006 Boston Marathon. That same year, he placed third at the hilly Under Armour Baltimore Marathon in 2:17:06. More recently, Komen, who has dealt with hamstring problems in recent years, took third at the SunTrust National Marathon in 2:31:00.

“I’m going to pick it up now, just see what I can I do,” Komen said.

Sheika Brown, 29, of Frederick, MD finished 391st out of almost 1,000 female finishers in 58:29. She ran the Frederick Half Marathon on May 7 but said she had always wanted to run the Capitol Hill Classic.

Steve Coles, on the other hand, had run the race before. In 2000 the 53-year-old Frederick resident said he took up running as an incentive to quit smoking cigarettes. Eleven years later, Coles said he no longer smokes, and mixes the Capitol Hill Classic in with two marathons and several 10Ks he races every year. The course, he said, passes by the DC native’s former rival high school, Eastern Senior.

The Capitol Hill Classic was founded 32 years ago. Proceeds from the nonprofit race benefit Capitol Hill Cluster, a public school with three campuses: the Peabody Early Childhood Center, Watkins Elementary, and Stuart-Hobson Middle School.

Traditionally the race has started at 8:30 a.m., race director Don Montuori said. Due to events related to National Police Week, this year’s race started an hour earlier so Independence Avenue would not be blocked to traffic after 9:00 a.m. Also, to stay clear of Independence Avenue, the 3K course was rerouted on race day (and measured at 2 miles by the police patrol car).

After directing the race for his sixth year, Montouri, a runner and Capitol Hill resident, said the cost for putting on the Capitol Hill Classic has been on the rise since 2002. Combined fees to Metropolitan Police and the city have quadrupled since then to about $33,000, which used to be roughly equivalent to the amount that the race would raise for Capitol Hill Cluster.

“It’s a question for the PTA next year to decide whether we can afford to have it,” Montouri said.

The course, which takes runners along Massachusetts Avenue, around Lincoln Park and down to East Capitol Street before sending runners back for a loop around the U.S. Capitol, has not changed much since the event was founded, Montouri said. Race volunteer Mike Soderman called it a “runner’s course.” Komen, who ran the last four miles alone, described it as a “little challenging.”

The course record for men is 30:38, set by Gurmessa Kumsa in 2006. The women’s course record is 35:27, run by Heather Hanscom in 2002.

Afterward, an awards ceremony was held in Stanton Park. In front of the statue of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, mats were laid out in the grass and many runners cooled down with a yoga session.

It would be a shame to lose this longest-running 10K race in the District of Columbia. This one has grown very nicely, and has become more than just a neighborhood event, attracting runners from all over the region as well as 27 different states. As typical of races today, this one included a wide range of ages from toddler to octogenarians; the sexes tip back and forth for majority participation, with women today holding the edge.


                               Awards Listing
                    Age Group Awards Based on Net Times
Place Name                    Ag City                  Time    
===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 
    1 Wilson Komen            33 Washington DC           32:24 
    2 Garrett Ash             27 Manchester CT           33:29 
    3 Kumsa Ethicha           27 Washington DC           33:49 
Place Name                    Ag City                  Time    
===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 
    1 Maggie Infeld           25 Washington DC           36:37 
    2 Lisa Thomas             35 Alexandria VA           37:06 
    3 Kristi Markowicz        41 Arlington VA            38:24 

    1 Ava Cavanaugh            8 Washington DC           51:30 

    1 Jackson Todd            12 Washington DC           48:47 

    1 Taylor Knibb            13 Washington DC           47:08 

    1 Thomas Smyth            18 Washington DC           40:03 

    1 Margaret Haley          18 Usaf Academy CO         45:02 

    1 Alexander Wepsala       23 Washington DC           39:01 

    1 Anna Novick             22 Hayama Machi            39:19 

    1 Matt Shechtman          26 Atlanta GA              36:11 

    1 Susan Hendrick          25 Washington DC           38:45 

    1 Daniel Yi               30 Alexandria VA           36:39 

    1 Laura Ramos             32 Silver Spring MD        40:59 

    1 Andrew Lipscomb         36 Alexandria VA           36:43

Photo below: Arrington Peterson (#2205) and Mary Robison (#2439), both 12, hold hands to finish the 2-mile race in 16:35.


