This article originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issue of RunWashington.
Runners run, elected officials legislate and besides the dozens of honorary congressional chairs for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, never the twain shall meet.
Until October 2013. The first federal government shutdown in 17 years threw the running community into uncertainty as runners were ostensibly banned from National Park Service property and race permits for that land disintegrated, putting the region’s marquee race in doubt.
Comments are due Sept. 28 on the Arlington Boulevard Trail project.
Heritage alumna Weini Kelati will represent the United States in the 5k at the World Road Racing Championships Oct. 1 in Latvia.
In 2024, the Army Ten-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon will be part of the Armed Forces Series Challenge, along with the Air Force Marathon, the Coast Guard Marathon and the Space Force T-Minus 10 Miler. The challenge involves finishing all five races.
News4 reported that a woman detained a man on an electric bike who she says groped her while she was jogging in Arlington.
After a nearly year-long hiatus, Pace the Nation has returned with St. Andrews graduate and Georgetown recruit Tinoda Matsatsa.
- DDOT is holding a video public meeting 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. July 27 regarding the planned bridge between Kenilworth Park and the National Arboretum. Although delayed, the project was recently awarded a share of a federal RAISE grant. Join the meeting here
- Oakton and American alumna Keira D’Amato set the American record in the half marathon at the Gold Coast Half Marathon in Australia, running 1:06:39.
- Chantilly alumnus Sean McGorty made the U.S. team for the World Athletics Championships when he ran 13:02 for 5,000 meters, achieving the world standard a week after finishing third at the US championships.
- A man broke an adult male runner’s nose while beating him after the runner bumped into him at approximately 11 a.m. June 24 on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail near RFK Stadium in Northeast DC.
- A man grabbed and tried to abduct a teenaged girl who was running on Beach Drive near Meadowbrook Park in Chevy Chase at around 2:30 p.m. June 21, after she declined his offer of a ride.
- A $25 million RAISE grant from the Department of Transportation will fund rehabilitation of the Sligo Creek Trail and the Northwest Branch Trail, building the Suitland Parkway Trail and the Central Avenue Connector Trail in Central Prince George’s County, and help complete the Kenilworth Park South Trail and the bridge between Kenilworth Park and the National Arboretum.
- Three women with D.C.-area connections will represent the United States in the marathon at the World Athletics Championships Aug. 26 in Budapest (I’m aware of the mistake in the email’s subject line). Reston’s Susanna Sullivan, who ran at George Mason (now Meridian) High School, will make her first U.S. team. Keira D’Amato, who ran at Oakton High School and American University, was eighth in last year’s World Championships Marathon in Oregon. Lindsay Flanagan, now in Colorado, lived in Silver Spring early in her professional career while running for Riadha.
- James Madison High School cross country and track coach Craig Chasse won the VHSL Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Woodbridge High School alumnus Alex Taylor qualified for his second Olympic Marathon Trials at Grandma’s Marathon, running 2:17:30.
General registration for the Marine Corps Marathon has sold out, though you can still run for a charity, register through a premium package that includes a hotel room, transportation and race day perks, or transfer a bib.
- Washington Latin alumnus Luke Tewalt will represent Wake Forest in the 5,000 meters and Tuscarora alumnus Derek Johnson will represent Virginia in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. Read more about Tewalt in a profile written by Wake Forest student Cooper Sullivan.
- Saturday will mark the third Chocolate City Relay, a DIY event organized by Black women. You can catch the relay at around 2 p.m. at the Fort Stanton Rec Center or around 4 p.m. at the Hains Point parking lot. Read about the 2022 relay.
- D.C. resident Gina McNamara, representing Malta, won gold medals in the 800 meters, 1500 meters and 5000 meters at the Games of the Small States of Europe.
The various state championships wrapped up last weekend and Herndon senior Gillian Bushee completed the distance sweep for the year, winning Virginia’s 6A titles in cross country, along with the indoor and outdoor 1600 meters and 3200 meters.
