- The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Weini Kelati, a sophomore at the University of New Mexico, as its women’s Division I National Athlete of the Week. Kelati attended Heritage High School in Leesburg for three years and competed for the Pride for two years, including 2015, when she won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. She won the women’s White race at the Division I Pre-National meet last weekend.
- The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation reports the bridge on Donaldson Run Trail in Zachary Taylor Park, at the North Upton Street entrance, has been damaged from a fallen tree and is currently closed to pedestrian traffic.
- Repairs to the Arlington Memorial Bridge will force detours for pedestrians, alternating at noon and 4 a.m.
Get ready! 3 of 6 lanes & 1 sidewalk on Arlington Memorial Bridge close Monday, Oct. 15. Everyone shifts to the N. side of the bridge. 4am-noon = 2 lanes to DC & 1 lane to VA Noon overnight to 4am = 2 lanes to VA & 1 into DC. More at https://t.co/rLYiXg5FFC #MoreThanABridge pic.twitter.com/HoOE1HyVAA
— Jenny A-S NPS (@NPSJennyAS) October 11, 2018
We all know that runners can get intense. But for most runners, there is a finish line at the end where the intensity comes to a stop. That was not the case for us. For 101 straight days in the heat of D.C. summer, my friend Brian McElhaney and I competed in a grueling run streak competition, all for the prize of a $30 dessert.
Brian and I are both Arlington residents and coworkers at Potomac River Running. One day in the early summer, Brian proposed seeing how many days we could run idea of having a run streak competition between the two of us. I thought it sounded fun, so I agreed. At the time, neither of us really understood what we were getting into.
Loudoun Valley hasn’t truly flexed its cross country muscle yet.
Not in winning the Great American Cross Country Festival a week ago and not in scoring 18 points to win the Third Battle Invitational, taking six of the top seven spots in the process. The defending Nike Cross Nationals champions haven’t even figured out who their top seven will be, and two runners who raced in Winchester did well enough to only make coach Marc Hunter’s job harder as the Vikings pick their seven runners who will compete in postseason races.
“It’s a good problem to have,” he said. “I’m always amazed at how the boys do. It’s a revolving door for 6-7-8-9, and it’s been a short season, so we’ll have to make some tough decisions. When they run well like this, it makes it harder.”
Montgomery Parks opened a new six-mile natural surface multi-use trail running along Pepco’s transmission right-of-way connecting Muddy Branch Stream Valley to South Germantown Recreation Park. It is being maintained through a collaboration between Montgomery Parks, Pepco and the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts. RunWashington’s will have an Off the Beaten Path look at the trail next week.
D.C.’s Kerry Allen qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials after running 2:41:33 for seventh place at the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota Oct. 7. She was RunWashington’s top-ranked road racer in 2017 and has broken the course record at the Riley’s Rumble Half Marathon the past three years. She also won the Parks Half Marathon this Fall. She is one of eight full-time immediate D.C. area residents to qualify for the Olympic Trials, set for Feb. 29 in Atlanta, so far.
For the second straight year, high humidity met Army Ten-Miler runners, but this year’s race was mercifully cooler. But last year’s conditions still stung Susan Tanui, so when the defending women’s champion set out, she made it a point to start out conservatively. It paid off, with a 56:33 victory over Julia Roman-Duval’s 57:17.
Tanui improved by 17 seconds over last year’s time and Roman-Duval improved by two minutes. Tanui, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, is stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado. Roman-Duval lives in Columbia, Md. Emily Da La Bruyere, of D.C. was third in 59:07.
Luke Tewalt isn’t the kind of hold back, especially when he has a chance to really be part of a race.
The Washington Latin junior took that opportunity Saturday at the Glory Days Invitational at Clifton’s Bull Run Regional Park, leading W.T. Woodson’s Jack Leech and Bishop O’Connell’s Max Greczyn through the rolling course. For Tewalt, it was a Goldilocks race, not too fast, like the DCXC Invitational a week earlier when he faced off against a Lynchburg area runner with a much faster personal best; and not too slow, like many of the smaller invitationals his charter school team had been racing.
“I don’t mind setting the pace because I’m used to that in a lot of my races, but it was even better to have guys to run with,” he said. “We were all out there pushing each other and it wound up being a really fun race.”
- Robert E. Lee High School alumnus Josef Tessema won the Navy Mile elite race Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue, running 4:01.89. He beat, among others, two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis.
- A bridge on the Mt. Vernon Trail south of Roosevelt Island is closed Tuesday after a piece of heavy equipment damaged a wooden footbridge.
- The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy named Bethesda’s Peter Raynor the 2018 Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champion for his role in writing the 1983 Railbanking Act. Railbanking is voluntary agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until a railroad might need the corridor again for rail service. This interim trail use of railbanked corridors has preserved thousands of miles of rail corridors that would otherwise have been abandoned.
Woodrow Wilson sophomore Vincent Kimami spends a lot of his time before races wrapped up in his nerves. This week, coaches and race directors were right with him.
As rain continued to fall on the D.C. area, the fates of weekend invitationals were once again in doubt. On Friday, Fauquier County, Va.’s Octoberfest Invitational pulled the plug, like Oatlands two weeks before and Maryland’s Track and Trail before that, driven by concerns about how courses would survive the onslaught of spikes and body weight.
But the DCXC Invitational at Northeast D.C.’s Kenilworth Park was a go, and runners would have a chance to face off and get dirty. Coaches, and Kimani, could stop fretting and start planning on actually racing. The flat, usually fast course was not immune to the rain, and long muddy stretches and iffy turns forced many races to become tactical, which as T.S. Wootton senior John Riker remarked after his third place finish, would ultimately be more beneficial in the long term for runners.
This year’s Marine Corps Marathon may be just like previous years’ races. And that’s just fine with Race Director Rick Nealis.
He’s seen a lot during the quarter century he has led the October race: cheating, celebrity runners (namely, Oprah), security concerns and even a scandal in which runners were urinating dangerously close to Arlington National Cemetery graves. Now in his 26th year leading “The People’s Marathon,” things “surprisingly … look like the status quo,” he said.
But he is always prepared for a debacle that could impact the marathon through D.C. and Arlington. It has happened many times on his watch, and chatting with the loquacious 64-year-old is a like revisiting some of the area’s most memorable moments over the past two-and-a-half decades.
- The Klingle Valley Trail will be closed between Oct. 11 and Nov. 30 and be closed between 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oct. 1 – Oct. 10 and Dec. 3 – Dec. 21 for water and sewer upgrades along the trail.
- Montgomery County Parks has closed all of its natural surface trails through through Thursday in an effort to prevent damage from use during this week’s rain.
- The Marine Corps Marathon deferment period ends Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
- The Arlington Memorial Bridge will be closed to pedestrians this weekend.