Washington, DC

Running Shorts

 

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Running Shorts

      • If vaccination rates continue on pace in Washington, D.C., outdoor races will be allowed to resume at 50 percent capacity, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced April 5.
      • The City of Rockville is collecting input about the future of RedGate Park via a survey that you can take here.
      • I have updated the DMV Distance Derby, you can see the standings through March here.
      • The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its Division I All-Academic individual and team honors for the 2020-2021 cross country season. Local runners include:
        Alyssa Aldridge Georgetown
        Margaret Coogan George Washington
        Sami Corman Georgetown
        Katie Dammer Georgetown
        Maggie Donahue Georgetown
        Annabelle Eastman George Mason
        Camden Gilmore Georgetown
        Bethany Graham Furman John Champe
        Mary Hennelly Georgetown
        Kyra Holland William & Mary Loudoun Valley
        Caroline Howley Duke McLean
        Baylee Jones Georgetown
        Rachel McArthur Colorado Patriot
        Harry Monroe Virginia Gonzaga
        Peter Morris Virginia Loudoun Valley
        Matthew Payamps Georgetown
        Jack Salisbury Georgetown
        Parker Stokes Georgetown
        Women’s Teams GPA
        American University 3.8
        George Washington University 3.67
        Georgetown University 3.668
        George Mason University 3.5
        Men’s Teams GPA
        George Mason University 3.52
        George Washington University 3.41
        Georgetown University 3.41
        American University 3.36
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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.

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Name: Judy Doldorf

Self-described age group:  I am pretty deep into the Masters Division at this point

Residence:   Manassas, Va.

Occupation:  Public Safety GIS Manager for Fairfax County Department of Information Technology

How has your running changed in the last year:  As races started to get sucked up in the COVID vacuum, I went into more of a maintenance mode.  Instead of following a schedule, I ran when I wanted and I didn’t stick to any set mileage or pace goals.  The flexibility and not having any set goals was actually kind of nice. 

Why you run:  Running is just a part of my life.  Not running doesn’t feel normal to me.  Sometimes I run for mental clarity.  Sometimes I run to feel the sun and wind and rain.  Sometimes I run to spend time with friends and sometimes I just run to simply run.

When did you get started running: I’ve been running my entire life, but after having kids, I started running and racing on a regular basis.  I think it had something to do with needing some “me” time.

Have you taken a break from running:  I have, but not by choice.  See my answer below for the major injury question.

Training shoe:  I am all Altra!  For road, my go to is the Altra Escalante. For trail, Altra Superior.

Coach or training group:  My coach is Devon Yanko with Chaski Endurance Collective.  I cannot say enough about her and this group!  My training group is DQTC and again, I cannot say enough about this group!

The hardest race you’ve ever run:  Maybe because it is still fresh in my head, but I’d have to say the Terrapin Mountain 50K.  It is a great race that offers a bit of everything from forest roads, jeeps trails, single track, etc. with the bonus of about 7,000 feet of elevation gain which is no joke.  So.  Much.  Climbing.  This race had me walking sideways to get up/down stairs for a couple of days.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I’ve been heading toward the ultramarathon distance for some time now and have a few 50K races and one 50 miler under me.  So, I am going to take it a bit further and see how the 100K and 100 miler feel.

Favorite local trail:  I frequent the trails in Prince William Forest, so those trails are at the top of my list.  I love running on the Appalachian Trail, although I don’t get the opportunity to do so often.

My best race was:  I ran the 2015 NYC Marathon.  This race wasn’t the best because of my result (it was actually my worst marathon time), but the experience of the race itself.  The energy and excitement at this race is like no other!

Favorite local race: I am a big fan of the EX2 Adventure trail races.  I’ve run a number of them over the years and they never fail to disappoint.

Ideal post-run meal: In an ideal world, my post run meal would be a huge veggie omelette with a side of home fries and bacon.  But until I get my own personal chef, a fruit and protein smoothie, it is!

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: I am a fan of Spring Energy.  All the flavors are excellent, but my favorite is Speednut.

Pet peeve:  Runners that come to a dead stop at aid stations.  I have smashed into many a runner that have done this.

Goals: I am training for my first 100K in June.  I am hoping to run a 100 miler in the fall but have not decided on that just yet.  It just seems so far to run.  Haha.

Your advice for a new runner:  Do not compare yourself to others.  Run for yourself.

Song in your head during a run:  I did go through a phase when my kids were younger and songs from their various shows would repeat in my head.  Try running to the Team Umizoomi theme song in your head and not breaking into some sort of dance in the middle of your run.  Or better yet, the Baby Shark song.  Admit it, now it is in your head.  You’re welcome.

Have you dealt with a major injury:  Unfortunately, yes.  In 2017, I suffered a pelvic fracture due to a misstep into a pothole to avoid an oncoming car.  This basically transformed me into a couch potato for six months.