Joe Cassella 5K Race Report

By James Moreland
Great Falls, VA
May 15, 2011
For Washington Running Report

Like Sleepy Hollow, the Great Falls section along Georgetown Pike is a pretty well kept secret. Not that many races get held there. The ones that do have names like Difficult Run, named after one of the many parks along the roadside. You really do [button-red url=”http://www.joecassellafoundation.org/about-us.php” target=”_self” position=”left”] More About Joe [/button-red]have to slow down to transverse this section of town with its winding turns and steep hills but the view is great.

Last year in the inaugural year the skies opened up a drenched the field. Everybody proclaimed the course a challenge. “So you are going to Great Falls. Expect a really hilly course.”  We did and it wasn’t. Great Falls Village went all out. The police cordoned off all the roads. The rumored shortage of parking was just that – rumor. One veteran runner was told to prepare for a tough finish and ran too timidly in the first half only to learn that there were virtually no hills on the course.

The entire course was lined with more cones than you could shake a stick at. No chance of getting lost.

The scores of kids returning from the mile fun run were all laughter and smiles, probably because they knew what the 5K racers would find out soon enough, the course was actually fast. A pack of three flew away recklessly up the opening rise. The first time anybody knew something was up was about a half mile into the race when we heard a couple of squeals as two young runners went down. Then turning the corner we discovered the course was going cross-country. The country already soaked from last night’s rain was a steep down hill in the mud. That only lasted for fifty meters and after another hundred meters of flat on the grass runners were on the road again. Just before the 2K sign runners returned along the path, making the course technically a cross country race.

Cresting the hill there was a chance to see runners taking on the down hill, which was distinctly tougher than the uphill. The rest of the way the race tilted up and down a tad but barely past flat with the steepest down hill section the final tenth of a mile.

As late as two miles the pack was still three with Birhanu Feysa, 29, of Silver Spring, MD leading the way. The other two were straining some and third place Seife Geletu, 29, of Washington, DC (left) fell off the pace to finish in 16:22. That was still well ahead of Edi Turco’s event record from last year at 16:46. Turco, 38, a fine submaster, could not stay with the lead pack. Today he did well to hold off Vinnie Derocco 17:25 to 17:35. Derocco came in from San Diego to take a shot at the 30-39 age group medal. Ryan Foster, 25, was runner-up and earned $100 for a nifty 15:51. Feysa stayed golden to set the new standard with 15:47 and take home $200.

Before the race, runners noted that there were a lot of fast women runners. Fast is the technical term for runners that spend lots of times running warm-ups in front of the starting line. Last year champion Mijiko Phelps of Reston, VA(below). She won in a runaway 19:59, ahead of Gina Cassella’s 21:30. This year it was evident early that she was running for second place. At forty, her time of 20:20 was impressive. Keneni Orgesa, at 39, was one of only two runners in the top eight younger than 40. She pulled away easily winning it all in 19:18.  Fourth place Anita Freres, 46, was third master in 21:49. That was well off her normal pace. Her husband noted that she had finished fourth yesterday at the We’ve Got Your Back 5K in 21:05.  She started slower than normal, possibly a victim of hilly hearsay heresy.

Perhaps the biggest story of the women’s race was 56-year-old Heather Sanders. From McLean she must have known the course. She ran a very nice 23:34 for the top grandmaster spot. She had the second best age graded time behind Orgesa for the women and edged out all of the men from Turco on back.

Ted Baca, 65, is back after taking some time off from racing. He definitely started too conservative, thinking hills, but still had a very nice 23:44.

