Washington, DC

Name: Chris Denno

Self-described age group: 30s? Mid 30s? … Late 30s ūüôĀ

Residence: Suitland, Md.

Occupation: Special Assistant at the U.S. Census Bureau

How has your running changed in the last six months: Covid running has been unique, that’s for sure. My main running groups have met less frequently, so I’ve been relegated to the treadmill a bit more. That said, I have been fortunate to still have a small core group of people that are safe and responsible enough to continue to meet up. I had been training for two marathons in Fall 2020 (Bmore and Philly), so I had been in great shape. I’ve mostly been trying to maintain and not fall to far behind (the Covid 15 is real!!).

Why you run: I call running my asphalt therapy. Running literally saved my life and I continue to do it to maintain my sanity, especially during these sideways times. It is a great way to both spend time outside with some friends, but also spend some time alone, with few distractions, really focusing on yourself. Running gives you back whatever you put in, and you can push yourself as much as you want. I also run so I can maintain my beer and bread consumption, which is obscene.

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Running Shorts

  • Former Georgetown runner Hugh Joseph Short, who set a world record in the 660-yard dash and was on a world -record-setting mile relay team (3:17.2) before leaving to serve in World War II, died Nov. 4 at age 98.
  • Construction on the Arlington Memorial Bridge will limit access to the south sidewalk (with detours posted) and the Mount Vernon Trail will be closed under the bridge from 9 p.m.- 5 a.m. until early 2021.
  • Loudoun Valley’s girls, running as The Jungle, finished fourth in what is essentially the national high school club cross country championships Nov. 15 in Terre Haute, Ind. Ava Gordon finished seventh overall on a scoring team that included Ally Talley and Ricky, Scarlet and Cecelia Fetterolf, along with Maddie Smith and Katherine Slovak.
  • Springfield ultrarunner Megan Alvardo, who ran on the U.S. 24-hour team last year, will be the guest on this week’s Potomac River Running Instagram Live, Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
  • The Potomac Heritage Trail is currently closed south of the Arlington County parking lot at the intersection of Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road. The NPS is working with Arlington County and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club to identify a temporary deour and a plan to reopen.
  • Arlington County is accepting comments through Friday Nov. 20 on a project to improve three trail intersections on the Bluemont Junction Trail.
  • Oakton and American alumna Keira D’Amato was a guest on the Ali on the Run podcast.
  • D’Amato, Reston’s Susanna Sullivan, former Fairfax resident¬†Bethany Sachtleben,¬†Molly Seidel and Emily Durgin will take a shot at the American 10-mile record (52:12) at 8 a.m. Monday Nov. 23¬† at the Up Dawg Ten Miler, which will be livestreamed on the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Facebook page.
  • The Cherry Blossom organizing committee will announce a decision on holding the 2021 race by Dec. 31 before opening registration.
  • The District Track Club’s coach Tom Brumlik and athlete Jacob Dumford, both of Arlington, were guests on the Run Your Mouth podcast, along with teammate Willy Fink of Blacksburg.
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Name: Michaela Guerin Hackner

Self-described age group:¬†The “faster as a master” crew

Residence: Arlington, but soon-to-be Bozeman, Mont.

Occupation: Design director, Upwork

How has your running changed in the last six months: For the past six years I’ve trained for triathlon and road races pretty much year-round in hopes of getting faster and hitting milestones like completing an Ironman and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I achieved both those goals, and at the start of the pandemic I was about a month away from running the Boston Marathon for the second time. That was postponed and well, most of life was postponed. So, while I started out doing challenges like the Yeti 24-hour Ultra, I quickly made the decision to give my body a much-needed break and take all goals off the table. That’s turned into running for fun and making time for other kinds of outdoor activities, like 15-mile hikes and cross-country skiing. We’re in the process of moving across the country to a place that is covered in snow, but my plan is to resume training more regularly once we’re settled again.

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Running Shorts

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Though it hung around longer than usual this fall, the humidity seems to be receeding for the fall and winter, opening up conditions for some more pleasant attempts at the longer segments in the DMV Distance Derby.

Admittedly, last month’s addition of a 10k in the Arboteum was a little confusing – blame that on me making a wrong turn while putting the segment together. This month’s addition is simple – downhill on the Capital Crescent Trail, starting in Bethesda and finishing at the Key Bridge. It’s a few steps under 7.1 miles starting at Bethesda Avenue and ending under the Key Bridge. There are two things to keep in mind: the key bridge is under the Whitehurst Freeway past the trailhead gate and Little Falls Parkway is closed to traffic on the weekends, leaving one low-speed intersection- Dorset Ave, about a mile in, as the only major hazard.

View overall results for the first six months of the DMV Distance Derby here

The segment results are generally organized to fit compactly.

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Name: Josh Lasky

Self-described age group:¬†“No longer spry but not yet seasoned” aka 30-39 (I’m 36)

Residence: Kingman Park

Occupation: Managing Director and Chief Strategist, LINK Strategic Partners (communications and social impact consultancy)

Volunteer roles in the running world: Member of the Board of Directors, Climate Ride

How has your running changed in the last six months: My running during the pandemic is mostly about maintaining my mental health. Running has created a much needed calm, focused space away from Zoom calls, my Twitter feed, and the non-stop 24-hour news cycle.

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The bats are silent in D.C. at a time when a year ago, the Nationals were winning their first World Series. Instead, Oakton native and American University alumna Keira D’Amato is standing at home plate, pointing to the Washington Monument and calling her shot — an attempt at the U.S. 10-mile record in less than a month.

Backed up by the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile team that she’s been working with for nearly a decade, D’Amato will run a small road race in the D.C. area Nov. 23 to try and top Janet Bawcom’s 52:12 time for a women-only 10-mile, which she set in 2014 at Cherry Blossom.

“It makes no sense, why I have the guts to go after it,” she said days prior. “But I’ve known since the spring I’m capable of running 52:12.”

D’Amato came close Oct. 28, splitting 52:37 en route to 1:08:57 at the Michigan Pro Half-Marathon, which she won. That performance made her the 10th fastest American woman at the half marathon.

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Running Shorts

 

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George Alexander was somewhere new, all alone in front of a cross country race. He pulled away from the rest of the field in the red race at the Virginia Elite Invitational at Hanover County’s Pole Green Park, and he alone fought the wind that picked up throughout the day. He surged as he approached the three mile mark as the clock neared his PR of 15:52, crossing the line, flexing and expecting his time to be just under 15:50. The problem was, the was 5k.

“I guess I was mentally checked out,” he said. “I was ready for it to be over, and I was wondering why people were yelling at me to keep going.”

Alexander recovered and won in 16:16 with a 14-second margin over second place.

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