Giovanni Reumante’s experience as a freshman at Northwood High School was a little different than most. His school had recently reopened after being used for offices for the previous 19 years, but rather than siphoning students from other schools, he and his peers were the only class in the school. The Gladiators could have been called the Trailblazers.
He was one of the first members of the school’s track team in 2005, and the cross country team in 2006.
“It was an interesting year. My freshman year, we only had freshmen,” he said. “We were always the top of the class. We didn’t have upperclassmen until we were the upperclassmen.”
A little more than a year ago, Chris Neblett underwent a kidney transplant. This month he ran the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile race with his kidney donor in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of organ donation.
Neblett and Ana Knott share a special bond: they are longtime friends, Knott donated her kidney to Neblett, and now they are running buddies, too. Neblett, Knott and her husband all ran the 10-mile race this past weekend, during which Neblett achieved his personal best; Knott and her husband both ran their longest distances ever.
But for them, the race was about so much more than just running. The trio all wore T-shirts with the name and phone number of a person who desperately needs an organ donation in hopes of encouraging others to get tested and donate to someone in need. Neblett said Knott’s sacrifice is immeasurable, and he hopes others come to know that feeling.
“I was inspired [during the run] by the gift that Ana gave me; she gave me the gift of getting back to running and being healthy,” he said.
On a humid morning and afternoon, almost 500 D.C.-area runners finished the Boston Marathon. Jordan Tropf, a 27-year-old medical resident from Silver Spring, led local finishers in 61st place, 58th among men, in 2:27:21. McLean’s John Brough, 23, a Bishop O’Connell alumnus, ran 2:29;33 to lead Northern Virginians in 93rd, 87th among men. Steven Bance, 34, was the top man from D.C., finishing 99th overall, 92nd man, in 2:30:21.
Chantilly’s Christine Westcott, the 49-year-old winner of February’s George Washington Birthday Marathon, was the top local woman, running 2:58:48 for 148th woman and 2348th overall. Montgomery Village’s Elizabeth Conlon, 27, who ran at Good Counsel and Georgetown, was the 160th woman across the finish line and 2476th overall, running 2:59:20. Annyck Besso was D.C.’s first woman, 267th place and 3361st overall in 3:04:36.
Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race in 2:07:57 and Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa won the women’s race in 2:23:31.
Bethesda’s Ben Beach ran his record 52nd Boston Marathon. Lindsay Flanagan, formerly of Silver Spring, was the ninth woman across the line in 2:30:07.
As always, please let me know if we’ve left anyone out or used clock times instead of chip times. Residences are as reported to the Boston Athletic Association on race registrations, so some people may have moved in the meantime. After a second check of results, I believe we’re “there” now.
A misplaced set of cones marking a turnaround in the fourth mile cut the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile short by 240 feet. That invalidates both Stanley Kebenei’s 46:00 finish that would have been an American record for 10 miles and Rosemary Wanjiru’s 50:54 course record, which was also the fastest time in a women’s only race run in the United States.
A series of construction projects have altered the course over the last three years, first the loss of the Arlington Memorial Bridge and then the loss of a lane on each side of Rock Creek Parkway this year, forcing runners to take new routes to each 10 miles – this year, a return trip south on Potomac River Freeway. Race Director Phil Stewart said the approval for the 2019 course came only in the last two weeks.
“The course we had certified would have been an accurate 10 miles, but the course wasn’t laid out as certified,” Stewart said. “It was one of those things, like many things in life, where there were several miscommunications. Ultimately, as race director, it’s my responsibility.”
Marie Kondo may not be a Boston Marathoner’s best friend this year. Given the forecast currently calls for a repeat of 2018’s cold, windy deluge, throwaway clothes that might not spark joy the rest of the year are probably going to be invaluable this year. If you cleared out your closet in the past few months, now is a good time to get to a local thrift store, before you get to Boston and everyone else has the same idea. Here’s what some of our runners wore last year.
This year, 567 local runners have registered for Boston, but not all will race. Bethesda’s Ben Beach will be going for his 52nd Boston finish- extending his own record. In 2018, Graham Tribble (Arlington, 2:30:06), Sean Kinne (D.C., 2:37:23), Eric Schuler (Laurel, 2:41:31), Breana Avalos (D.C., 3:03:42) Erin Kelman (Germantown, 3:05:33) and Christie Wetzel (Falls Church, 3:08:49) led local finishers. Kelman and Wetzel are registered this year. Despite the conditions, 96.9 percent of D.C. runners who started the race finished, as did 95.5 percent of Maryland runners and 96.7 percent of Virginia runners, though the latter two statistics cover those entire states. He have the complete list of entrants at the bottom here. (more…)
Conroy Zien celebrated finishing the 2016 Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon at a post-race party surrounded by some of his closest friends he’s made through running and with another medal around his neck to add to his extensive collection of race souvenirs.
His time of 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 14 seconds placed him 138th overall out of 872 total finishers and top 25 in his age group. As the co-director of Montgomery County Road Runners Club’s First Time Marathon Training Program, Zien has helped hundreds of novice runners, including this reporter, accomplish their dream of completing 26.2 miles. RunWashington readers voted him Best Running Coach in 2015.
But a prevailing feeling of disappointment persisted. It didn’t help that at the party, a man who recognized Zien asked him the one question he had hoped to avoid.
“He said, ‘Have you run Boston?'” Zien recalls. “I said, ‘No I haven’t.'”
Stanley Kebenei could pick from a few comeback stories on his way to setting the American record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. A year ago, he was sitting at home nursing an Achilles tendon injury that left him in despair. A week ago, he had just run a miserable race for the world cross country championships. But none of that mattered when he crossed the line Sunday in 46:00, breaking Greg Myer’s 1983 record of 46:13, also run at Cherry Blossom.
“It’s a dream come true,” Kebenei said. “You should never lose hope.”
Note: Five days later. race officials announced that due to a misplaced set of cones marking the course, the race distance was 9.96 miles and ineligible for records.
It’s been more than two decades since Jackie Gruendel was in college, but the 44-year-old runner still competes — and excels — at college meets.
Gruendel, who lives in Clifton, is able to participate in meets as an unattached runner, and she ran 5:17.51 to place fifth in the women’s mile at the George Mason Patriot Games in January.
“I literally get on the line and I could, no joke, be these girls’ moms,” Gruendel said.
She said she’s slowed down some since she ran as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan, but she feels like her post-collegiate running career has been better than her college one.
For the last 19 weeks, Stephanie Lasure has been running every street in the City of Alexandria. She is weaving her way through every nook and cranny — down every block in Old Town, around every cul-de-sac in Seminary Hill and up every ascent in Rosemont.
Over 151,000 residents call the City of Alexandria home, nestling themselves into an area that’s only a little over 15 square miles. But as Lasure has slowly checked street after street off her list, she’s logged nearly 240 miles –and she’s not done yet.
Lasure was inspired by a professional ultrarunner she follows on Instagram, a man named Rickey Gates. On Nov. 1, 2018, he set out to run every street in San Francisco, ultimately covering over 1,300 miles in 47 consecutive days. His effort spawned a mini-movement of sorts, complete with its own hashtag — #EverySingleStreet — that now stretches across the globe, spanning from San Francisco to New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, and Brazil. The number of runners tackling new cities seems to grow every week.
The call went out on a Saturday — “does anyone have an Army Ten-Miler bib?” The race was the next day.
Responses on a message board wished the runner luck and others tried to start an impromptu waiting list. After a while, the sober voice of reason spoke up.
“Not allowed since it’s past the transfer period.”
It can be an unpopular opinion, but it’s backed up by the forms runners sign when they register for races.