After the race there were so many pastries, muffins, fruit, and beverages (hot and cold) to choose from. With four massage tables and music playing in the lovely courtyard it was so nice the rain held off to allow runners to linger. At the finish line of the race, friends and family of Joe Cassella lined up to congratulate runners with high fives as they crossed the ChronoTrack mats.


Overall Male 				

Place	Name	City	Age	Overall	Chip	Gun	Pace
1	Birhamu Feysa	Silver Spring, MD	29	15:47	15:47 5:05
2	Ryan Foster	Washington, DC	25	2	15:50	15:51 5:07
3	Seife Geletu	Washington, DC	29	3	16:22	16:22 5:17

Male 14 & Under						
1	Daniel Hulett	Great Falls, VA	12	35	23:02	23:10 7:28
Male 15 to 19						
1	Benjamin ShaperoGreat Falls, VA	17	523	22:08	22:08 7:08
Male 20 to 29						
1	Chris Hamel	Methuen  MA	27	6	18:07	18:07 5:51
Male 30 to 39						
1	Edi Turco	Arlington, VA	38	4	17:25	17:25 5:37
Male 40 to 49						
1	Stephen Crago	Vienna, VA	42	10	19:19	19:19 6:14
Male 50 to 59						
1	Michael Sundel	Falls Church, VA	50	22:34	22:39 7:18
Male 60 to 69						
1	Ted Baca	Arlington, VA	65	43	23:41	23:44 7:39
Male 70 & Over						
1	Bill Pepelko	Great Falls, VA	76	230	34:51	35:13 11:22

Overall Female 				

Place	Name	City	Age	Overall	Chip	Gun	Pace
1	Keneni Orgesa	Washington, DC	39	9	19:18	19:18 6:14
2	Mijiko Phelps	Reston, VA	40	14	20:20	20:21 6:34
3	Afsaneh Azar	Vienna, VA	41	18	20:58	20:59 6:46

Female 14 & Under						
1	Adriana Rosas	Silver Spring, MD	11	23:34	23:34 7:36
Female 15 to 19						
1	Kathryn West	Great Falls, VA	17	42	23:40	23:44 7:39
Female 20 to 29						
1	Katie Muething	Arlington, VA	25	25	22:11	22:13 7:10
Female 30 to 39						
1	Carolyn Reiderman	Chantilly, VA	30	23:52	24:01 7:45
Female 40 to 49						
1	Anita Freres	Rockville, MD	46	22	21:49	21:52 7:03
Female 50 to 59						
1	Heather Sanders	Mc Lean, VA	56	38	23:32	23:34 7:36
Female 60 to 69						
1	Diane Goyette	Reston, VA	65	204	32:59	33:23 10:46
Female 70 and over						
1	Marjorie Crago	Gainesville,  FL	70	35:07	35:51 11:34



By James Moreland
Reston, VA
May 14, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

The Reston Town Center is a great spot to hold an event. The Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer starts with a 5K and is followed by an untimed 1 mile. Long before the race got underway hundreds of participants gathered. Many wore special-colored shirt proclaiming that they were survivors. Groups of people formed almost spontaneously for photo opportunities. Nobody seemed to notice that it looked as if it were going to rain.

At the start, it was announced somewhat apologetically that the course was hilly. Not so! It really seemed as if the course spent all together too much time going down hill to really be a basically out and back course. There were cones all along the way so even with all the turns nobody was going to get lost. In the final mile many of the 5K runners were met head on by the walkers. It was only for one short block and the walkers, who far outnumbered the racers, parted along the side of the road to let them pass.

Before the race, regulars noted that there were no racing super stars. Though the morning was cool that is clearly best for fast running, it was also 99.9% with a fine mist, which it not so good for fast times. Many of the other races held in the region experienced slower than normal times as well.

