Dan Frank hadn’t done the training he normally would have for an ultramarathon, and he didn’t have a route planned. There were some tough points during his run, which lasted nearly a day.
But the Columbia resident and Paint Branch High School math teacher had plenty to keep him going as he ran about 102 miles in a fundraiser for the Community Action Council of Howard County, which includes the Howard County Food Bank.
The idea came about when Frank and his wife were on a walk. Their daughters’ school, Phelps Luck Elementary, usually has a mobile food pantry available one day per month, he said. But now, schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In good times, about 40 families show up every time we have that mobile food pantry, and I can’t imagine what it would be like now, with how many people have lost their jobs and everything,” Frank said.
Five days after having pacemaker surgery, DC Road Runners Club President Ben Richter was running the streets of Columbia at the Maryland-District of Columbia RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge.
The Capitol Hill resident had been given some restrictions, but running wasn’t among them.
“They hadn’t told me not to, so let’s go out and test out the new equipment and see how the toys work,” said Richter, now 63.
That was in 2019, after a trip to the doctor led to a same-day surgery to have the pacemaker put into his body.
At the 2019 Road Runners Club of America Club Challenge, Richter decided to call it a day and head back to Howard Community College after a little more than four miles because of the bad weather.
But this year at the race, which was Feb. 23, he finished in a chip time of 1:49:25 — five seconds faster than his 2018 time on the hilly Club Challenge course.
When Richter’s doctor told him he needed a pacemaker, his reaction was “What?”
Walt Whitman cross country and track runner Ben Lesser is fighting acute myeloid leukemia — and he has a hurdle to get past.
He needs a bone marrow transplant, but he doesn’t have a match in the nationwide Be The Match Registry. Family members have been checked, too, without success, said Kelly Fischer, who is Lesser’s dad’s significant other.
The first round of chemotherapy worked, but it’s not a permanent fix, said Fischer, who has known Ben since he was 6. He just turned 18.
“The match is a lifesaving bone marrow transplant,” she said.
People ages 18-44 who meet the health requirements can sign up at bethematch.org for free and do a cheek swab to see if they are a match for someone who needs a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donation. The majority of donors are ages 18-44, but those ages 45-60 can join for $100.
Usually, running coach Kathy Pugh’s More than Miles Bootcamp group doesn’t cross streets for their runs, but Pugh said when they do, Roberta Stewart is there to serve as “safety patrol.”
Even if there are no cars coming, Stewart backs Pugh up on not crossing without a “walk” signal.
This behavior is something Stewart sees in D.C., along with drivers not always stopping at lights.
For pedestrians, it’s better to wait than risk crossing to get to the other side a little faster, she said.
“It is absolutely worth it to wait those 30 seconds,” Stewart said. “It’s not worth it to say I’m in a hurry. Because that car is going to win against your body every time.”
Racing a cross country 10K six days after running an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time isn’t exactly a conventional decision, but Everett Hackett isn’t exactly a conventional guy.
He ran cross country and track at George Mason University, and his college coach, Andrew Gerard, said Hackett doesn’t have a filter or care what others think.
“As a person, he’s probably one of the most unique young men that I’ve ever interacted with,” said Gerard, who is the director of track and cross country at George Mason.
Hackett, who is 29 and lives in Connecticut, wasn’t originally planning to run the USATF National Club Cross Country Championship in Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 14. But members of his team, the Hartbeat Track Club, were excited about running it, he said, and it became a joke as to whether he’d actually run it so soon after his marathon.
He did, and while he said he could have run faster if he was just training for the 10K race, he still ran 33:47 on the extremely muddy course.
“I had to do it for my team, and it was fun too – I had a blast,” he said.
It took U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Lindsay Carrick two hours and 43 minutes (and 43 seconds) to run the Military World Games marathon in Wuhan, China. It took more than three weeks to find out her effort was good enough to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.
But the course and race management checked out, and it made the fall and winter a lot simpler for Carrick, who had been aiming to run under 2:45 for two years.
Her coach, Patrick Gomez, said the Olympic Trials qualifying time was a larger goal, but he wanted her to be able to do well at the Military World Games without overdoing it. They had a backup race planned if needed.
“We went into the race saying let’s set ourselves up to be as successful as possible, and it just happened to be an Olympic Trials qualifying mark,” he said.
Olivier Leblond of Arlington was having a great day at the 24-Hour World Championships in Albi, France.
He still felt good through the first 100 miles. But once it got to be 2:30 a.m., and he’d been running for more than 16 hours, he said, it was tough to think about having more than seven hours of running left. Still, he kept going.
“You get tired until you see the sun,” said Leblond, 47.
Jessica McGuire didn’t qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials on raw talent. It took hard work.
That’s according to her coach, Jerry Alexander, who coaches the Northern Virginia Running Club.
“She has maximized her ability like no other athlete I’ve ever worked with,” he said.
Alexander didn’t initially think that running an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time of 2:45 or below was realistic. McGuire was able to bring her personal record, then 3:13, down to 2:55 at the 2016 Chicago Marathon. But even from there, qualifying for the Trials would still mean getting her time down by more than 10 minutes.
Caitlyn Tateishi is the type of runner who is never satisfied.
She ran her first marathon in June 2015, finishing in 3:38:49, a few minutes above her Boston qualifying time. It didn’t take long for her to sign up for another one — and three months later, she qualified for Boston by more than 15 minutes.
When she ran 3:00:43 at Boston in 2016, she earned a new personal record but said she was still disappointed. She won the Baltimore Marathon later that year with a time of 2:55:42.
Tateishi’s drive to get faster led her to a U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time.
The inaugural MCM50K was going to be Melisa Augusto’s first ultramarathon and her ticket into the MCM Runners Club.
But Augusto, who is 36 and lives in Washington, suffered a hamstring injury in the spring, which led her to see numerous medical professionals before she found the right fit in a doctor. In a previous marathon, she had a tough time with the mental aspect, she said, and she wanted this experience to be a good one.
“I love the sport, and I don’t want to hate the sport,” she said.
So, Augusto decided to defer her MCM50K entry to 2020.