Running quote:  “If you run, you are a runner.  It doesn’t matter how fast or how far…”

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  The DC area has so much to offer for all kinds of runners.  There are a ton of trails and paths that offer many many miles.  And on any given (normal) weekend, you can usually find multiple races at various distances.

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Running Shorts

  • Part of the Western Ridge Trail will be closed for up to seven months for rebuilding starting March 31 between Porter Street NW to Bluffs Footbridge along Beach Drive NW. It’s the paved path that runs under the Porter Street Bridge, and the detour will follow the paved path on the other side of Rock Creek.
  • The National Park Service has rolled back the pedestrian closure of East Potomac Park.
  • Georgetown alumnus Andrew Bumbalough was a guest on the Morning Shakeout podcast.
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Check out a food site and chances are the first thing you’ll hit is a story, rambling about who knows what, forcing you to scroll through narrative to… just give me the recipe already!

Trust me, this story is worth it, and it will make the recipe even better. I’m sure they all say that, but this time, it’s true. 

There are any number of factors that have made Charlotte Turesson one of the best runners in Maryland. The one she’s most excited about sharing recently has been her menu.

If there’s anything she gained from more time at home during her junior and senior years at Richard Montgomery, it’s been more time in the kitchen and over the grill as she refines her mastery of different cooking styles.

“A lot of it came from my investment in being the best runner I can be,” she said. “I’ve always been pretty passionate about eating healthy, trying to optimize my performance.  Once quarantine hit, it elevated my interest in cooking, trying new recipes.” 

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Once in a while during the D.C. summers, you get a cool, dry day that makes you forget all of those squishy shoes and the necessity of pre-dawn long runs.

I got one in late July 2017, the same morning as I drove out to western Loudoun County to meet up with Ed Lull to shoot our magazine cover – the Loudoun Valley boys’ cross country team. Looking for a rolling dirt road, Joan Hunter pointed us to Yellow Schoolhouse Road, near Bluemont. It did the trick alright. We only drove about a mile out, but I liked what I saw. I also knew it was an hourlong drive for me from D.C., so I had better make sure it was going to be worth my time to go out there.

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When Kristen Serafin felt like a failure, running helped come back. Twice.

The first time, it was on a monthlong road trip with her now-fiancé Erin Kelman. The second time, when it was even more complicated, it gave her insight and an incentive to share her experience and strive to come out of it more motivated.

Back in September, recovering in Garfield Memorial Hospital in Utah, Serafin asked her attending doctor what would sound like an insane question: Could she run Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim? A 47.5-mile run though the Grand Canyon and back, 10 days after losing a pregnancy she only learned about two weeks prior. To her surprise, she got the go-ahead to accompany Erin.

“He was practical about it, he told me ‘you’re going to be tired, you lost a lot of blood, but I think you can do it if you want to give it a shot,'” she said, “He told me I might need to bail, but there’s nowhere really to bail.

“When I felt like I was a failure because I couldn’t do this thing my body was supposed to be able to do, I still wanted to do something amazing.”

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Running Shorts

  • East Potomac Park and West Potomac Park will be closed to pedestrians during peak cherry blossom bloom, which is a variable but generally forecast to be March 26 – April 12, so Hains Point will be inaccessible in an effort to reduce crowding during the pandemic.
  • Montgomery County is closing Little Falls Parkway, between River Road and Arlington Road.
  • Marine Corps Marathon men’s course record holder Jeff Scuffins (2:14:01) died at 58.
  • Thomas Jefferson alumna and Springfield resident Shauneen Werlinger was a guest on the D3 Glory Days podcast.
  • Georgetown sophomore Maggie Donahue and women’s cross country coach Mitchell Baker were honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as athlete of the year and coach of the year for the Mid-Atlantic cross country region.
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As fog rolled rapidly though the Cumberland Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, it created a strobe-like effect as dawn was breaking. From a fire tower, Rockville’s John Kelly could be seen, then not seen, then seen again… climbing a long hillside cleared for power lines.

Conrad Laskowski and Ed Aramayo watched Kelly pick up something orange, shake it around and put it on his head.

“It was a wool hat,” Laskowski said.

Photo: Conrad Laskowski
John Kelly climbs “Rat Jaw” on his fifth loop of the 2017 Barkley Marathons. Photo: Ed Aramayo

Even five days later, the excitement perked up Kelly’s otherwise calm even-keeled demeanor.

“I spotted that orange hat I’m like, ‘Score! this is awesome!” he said. “It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen.”

That hat, along with the plastic grocery bag he had fashioned into a poncho, helped Kelly, 32, mitigate the cold and rain and repurpose them to help propel him forward, with just a few miles to go in what was likely 130 miles over 59 hours and 31 minutes, over some of the most rugged terrain in distance running.

In 2017, he became the 15th person to complete the Barkley Marathons over 30 years, the first from the Washington, D.C. area.

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