This day would hold special meaning for many. The event collected more than $100,000 for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. For the racers there was a generous $200-100-50 for the top three places. None of the six winners would have predicted that they would have been going home with cash with their respective finishing times. Only two runners were faster than 20:00.

In photo, runners turn one of the final corners for home.

Five year age groups went two deep with gift certificates. Before the race runners could buy in for the raffle and some of those prizes were quite good.

* A one-night stay at the W Hotel in downtown Washington, DC
* Dinner for 2 at any of Chef Geoff’s four locations
* 2 premium seats to DC United game
* A $100 gift certificate for The Melting Pot
* $100 Gift certificate for the Dandy Restaurant Cruise Ships in DC

After Ken, a senior from South Lakes High School rendered a cappella a very nice rendition of our National Anthem, the show got underway.  The course left the town center going north and up hill and. Youngsters filled many of the top spots. Seniors got their satisfaction as they flamed out and with the help of a very generous down hill got to prove that some times slow and steady wins the day.

One dad turned to his son and said, “Remember to go steady. Oh and tell me if you need to stop.” The reply was a disappointed groan.

One young colt, who was clearly over dressed with a hood sweatshirt, would come jerking to a stop. He would walk until the next runner caught up and then bolt past him. He held on for more than half the race.

The course was not very wide at the start so many of the hundreds of racers started some time back. Net times are used for age groups but the top three runners (getting cash) are scored by gun time. Race winner Ellins Thomas, 30, of Gainesville, VA was right on the left edge of the ChronoTrack mat was the race began. The next three runners all started at least 11 seconds after the gun. Runner-up Evan Vahouny, 21, of Springfield, VA crossed the line nearly a minute ahead of third place Jacob McComb, 25, of Washington, DC (19:22-20:17). Net time they were much closer (19:33-19:55). Fourth place Paul Vetterick, 27, of Centreville, VA was only five seconds out of the cash with 20:22 and he got to see the later starting McComb catch up and pass him.

For the women, 17-year-old Katie Yensen of Falls Church, VA burst away from the field early to winning easily in 21:23. In the first half mile, two of the younger runners Michelle Brouckman, 13, of Oakton, VA and Rosalind Clayton, 19, of Alexandria, VA darted out with the leaders. They held on nicely but soon they were back in a pack of six runners who all finished between 23:22 and 23:44. Again none of these runners were right on the starting line.

In this case, the battle for the runner-up spot was extremely close. On each of the last three corners in the final quarter mile, excited course marshals urged on the closely battling competitors. Two sub masters pulled free in the final going with Kerry Turner of Great Falls winning in 23:22. Veronica Suhol, who had a slightly faster net time, was next in 23:26. The teens held on for the next two places with barely two seconds separating places 5-7.

In raw speed the only notable age group winner was Ken Quincy, 73, of Vienna, VA in 26:48. Not a big surprise, there were more than twice as many women in the 5K than there were men.

After the race there was plenty of food and water and the DJ kept the town Center hopping with music.


Awards Listing (No Duplicate Prizes)

Place Num   Name                   Ag City                  Time  
===== ===== ====================== == ===================== ===== 
    1  1008 Katie Yensen           17 Falls Church VA       21:23 
    2   778 Kerrie Turner          35 Great Falls VA        23:22 
    3  1067 Veronica Suhol         35 Gainsville VA         23:26 

Place Num   Name                   Ag City                  Time  
===== ===== ====================== == ===================== ===== 
    1   920 Ellins Thomas          30 Gainesville VA        19:06 
    2   661 Evan Vahouny           21 Springfield VA        19:33 
    3   516 Jacob McComb           25 Washington DC         20:17 

    1   317 Michelle Brouckman     13 Oakton VA           23:34 23:27  7:33 
    2   444 Hannah Huggins         12 Centreville VA      24:46 24:43  7:58 