In non-championship news, St. Andrews senior Tinoda Matsatsa, ran 3:58.70at the HOKA Festival of Miles in St. Louis, making him the first Black high school student to break the four-minute mile barrier.
Local state champions:
800 Lorelei McIntosh – St. John’s 2:19.01
1600 Meredith Gotzman – St. John’s 5:08.41
3200 Gotzman 11:13.99
4×800 St. John’s College (Sophie Mattheus, Kendall Robinson, Lorelei McIntosh, Meredith Gotzman) 9:32.82
800 Pierre Attiogbe – St. Albans 1:59.29
1600 Attiogbe 4:06.66
3200 Sebi Hume – St. Albans 9:46.74
4×800 St Albans (William Strong, Hume, Liam Quinn, Attiogbe) 7:50.48
800 Grace Finnegan – Richard Montgomery 2:17.29
1600 Victoria Ketzler – Thomas Wootton 4:58.29
3200 Katherine Greenwald – Walt Whitman 10:49.37
4×800 Walter Johnson – MacKenzie Raue, Zuzana Huserova, Carolyn Hultman, Megan Raue – 9:29.82
800 Gage Osborne – Northwest 1:55.9
3200 Alejandro Berrio – Seneca Valley 9:28.62
4×800 Montgomery Blair – Frederick Alfonso, Erich Ramos, Micah McKenzie, Alexander Risso – 7:58.48
800 Kenza Elakari – West Springfield 2:11.72
1600 Gillian Bushee – Herndon 4:56.14
3200 Bushee 10:30.46
4×800 South Lakes – Aya Ryan, Catalina Simon, Caroline Elliott, Bella Harsanyi – 9:00.11
800 Iyasu Yemane – Oakton 1:55.42
4×800 South County – John Baxter, Isaac Garcia, Nayan Kasperowski, Kian Khorashadi – 7:49.88
800 Annie Sullivan, Annie Stone Bridge 2:16.66
1600 Grace Crum Meridian 4:59.88
VISAA Championships, Division I
800 Reagan Exley – Potomac School 2:19.8
1600 Exley 5:09.12
I thought I had been fooled.
No, I must have gotten something wrong. Turning out of Morven Park, the famed Old Waterford Road, which I found on Loudoun County’s map of unpaved roads, was most certainly paved!
Well, I was already out in Leesburg, I might as well keep going. I started climbing the hill (that will happen a lot on this route) and a while before I realized it, the road had indeed switched to rocky dirt, just as advertised.
I picked the road from the county’s new map, which is suited for mobile use, but found some supporting endorsement from the Loudoun Road Runners, who make the road a staple of their routine.
Before too long, I realized why. By the time I hit the intersection with Nestlewood Road, I was used to the climbing and the traffic, light as it was, was down to almost nothing. There are a few tricky curves, so you have to approach them with caution, but before long the road stretches out ahead of you with plenty of visibility.
I like rolling hills, so it was right up my alley – the climbing peaks before 2.5 miles on the way out, though 1.5 to 2.3 on Old Waterford climbs 267 feet. I’m mildly terrified of horses, and I passed a few, but they didn’t threaten me and everyone stayed cool.
Five miles in, you reach the end of Old Waterford, but if you’re willing to navigate 0.1 mile of pavement on a sweeping curve, Browns Lane gives you an extra 1.9 miles of dirt road – I initially missed it and ran too far on Loyalty, as you’ll see on the map. If 14 miles of mostly-dirt road isn’t enough, you can add on plenty on Morven Park, which is also a great place to park (or watch a cross country race).
I loved it on a day I was being pelted in the face by sleet. Chances are you’ll like it, too.
I don’t know what was wrong with me. I had this beautiful gift, and I had been ignoring it for years.
The last time I remembered running in the National Arboretum was right before Thanksgiving 2014. Then, for some reason, I just stopped running there. It wasn’t until the end of this past January, after months of me telling myself I should go back there, that I actually did.
What a treat.