Washington, DC

Name: Gregory Boutin

Self-described age group: 65-69

Residence: Burke, Va.

Occupation: Retired

Why you run: Started running for general health reasons.  This quickly morphed into: enjoyment of the quiet time running provides, the ability to push my limits in either a competitive or non-competitive way, and the feeling of accomplishment I get after finishing a hard workout or race.

When did you get started running: I started walking 4 – 4.5 miles a day when I was 50 years old and 35 pounds overweight.  After five or six months I transitioned to walking/jogging, and finally to just running.

Have you taken a break from running:  Yes, for about 4 years in my later-50’s.  At that point in my work career I had changed jobs and found that working much longer hours left little time for running.  Trying to make up for that by running on the weekends was not a good idea.

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Runners, parents and coaches await the start of the 2019 preseason pep rally. Photo: Charlie Ban

RunWashington, along with Pacers Running and New Balance, will be celebrating the start of the 2019 cross country season Aug. 25 by recognizing 62 of the most promising young cross country runners in the D.C. area.

A preseason pep rally, held at the Pacers Running pop-up at 600 H Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, will open at 5:30 p.m. and start up at 6 p.m.

It’s a chance to mix with the people you’ll be running into on race courses throughout the fall while you’re not trying to grind each other into the grass, hear from a Foot Locker Cross Country champion and get excited for the upcoming season. Wear your team’s t-shirt to show off [insert mascot’s name here] pride, intimidate your rivals by telling them how much you ran during your vacation at altitude, show off your watch tan lines … it’s going to be great!

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Michael Ogunsalu leads a pack of his teammates in the first mile. Photo: Charlie Ban

The Bowie State football team, following its first CIAA title last fall, took a break from preseason practice for its inaugural 5k. Senior safety John Johnson IV, 21, demonstrated that he hadn’t been slacking off on days he hadn’t made practice by winning the race around the campus in 19:49. Reston’s Robyn Kenul, 32, a recent transplant from Long Island, won the women’s race in 21:08.

Check out photos from the race here

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Name:  Laura Povlich

Self-described age group: 35-39

Residence: D.C.

Occupation: Program Director at NIH

Volunteer roles in the running world: Event Coordinator for my local triathlon club, District Multisport

Why you run: My motivation for running has changed throughout the years, but I’m currently motivated to get outside, see new and beautiful places, and spend some miles with running friends.

When did you get started running: I started running about 12 years ago to try to get into shape after undergrad. I spent most of my younger years dancing and running seemed like a logical hobby to pick up. My husband also started racing triathlons around that time and I was inspired by the variety of athletes that competed.

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Bethany Sachtleben tightens her watch band before the 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. Photo: Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

Spot her two letters and Fairfax’s Bethany Sachtleben can rearrange her name to spell “schedule.”

Her daily routine dictates how she fits in her 100+ mile weeks around her full-time work and coaching, but even farther removed from that, she was trying to figure out where all those miles were going. Yes, the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Feb. 29, but more immediately, she was supposed to race a marathon on July 27. For Team USA.

But less than a week before she was due in Lima, Peru, she wasn’t so sure. Told in early June that she was on the Pan American Games team, she was now apparently off. She found out on Friday; Her flight was the next Wednesday.

“I heard, ‘we’re offering your spot to everyone on the 2019 (performance) list,'” Sachtleben said. Her last marathon was a month before 2019 started. Everyone else would have to decline, including runners whose times were slower. “Then I started getting calls from friends saying they had been offered my spot and they turned it down. I felt awkward and uncomfortable for everybody because it’s a huge opportunity, but nobody is going to decide to jump into a marathon the week before.”

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Name: Dr. Joseph Spears, Jr

Self-described age group: 50-54

Residence: Brandywine, Md.

Occupation:  Associate Professor Sport Mgmt. at Bowie State University.

Volunteer roles in the running world: Help out with races, very active in my church and serving local community service groups for males, youth sports and mentorship outreach.

Why you run: Running, for me, is a lifestyle that influences my spirit, soul and body; it’s as equal to me as a life of prayer.

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Caroline Alcorta navigates the pack during the 10k at the 2019 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Photo: Mike Scott

Caroline Alcorta had an even bigger lead than anyone expected. She came into the 2013 Virginia AAA track championships with a 3200 season’s best more than 10 seconds faster than anyone else. And with a half mile to go, she had what West Springfield coach Chris Pellegrini estimated was a 20-second lead.

“I heard people around me saying she had it in the bag, but with that weather, I just wasn’t sure,” he said, more than six years later. 

That Newport News morning was humid, and he wasn’t sure how well any runner could get much into their system that early in the day. Having run a leg of the 4×800 relay the night before, his plan for Alcorta was an assertive but measured start to give her enough of a cushion to not have to kick for the win.

She came through the mile a little fast, but the plan seemed to be working. And then it didn’t. 

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Name: Abby McIntyre

Self-described age group: F30-35

Residence: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: Assistant managing editor for Slate magazine

Why you run: Running makes me feel strong and reminds me that I can do things I never thought I could.

When did you get started running: My first year out of college back in 2011, a few months after I moved to D.C. I had never been athletic growing up, but I’ve always loved being outdoors. I lived in Dupont Circle at the time, and there were always so many runners everywhere, so I thought I should try it. I started a walk-to-run plan, taking advantage of the Rock Creek Trail off of P Street and things just … escalated from there.

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Running Shorts

St. John’s College Coach Desmond Dunham, the USTFCCCA’s coach of the year for girls in D.C. Photo: Meaghan Gay
  • The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is circulating a letter asking the Montgomery County Planning Board to reconsider its decision to shift the Capital Crescent Trail at Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda to a nearby controlled intersection while removing traffic calming improvements that have been in place near the current crossing.
  • Georgetown Day School rising senior Ziyah Holman ran a leg of the United States’ world record-setting 4×400 meter relay at the Pan Am U20 games. She split 51.54 seconds.
  • Good Counsel alumna Rachel Pocratsky reached the semifinals of the 800 meters in the World University Games in Naples, Italy.
  • Seven runners with local connections will race the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa July 25-28. Six locals will run the 800 meters and one will run the 3,00 meter steeplechase. They include Drew Hunter, Josette Norris  and Stephanie Garcia in the 5,000 meters. The meet will be broadcast on NBC Sports Gold.
  • The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named several track coaches coach of the year for their respective states (or federal districts):

Boys

  • D.C. – Michael Cooley- Sidwell Friends

Girls

  • D.C. – Desmond Dunham – St. John’s College
  • Maryland – Darryl Hamilton – Largo
  • Virginia -Scott Raczko – South Lakes
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Runners pass through Georgetown during the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

Marathoning remains popular among D.C. area runners, but the number of domestic marathon finishes dropped 7.5 percent in 2018, down to 12,981 from 14,044 in 2017.

At the same time, the number of those marathons dropped to 686 in 2018 from 704 in 2017. As you would expect, the Marine Corps Marathon topped the list with 5,053 local finishers. On the other end, 400 races had no local runners, while 67 had just one. There were likely more, but 147 races did not report the residences of their finishers, many of which were smaller races far from the D.C. area.

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