    1   765 Michael McDermott      14 Reston VA           22:38 22:36  7:17 
    2   303 Matthew Bocharnikov    11 Oakton VA           24:01 23:57  7:43 

    1    22 Rosalynd Clayton       19 Alexandria VA       23:42 23:35  7:36 
    2   461 Bridget Kennerley      16 Burke VA            24:15 24:15  7:49 

    1   203 Nick Engquist          19 Annandale VA        23:32 23:27  7:33 
    2   205 Edward Flynn           17 Damascus MD         24:03 23:45  7:39 

    1  1102 Chelsea Zerrenner      23 Cresskill NJ        24:44 24:36  7:55 
    2   567 Krystal Pittelkau      24 Warrenton VA        25:09 25:05  8:05 

    1   662 Eric Vahouny           23 Springfield VA      22:53 22:43  7:19 
    2  1127 Eric Blackstone        20 Lorton VA           24:45 24:40  7:57 

    1  1070 Kristina Torpey        28 Herndon VA          23:43 23:38  7:37 
    2   579 Heather Rabinowitz     27 Arlington VA        24:04 23:56  7:43 

    1  1039 Paul Vetterick         27 Centreville VA      20:22 20:11  6:30 
    2   455 Tom Kaczmarek          26 Arlington VA        20:48 20:47  6:42 

    1   557 MacKenzie Phelps       34 Olney MD            25:41 25:34  8:14 
    2   637 Sarah Susco            32 Arlington VA        26:39 26:28  8:32 

    1   565 Stephen Pipino         30 Fairfax VA          21:50 21:48  7:01 
    2   636 Jeremy Susco           31 Arlington VA        22:52 22:41  7:19 

    1   992 Kaia Turner            38 South Riding VA     23:44 23:40  7:38 
    2   287 Teresa Beamer          39 Sterling VA         26:47 23:41  7:38 

    1   872 Jeffrey Phelps         36 Fairfax VA          20:33 20:32  6:37 
    2   715 Ben Moore              38 Wilmington NC       23:50 23:28  7:34 

    1  1024 Laura White            42 Leesburg VA         25:07 25:02  8:04 
    2   888 Maureen Walsh          42 Vienna VA           25:47 25:43  8:17 

    1   687 Jason Zocks            40 Washington DC       26:50 25:10  8:06 
    2  1030 Hal Perloff            42 Annandale VA        25:38 25:23  8:11 

    1   386 Cecelia Dwyer          49 Vienna VA           27:05 26:57  8:41 
    2   499 Leila P Lucas          48 Ashburn VA          28:13 27:59  9:01 

    1   732 Chip Hulbert           46 Reston VA           20:42 20:42  6:40 
    2   964 Clinton McCauley       47 Herndon VA          21:46 21:39  6:58 

    1   414 Stephanie Gilson       51 Arlington VA        26:18 26:02  8:23 
    2   660 Karen Vahouny          54 Springfield VA      27:24 27:06  8:44 

    1  1048 Michael Kortan         54 Reston VA           25:16 25:03  8:04 
    2   451 David Jones            51 Reston VA           26:43 26:35  8:34 

    1   575 Marlene Puglisi        56 Woodbridge VA       29:44 29:15  9:25 
    2   398 Lynde Engquist         57 Annandale VA        31:33 31:29 10:08 

    1   924 James Moreland         58 Gaithersburg MD     23:19 23:19  7:31 
    2   528 Richard Moore          55 Centreville VA      26:11 25:57  8:21 

    1    20 Rosalynd Clayton       60 Alexandria VA       39:39 39:33 12:44 
    2    57 Elizabeth Jenkins      60 Reston VA           40:44 40:21 12:59 

    1   477 Wayne Lapham           64 Herndon VA          27:23 27:06  8:44 
    2   148 John Stevens           64 Oak Hill VA         32:43 32:07 10:21 

    1  1027 Marcia Smith           65 Falls Church VA     55:39 54:18 17:29 
    2   534 Ellen Muddiman         65 Ophelia VA          65:37 63:57 20:35 

