- A total of 346 local runners finished the Boston Marathon.
- Reston’s Susanna Sullivan finished as the fourth American at the Boston Marathon, running 2:33:22.
- D.C.’s Nathan Bickell, an Annapolis native, was the fastest local runner in 2:29:54.
- Silver Spring’s Jordan Tropf, who won the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon, finished his third marathon in three days, running 2:27:22 at the Baltimore Marathon, 2:31:54 at the Chicago Marathon and 2:32:13 in Boston, after driving to Detroit from Chicago after his first flight to Boston was canceled.
- Bethesda’s Ben Beach extended his Boston Marathon record for consecutive finishes at 54.
The new dual trail portion of the W&OD Trail is open in Falls Church, nearly 1.5 miles of trail from Little Falls Street to North West Street. The altered section of trail features an 11-foot-wide path for cycling, an 8-foot-wide path for walkers, and a 2-foot-wide colored and textured median between the two paths to separate trail users traveling at different speeds.
- Powerline work by Dominion Energy along the W&OD Trail in Ashburn will require a five-mile detour Oct. 18 – 22, with a chance it could take up to a week longer.
- The Richmond Marathon, seen as Marine Corps fallback option, has sold out, though the race plans to expand the field somewhat.
The Montgomery County Planning Board will review and provide advisory comments to the Montgomery County Department of Transportation on the Capital Crescent Surface Trail and Tunnel on Oct. 14. Sign up to testify and send in comments.
- The Road Runners Club of America will hold its 2022 one mile national championship at the Loudoun Street Mile May 30 in Winchester, Va.
- Oakton and American alumna Keira D’Amato finished fourth at the Chicago Marathon.
- Herndon alumna Hiruni Wijayaratne was a guest on the Run Eat Sleep Show.
- Arlington resident and former Georgetown coach Julie Culley was a guest on the I’ll Have Another podcast.
- Sidwell Friends alumna Taylor Knibb was a guest on the Inside Tri podcast.
- Knibb will participate in a DC Triathlon Club discussion Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. Register here
Mud changes the dynamic at Glory Days Invitational
Thais Rolly, Gillian Bushee and Anna Macon Corcoran were content to cruise along during the Glory Days Invitational, working together to push the pace and covering ground.
Then the ground got involved.
It may have taken nearly 18 months, but marathon runners are returning to Boston this weekend for the delayed 125th Boston Marathon, including upwards of 417 local runners.
The elite field will include two locals and three others who have been among RunWashington’s Trials Fever marathoners who ran in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials and have ties to D.C. area. Woodbridge native Alex Taylor, University of Maryland alumnus Patrick Reaves and Howard County native Brian Harvey are in the men’s elite field Reston’s Susanna Sullivan, fresh off a 1:10:50 half marathon in late September looks to lead the local women, with Alexandria’s Bethany Sachtleben and Arlington’s Nina Zarina also in the race
“I’ve always wanted to run Boston, and I wanted to do it when I could be part of the elite field. I just didn’t think it would happen so soon,” Sullivan said. “It’s not nessarily a PR course, but I think with my fitness right now, it’s realistic to expect that if I execute well, I should PR.”
Sullivan had considered the New York City Marathon, but thought an early November race would extend her season beyond her comfort level.
“I was eager to get going this spring, so I’ve been training for a while,” she said.
And running for a while. In her previous marathon buildups, she had only recorded two 100-mile weeks. This time, she’s done at least eight.
“I’ve been racing on somewhat-tired legs all year, so I’m not sure how to approach my taper,” she said. “I thrive when I stick to a routine.”
Sullivan ran 2:33:27 at the Marathon Project last December in Arizona, and also set PRs in the track 10k (32:42.28), road 10k (33:02) and 10 miles (54:22) since working with George Mason University coach Andrew Gerard a year ago.
Here’s who else is registered for Boston, though not everyone will race:
- Joan and Drew Hunter were guests on Pace the Nation.
- George Mason’s Annabelle Eastman was named Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week for her race at the Paul Short Invitational.
In her first full season of high school cross country racing, Grace Finnegan is trying to balance her early success with recognition that she still has a lot to learn.
After a few open races during her freshman year at Richard Montgomery, she’s facing new runners every week and trying to pick up tips and process each experience.
“I was trying to read everyone else’s energy,” she said. “It’s a skill I’m still learning.”
She figured it out at the Octoberfest Invitational at Great Meadow, running 17:59 to win over Herndon junior Gillian Bushee (18:14) and hit her first sub-18 cross country 5k.
- American freshman Oscar Counsell was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week following his race at the Jasper Fall XC Invitational.
- Oakton alumnus Garrett Woodhouse, running for Utah State, was named Mountain West Freshman of the Week following his 14th place finish in the Montana State Cross Country Classic.
- Loudoun Valley alumna Kyra Holland was named William and Mary Student-Athlete of the Week following her ning place finish at the Virginia Invitational.
- George Washington junior James Glockenmeier was named Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week folliwng his win at the James Madison University Invitational.
- George Washington first-year Olivia Syftestad was named Atlantic 10 Rookie Performer of the week following her ninth place finish at the James Madison University Invitational.
