by Vanessa Junkin June 18, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

The team arrives at the Roanoke River Lighthouse in Edenton, N.C.

Tim Schleining agreed to take part in the White House to LightHouse Relay before he knew anything about it.  

His friend Jennifer Miller just asked him if he was free, and after checking his calendar for the dates she’d asked about, he said yes.

A day or two later, Schleining learned more. And his reaction?

“Initially shock at the audacity of it, but I was really intrigued and excited to participate,” he said.

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by Allison Bourg Sauntry June 13, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile volunteer Maureen George with Rachel Miller, the race’s medical coordinator. Photo: courtesy of Rachel Miller

As the medical director for the Pike’s Peek 10K and the Parks Half Marathon, Dr. Trevor Myers is used to treating certain common injuries in runners.

Bruises. Blisters. Sprained ankles.

Bee stings, on the other hand, are not something he expects to see in the medical tent.

But that’s exactly what happened one year during Parks, when bees escaped a beehive on the course and stung about 15 runners.

“So now we always have Benadryl,” said Dr. Myers, an anesthesiologist at Virginia Hospital Center and race’s medical director since 2010.

Medical volunteers play a crucial role at area races, preparing for the unexpected and keeping calm in challenging circumstances.

“You can’t be someone who is going to pass out with a little bit of blood,” said Andrea Myers, who volunteers alongside her husband at Pike’s Peek and Parks.

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by Charlie Ban June 11, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Gonzaga College High School teacher Ariel Laguielles finishes his 400+ mile run across part of Spain in eight days, 12 hours an 45 minutes, logging more than 416 miles, often on a swollen ankle.

Laguielles, 40, planned for a year to tackle the pilgrimage route taken by St. Ingatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuit order.

He topped out at 63.5 miles on day three and took a few down days to give his ankle time to heal, and he ended up in Manresa in high spirits June 4. His run established the fastest known time for the Camino Ignaciano.  He exceeded 50 miles a day five times.

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by Charlie Ban June 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm 0

Peter Kim leads a crowd toward the last stretch of the Lawyers Have Heart 5k. Photo: Charlie Ban

I took a bunch of pictures of varying quality at the Lawyers Have Heart 5k/10k Saturday, which enjoyed the best conditions since 2014. Check them out here.

by Vanessa Junkin June 5, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Stefania Falconer with mother Jolanta Blazaite and father Andres Falconer.

There are nearly half a dozen free, timed parkruns every Saturday in the Washington area.

But there was something special about one recent parkrun — complete with cookies, cupcakes, a balloon with “100” on it and a poster that said “Go Stefania.”

Stefania Falconer, 12, recalled those things about her recent milestone-hitting 5K. The D.C. resident became the first United States parkrun participant under the age of 18 to complete 100 parkruns this April. For the occasion, she wore a parkrun milestone shirt with a “10” on the back for completing 10 parkruns with an extra “0” added to make “100.”

“It was a big deal,” said Stefania’s dad, Andres Falconer, event director for the Fletcher’s Cove parkrun, of her accomplishment.

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by Dickson Mercer June 3, 2019 at 9:00 am 0

Seeing a female runner in that country was rare, something Nina hoped to change.

These words come from Maggie Lloyd’s 2016 RunWashington remembrance of Nina Brekelmans, a runner, scholar and activist who was killed four years ago in an apartment fire near Dupont Circle.

As Lloyd noted in her article, Nina’s story “is still far from complete.” But thanks to family members, friends and supporters, Nina’s vision is indeed moving forward.

In Amman, Jordan, where she had studied, Nina envisioned empowering young women through running. That’s happening today, as last month, a fourth annual camp and race named in her honor culminated with record participation.

As the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and Jordanian partners gear for their 5th season, a fundraising event for the camp and race will be held in partnership with Pacers Running and RunWashington.

Experience a joyous evening featuring appetizers and drinks, raffles and silent auction items ranging from Nationals tickets to yoga classes and entries to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. All proceeds will benefit the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation and its programs supporting young female runners and refugees in Jordan.  

Register: http://ninabrekelmansmemorial.org/dc19

by Charlie Ban June 3, 2019 at 9:00 am 0

Chantilly alumnus Ryan McGorty will compete in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Several distance runners with local connections will compete in the  NCAA Track and Field Championships June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.

1,500 meters – Ryan McGorty – William and Mary / Chantilly High School
Rachel Pocratsky – Virginia Tech/ Our Lady of Good Counsel
Alexandra Lucki – Maryland

3,000 meter steeplechase – Fitsum Seyoum – Virginia Tech / Tuscarora High School

5,000 meters – Caroline Alcorta – Villanova/ West Springfield High School
Weini Kelati – New Mexico/ Heritage High School
Josette Norris – Georgetown

10,000 meters – Caroline Alcorta – Villanova/ West Springfield High School
Weini Kelati – New Mexico/ Heritage High School

In high school state meet action, Washington Latin’s Luke Tewalt won the 800, 1600, 3200 and ran a leg of the winning 4×800 meter relay team at the DCSAA championships and Loudoun Valley’s boys swept the top seven places in the Virginia 4A 3200 meters.

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by Sarah Beth Hensley May 30, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Wendy Martinez running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego. Photo courtesy of the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project

Everyone knew Wendy Martinez as a runner. It was a huge part of her identity. So much so that when she wanted to meet her friends at a trendy brunch spot in D.C., she would run to the restaurant “and show up all sweaty. She didn’t want to miss a run,” said her best friend Kristina Moore.

“I think through running she found power and strength and serenity — it showed her dedication and mental strength, and so it was an integral core of her life,” Moore said.

Running fulfilled Martinez; she also died while running. Last September, a stranger fatally stabbed the 35-year-old while she was out for a run in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood. It was a tragic act of violence that rocked her friends, family and the running community.

After her death, her friends and family founded the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project — an initiative that invests in the causes Wendy cared about most: empowering women in technology, supporting women’s entrepreneurship and connecting with others through running.

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by Charlie Ban May 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm 0

In a way, Ariel Laguilles has been preparing for this week all of his adult life.

Since his freshman year at Gonzaga College High School, his education and work have all been at Jesuit schools. Now he is in the midst of what he plans to be a eight-day run along the 406-mile path in Spain walked by St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order, nearly 500 years ago.

But in another, more specific way, he’s been planning for about a year. While leading immersion trips for students at Gonzaga, where he is chairman of the modern languages department, he struck up conversations with the tour group organizer, who was based in Spain. They talked a lot about pilgrimages.

It turned out his new friend Augie was a big fan, and the two hatched a plan for Laguilles, 40, to run to Manresa, near Barcelona, from Azpeitia, near Ignatius’ home of Loyola. That’s the route St. Ignatius walked before writing his work Spiritual Exercises

“Some pilgrimages are pretty popular, but Ignatius’ didn’t really rise to that level,” Laguilles said, noting that the route gets about 400 people a year, compared to hundreds of thousands for other European pilgrimage routes. “But it was an experience I’d love to have.”

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by Vanessa Junkin May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Runners pass through the Blue Mile during the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Half Marathon. Photo: Charlie Ban

Joshua Harmon started running while serving in Iraq. His wife, Kristin, wasn’t a runner, but she told him she’d run with him when he came home.

He didn’t come home.

Harmon was killed in action on Aug. 22, 2007, at the age of 20.

Kristin, who remarried in 2012 and now has the last name Johnson, has been able to run in Harmon’s honor through wear blue: run to remember, a nonprofit with communities across the country, including in Northern Virginia, Bethesda and Quantico. She lives in Alexandria.

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