    1   292 Monty Bennett          66 Burke VA            47:52 46:25 14:57 
    2   348 Kyle Clifton           69 Fairfax Station VA  51:31 50:18 16:12 

    1   211 Sally Harper           71 Fayetteville PA     40:07 38:34 12:25 
    2   119 Judith Phillips        72 Fresno CA           43:20 42:49 13:47 

    1   993 Ken Quincy             73 Vienna VA           26:48 26:44  8:37 
    2   962 David Bailey           71 Sterling VA         57:45 56:02 18:03



By Mark Russell
May 26, 2010
Springfield, VA
For the Washington Running Report

All race activities moved to Lake Accotink Park.

The inaugural running of the Springfield 15K/5K race will be held the morning of June 6 in conjunction with the Springfield Days weekend festival. The race location has been moved from Lee High School to Lake Accotink Park.

For more than 20 years, Springfield Days has been an annual celebration of all that Springfield has to offer. Starting this year, the weekend also features a Sunday morning running event that will add an exciting boost for the surrounding community.

The new Lake Accotink Park location will make for a terrific running event and the race features some special touches always appreciated by race participants:

* Race day HQ and the start/finish line will be in the marina area

* The 5K route is on scenic, shaded roads in the park and the surrounding Crestwood neighborhood and is suitable for both the competitive and casual participant

* The 15K runners continue on to take in the Lake Accotink trail, a beautiful rolling lakeside trail offering soft footing and lake vistas

* Park shelters overlook the finish area, providing a great amphitheater for watching the finish

* Post race food will provided by Panera Bread and Trader Joe’s

* A massage tent will be available courtesy of Positively Chiropractic

* Live music

The race is directed by Mark Russell, who, with his wife Helen, owns Metro Run & Walk, a running & walking specialty retail store in Springfield Plaza. Mark envisions an annual signature event for the southern county area,

“The response to this race has been outstanding. The community has really come out in support of this idea in terms of financial and in-kind sponsorships, community enthusiasm, and race registrations. We’re looking at 400-500 runners for our inaugural year, and quality races can easily double and then double again for the first couple of years.”

Bruce Waggoner, Springfield Civic Association Vice President and Course Marshal for the race, explains a special feature for this year’s event, “Our race is run on D-Day this year. Given the intertwined nature of the Springfield and military communities and our proximity to Ft. Belvoir and other federal installations, we thought it only natural to commemorate the day and honor our Armed Forces.”

Runners can register by mail, at Metro Run & Walk, or online.

Silver and Bronze sponsors include Positively Chiropractic, Rocket Communications, and T-Mobile, as well as Capital Running Company, Marriott, Panera Bread, Trader Joe’s, and the Washington Mystics.


By Brenda Barrera
Washington, DC
March 22, 2010
For the Washington Running Report

With a brutal winter all but a distant memory thanks to temperatures that rose to the 70s, more than 9,200 runners finished this year’s fifth annual SunTrust National Marathon, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half Marathon and Team Relay on Saturday in Washington, DC.

Local favorite Michael Wardian, of Arlington, VA (photo left), captured his fourth title, crossing the finish line in 2:21:58, and took home $2,000. For most of the contest it was a battle between Wardian, 35, and the defending champion, Patrick Moulton, 28, of Providence, RI with Wardian running in the lead and pulling ahead at each major split. Moulton’s 2:26:03 was well off his 2009 course record time (2:21:17) and afterward he said, “Hats off to Mike for his win.”

Wardian, who has garnered several honors this past year including 2008 and 2009 USATF Ultra Runner of the Year, felt pretty confident in his performance. Afterward he said he attacked every hill and stayed focused in order to post one of his fastest race times. “It was a terrific race,” exclaimed Wardian. “I love that my family was all able to be here.” Next up for the ultra marathoner is the Marathon des Sables and Comrades Marathon. Paul Howarth, of Albuquerque, NM, took third place in 2:27:19.