Avery Graham didn’t even recognize a fellow Montgomery County runner at the Oatlands Invitational, where she finished three seconds behind Poolesville sophomore Daisy Dastrup.
When Graham, a Sherwood freshman, saw her two weeks later at the Georgetown Prep Invitational, she restructured her goals for the race.
“I wanted to stay with her no matter what,” Graham said. “There were a few times I fell back a little, but I just kept running until I caught back up.”
Graham held on behind Dastrup until roughly 150 meters to go before kicking for a 19:55-19:57 win in the unseeded race.
More than 600,000 white flags have filled part of the Washington Monument lawn in late September, a temporary art installation memorializing and visualizing the American death toll from COVID-19. Anyone practicing the 18th mile of the Marine Corps Marathon course run nearby, and the juxtaposition became unavoidable when the race announced its second straight cancelation.
Citing safety and security precautions, Marine Corps canceled the Oct. 31 in-person marathon, 50k and 10k on Sept. 24, 11 days after the Army Ten-Miler canceled its Oct. 10 race. After the Army cancelation, Marine Corps race director Rick Nealis said he felt good about his race’s logistics to reduce crowding by runners before, during and after the race, including a vaccination requirement, but the linchpin was the support staff’s availability. Nealis had been confident enough in the race’s outlook that he had executed nonrefundable supply contracts for the race.
“It came down to the federal workforce and the national priority of defeating COVID-19,” Nealis said. “I draw my workforce from the Marine bases in the National Capital Region, and we’ve had some uptick in case positivity recently. Looking out 30 days, the feeling was that we probably aren’t going in the right direction.”
The U.S. Marine Corps is working toward a Nov. 28 deadline for COVID vaccinations, and Nealis said earlier in September that the availability of Marines to work the race was a significant variable, but one he hoped would be mollified by vaccination efforts.
In addition, conducting the race requires hundreds of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, and Nealis said it was a tough sell to divert them to support the race and potentially expose them to the coronavirus.
“Everybody has their own opinion or definitely of ‘safe,’ but in the end, the Marine Corps Marathon has to look at the debate over keeping 9,000 runners safe, the Marines safe and the support staff safe,” Nealis said.
The race will offer full refunds, deferrals to the 2022 race and cover any price increase or a transfer to the virtual race and a refund for the difference.
A 2013 study by Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute charted the race’s economic impact at $88 million throughout the Washington, D.C. area, with $59.7 million spent in Arlington County. The 2021 race was planned to be much smaller, with roughly 9,000 runners entered among three races, compared to nearly 31,000 finishers in 2013’s marathon and 10k.
D.C.’s John Camarillo was left looking for a contingency marathon after running his first effort virtually in the 2020 Marine Corps Marathon. He completed his run in heavy rains on Oct. 25, running solo around the National Mall and Mount Vernon Trail, with fluid and vocal support from his wife.
“I was really hoping it would go off as planned,” he said. “I was really looking forward to running an actual time,” with a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Camarillo soon found the Mayflower Wind Cape Cod Marathon, also scheduled for Oct. 31, which will allow him to stay on his training schedule.
Arlington’s Emily Hart, who also ran her first marathon virtually in 2020, is deciding between running her race Oct. 16 or just running 26.2 miles tomorrow in lieu of her planned 20-mile training run.
Despite last week’s cancelation of the Army Ten-Miler’s Oct. 10 in-person race, Marine Corps Marathon race director Rick Nealis believes his Oct. 31 race is ready to go off as planned.
The key to Nealis’ hopes is a waiver from the Department of Defense that will allow the race to assemble groups of 250, 10 times more than current COVID-19 mitigation policy on the Pentagon grounds. The race uses the Pentagon as a staging area and “runners’ village” before moving to the start on Virginia’s Route 110. There, the race will be free to arrange runners in whatever size starting wave it wishes.
“I think the measures we provided met the spirit of covid mitigation safety,” he said. “We did our homework for this back in May based on Arlington County’s guidance at the time, and I think the whole process has been pretty reasonable.”
Though Nealis acknowledged that canceling the pre-race expo and pasta dinner would detract somewhat from the race weekend experience and camaraderie, it would be a small price to pay.
“If we had to give up indoor events to keep the race, that’s an easy decision,” he said. “We’ll mail everything out in early October, well before anyone starts driving or gets on a plane to come to the race.”
The smaller in-person field size, with roughly 9,000 entrants, will also be a price to pay for having a race at all.
“We knew we couldn’t have 30,000 person race, but we didn’t want a 30,000 person race,” Nealis said. “This makes it all feasible.”
The race will require masks while on Pentagon grounds and before the start, but new masks will be supplied at the finish line and required at the US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington and will be suggested in Rosslyn
Nealis did not expect much resistance to the race’s vaccination requirement, but said any objectors will be free to choose a deferral to 2023– when he anticipated not needing vaccine requirement–the virtual race or a refund.
“If you love the sport, you’ll know it’s time to follow the rules,” he said. “Take it easy on race management, we’re trying to make things happen, here.”