In the women’s race, Krista Vrombaut, who just started running competitively two years ago, captured the title with a PR in 2:51:17 and also received $2,000 for her win. “I played soccer in college and used to hate when our coach made us run three miles,” recalled the 27-year-old from Rock Island, IL. Michaela Driscoll, of Coventry, RI, ran 2:55:50 to finish second, and a local standout, Arlington’s Mary Beth Chosak, 31 (photo below), rounded out the top three with her time of 2:57:32.

The top masters were Kris Warszawski, 50, of Northville, MI, with a time of 2:44:00, and Tracy Wollschlager, 41, from Novi, MI, took the women’s title with her 3:03:50. Each earned $250.

Chris McDonald, 50, of South Riding, VA, won the wheelchair division with a time of 3:01:35.

An invasion from the Midwest might be an apt descriptor for the top finishers of the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half Marathon, since the top three men and two of the top three women were from either Indiana or Illinois.

Coming off a personal best in the 5,000 at the Husky Classic in Washington with a 14:03, Mark Fruin, from Bloomington, IN, came to DC looking to run a sub-1:05:00 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. While he narrowly missed it with his 1:05:02 win, Fruin, who competes for Team Indiana Elite, was still happy. The 24-year-old credits a group effort, “It helped to come out here as a team.” Teammate Stephen Haas, 26, from Bloomington, IN finished second just 12 seconds behind in 1:05:14. Also making the podium was Jeff Jonaitis, 28, from Tinley Park, IL who set a PR with this 1:05:58.

The top local finisher, Silver Spring’s Dirk De Heer, finished 5th overall in 1:07:37 for his half marathon debut. According to his blog, De Heer thought the weather was amazing but noted the rolling hills on the course were tough.

In the women’s race another member of Team Indiana Elite, Laura Farley, 25, won in 1:18:38. Although her time was slower than 2009, Baltimore’s Phebe Ko placed higher with her second place 1:19:03 finish. “I’m coming off an injury so I wanted to use this race to test my fitness,” said Ko (photo left). Like many others in the race, she spent many hours training on the treadmill this past winter. Dani Prince, 24, also from Team Indiana Elite, rounded out the top three with her 1:19:37 finish.

This year’s race featured two icons of the sport: Four-time winner of the Boston and New York Marathon Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first women’s Olympic Marathon, spoke at Friday’s Health and Fitness Expo and both also ran the half marathon. Rodgers, 62, finished in 1:46:02 and Benoit Samuelson, 52, won her age group in 1:22:33.

“It was a good solid run,” said Benoit Samuelson. “It’s an Honest Abe course, it’s not flat.”  She’s coming back to DC in a few weeks to run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile.

Next year’s race will be held on Saturday, March 26. For more information:www.nationalmarathon.com. Also, check out the May/June issue of Washington Running Report for race coverage.


2010 SunTrust National Marathon

2,325 finishers


Overall Men (clock time)
1. Michael Wardian, 35, Arlington VA - 2:21:58 ($2,000)
2. Patrick Moulton, 28, Providence RI - 2:26:03 ($800)
3. Paul Howarth, 32, Albuquerque NM- 3 2:27:19 ($700)
4. Matt Woods, 30, Falls Church VA - 2:33:30 ($500)
5. Ruben Galbraith, 26, Portland OR - 2:35:01 ($300)
Overall Women (clock time)
1. Krista Vrombaut, 27, Rock Island IL - 2:51:17 ($2,000)
2. Michaela Driscoll, 30, Coventry RI - 2:55:50 ($800)
3. Mary Beth Chosak, 31, Arlington VA - 2:57:32 ($700)
4. Arien O'Connell, 26, New York NY - 2:57:45 ($500)
5. Shannon Saunders, 25, Charlottesville VA - 2:59:37 ($300)

2010 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half Marathon

6,239 finishers
Overall Men (clock time)
1. Mark Fruin, 24, Bloomington IN - 1:05:02  ($1,000)
2. Stephen Haas, 26, Bloomington IN - 1:05:14  ($500)
3. Jeff Jonaitis, 28, Tinley Park IL - 1:05:58 ($250)
4. Adam Hortian, 25, Waterloo ON CAN - 1:07:19 ($200)
5. Dirk De Heer, 28, Silver Spring MD - 1:07:37 ($100)
Overall Women (clock time)
1. Laura Farley, 25, Bloomington IN - 1:18:38 ($1,000)
2. Phebe Ko, 27, Bethesda MD - 1:19:03 ($500)
3. Dani Prince, 24, Bloomington IN - 1:19:37 ($250)
4. Kristin Andrews, 28, Bethesda MD - 1:21:00 ($200)
5. Kathryn Neeper, 26, Washington DC -1:21:06 ($100)

By Tami Faram
Quantico, VA
February 18, 2010
For the Washington Running Report


The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) and U.S. Marines from Marine Corps Base Quantico will present the annual Healthy School Award to the students of Eagle View Elementary in Fairfax, VA, during a school assembly on Thursday, February 18, at 2:00 p.m. in the school gym at 4500 Dixie Hill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.

The award is the result of the student’s participation in the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run held on October 24, 2009 in Arlington, VA. Out of 353 schools, Eagle View was one of the top three in overall student participation at the one-mile fun run held for kids ages 6 to 13.

During the assembly members of the United States Marine Corps will lead the students in PT drills while promoting health, fitness, and strong bodies. MCM partners, Sodexo, and the National Children’s Museum will participate in the ceremony. MCM’s Miles the bulldog, Sodexo’s Lift-Off!, and the school’s Eagle mascot will add to the festivities.

Online registration for the 2010 Healthy Kids Fun Run opens May 5, 2010 at www.marinemarathon.com.


Potomac River Running Announces Run for Haiti 5K and Fun Run

By Kristin Idle
Reston, VA
February 10, 2010
For the Washington Running Report

Due to Winter Storms the February13 date is being postponed to March 7, 2010

Potomac River Running Announces “Run for Haiti 5K and Fun Run” In Support of Earthquake Relief Efforts

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, Potomac River Running announces the Run for Haiti 5K and Fun Run on Sunday, March 7 at 9:00 AM. All race proceeds will be donated to the Haiti relief efforts to support the thousands needing medical treatment and basic supplies.

The 5K will be staged at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive) in Reston, VA. The course will run on the asphalt paths throughout scenic Reston, with the start and finish on the South Lakes High School track. To help maximize donation efforts to the victims, race t-shirts will not be included in the race registration. Rather, a donation bin will be available on race day to collect old race t-shirts from participants. These shirts will be personally delivered to those in need by Moise Joseph, Haitian Olympian in the 800 meters and a =PR= employee.

This devastation hits close to home for Moise Joseph. Moise was a 12 time All-American while at the University of Florida. He competed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics and has been a member of four World Championship teams. Moise is currently training and racing on the track at the national and international level. For him, running has provided the road to a better life. Moise still has family in Haiti and sadly still does not know the whereabouts of all his relatives. As soon as is feasible, he will return to Haiti to help his family and community.

Please join Potomac River Running to raise funds in support of the earthquake relief efforts. All donations will be given to the American Red Cross. To register, please go to www.potomacriverrunning.com or visit a =PR= store (Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Reston, Tyson’s, Cleveland Park, and Rockville). Late registration and packet pick up will take place on Saturday, March 6 at =PR= Reston (11911 Democracy Dr.) from 12-7:00 PM. Race day registration will take place at South Lakes High School on March 7 from 7-8:15 AM. Top age-group winners will be awarded and recognized.


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