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by Andrew Gates February 14, 2019 at 11:00 am 0

Henry Wigglesworth leads Malcolm Gladwell in the Fifth Avenue Mile.

“I love the mile,” said DC’s Henry Wigglesworth, who considers it his favorite race distance. The 61-year-old has fallen in love with the mile after years as a distance runner.

Wigglesworth took up running after college when he moved to New York City and his friends encouraged him to run the New York City Marathon. He did not take the race too seriously but enjoyed it enough to run it again a few years later. During his second New York City Marathon, Wigglesworth even stopped in Central Park for a beer with his friends toward the end of the race.

I didn’t really think of myself as a very serious runner,” he recalls.


by Charlie Ban February 12, 2019 at 2:17 pm 0

Paul Thistle at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. Photo: Charlie Ban

The top spot in the 2018 runner rankings probably came down to distance.

On Sept. 16, both Paul Thistle and Jeff Stein topped the podium near the Washington Monument. Thistle won the Navy 5-Miler, running 25:19 to score 1001.2 points in the RunWashington runner rankings system, which figures in race pace versus historical high-water marks for the same race. At the same time, Stein was winning the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, running 1:10:21. The effects of a warm, humid day probably compounded over 13 miles, and although Stein recorded a 35-second margin of victory in his race, he scored only 992.79. In the end, Thistle’s average wound up 1.32 points higher than Stein’s, giving him the edge for the year.


by Charlie Ban February 12, 2019 at 10:00 am 0

  • The W&OD and Four Mile Run trails in Arlington will be closed for six weeks starting the week of Feb. 18. The closure begins at N. Four Mile Run Drive and ends at the Custis Trail.
  • Several local runners were named Gatorade Athlete of the Year for their respective states:
  • Oakton alumna Keira (Carlstrom) D’Amato and Vienna resident Perry Shoemaker were the USATF Virginia open and masters athletes of the year, while Patriot alumna Rachel McArthur was the female under 20 cross country athlete of the year.
  • Chantilly alumnus Sean McGorty qualified for the world indoor track championships, running 13:21.35 for 5,000 meters at the BU Valentines Invitational.
  • Gonzaga and Georgetown alumnus Collin Leibold (3:59.51) and Georgetown senior Spencer Brown (3:59.97) broke the four-minute mile barrier.
  • Anthony Crawford, who is charged with the murder of D.C. runner Wendy Martinez last year, was found not competent during a mental health screening, WTOP reports.
  • Arlington’s Mike Wardian has submitted his ten-marathon total of 2:12:46 to the Guinness Book of World Records for ratification. He followed the World Marathon Challenge with three marathons run on Hains Point.

by Allison Bourg Sauntry February 6, 2019 at 11:41 am 0

Jennifer Hickey at the Sedona, Az. Marathon. At each race, she ran with a photo of the soldier whom she was running the race for.

When Jennifer Hickey completed last year’s Oklahoma City Marathon, there was a big surprise waiting for her at the finish line.

Hickey had dedicated the race to Army Sgt. Daniel Eshbaugh, a member of the Oklahoma National Guard who was killed in September 2008 in a helicopter crash while serving in Iraq.

He was one of the dozens of fallen soldiers honored by the D.C.-based runner last year, in her quest to run at least 53 marathons in 2018 to remember those who died serving their country.


by Sarah Beth Hensley February 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm 0

Erin and Greg Swiatocha

On a cold night in mid-January, Greg and Erin Swiatocha — like so many new parents — booked a babysitter for their 7-month-old son so they could get out of the house and spend time together.

Some couples may have seized the opportunity to visit a nice restaurant, see a movie or grab a drink.

Not the Swiatochas. The Alexandria couple employed the sitter so they could go on an eight-mile run together. It’s one of their favorite things to do together, after all. It’s a chance for this highly skilled running couple catch up on each other’s days and check in on how the other one is doing.

“Most married couples have those talks when they’re cooking together and out on weekends, but we talk on our runs together,” said Erin, a 3:08 marathoner and 1:25 half marathoner. Greg boasts a half marathon PR of 1:13 and a marathon best of 2:44.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love stories take center stage. And for the running community, those love stories involve couples that share a passion for running PRs, logging dozens of miles and understand grueling training seasons — all while celebrating each other’s victories in the sport.


by Tess Stryk February 4, 2019 at 10:53 am 0

Brooke Curran running the 2018 Richmond Marathon. Photo: MarathonFoto

Brooke Curran should not be alive.  On March 17 she should have been alone on a 3-hour training run at Prince William Park in preparation for a 100-mile race.   

Luckily enough, the park was closed and she had to relocate to Fountainhead Regional Park where a group of women, total strangers from a Moms Run this Town group invited her to join them on a run. They were chatting about summer race plans and getting to know each other when Curran realized something was wrong, “all of a sudden, it was like a sledge hammer hitting my head.”

Unwilling to leave their new companion behind, especially after she emptied the contents of her stomach several times over, the moms escorted Brooke back to the parking lot where she called her husband to come and get her. Curran believes, “that was the third miracle of the morning.”

Her husband Chris almost never picks up the phone, but for whatever reason, he did that morning.  The park was closed, there were other runners with her, and Chris picked up the phone, without this atypical chain of events, Curran may very well not be here with us today.


by Charlie Ban January 14, 2019 at 12:51 am 0

Can’t stand the treadmill? Me neither. You want to run outside after snowfall? Here’s a look at what (mainly paved) paths are looking like.

With melting and refreezing, particularly in shaded parts of paths, conditions will be a crapshoot. I want to make it very clear RunWashington is not guaranteeing your safety if you do go for a run outside. That said, thanks to some observers who were out on Sunday and Monday and the policies maintained by local governments, we can give you an idea what to expect out there.  .

In Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol is cleared and salted rigorously.

The D.C. Department of Public works cleared the Metropolitan Branch Trail Sunday morning.

Foot traffic around the Mall has likely cleared a lot of the snow.

East Potomac Park, as far south as Buckeye Drive, is likely clear and sees limited traffic. The Hains Point loop south of Buckeye has likely not been cleared.

However, if you’re hoping to do some cross training in a DC DPR pool, you’re out of luck, because they’re closed Monday.

In Virginia

NovaParks has cleared the W&OD Trail.


Arlington County clears the Custis Trail, Four Mile Run Trail, Bluemont Junction Trail and Route 110 Trail concurrently with residential streets. Some areas of these trails have frozen again, however.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Snow Patrol Team will be clearing between LBJ Memorial Grove to the 14th Street Bridge from 1 p.m – 6 p.m. Monday.

Arlington County’s rec centers are closed.

In Maryland

Montgomery County plowed its portion of the Capital Crescent Trail

Word is that the Millennium Trail in Rockville is “mostly clear” along Wootton Parkway.


Rock Creek Trail north of Peirce Mill around 11 a.m. Sunday. Photo: Charlie Ban

by Charlie Ban January 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm 0

Clarendon Day 5K  Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

With a new year comes a new slate of races for RunWashington’s runner rankings. We’ve shuffled some around, added some, shed a few others.

Each of these races is run on a certified course (but it’s up to you to make sure you don’t run too far). To be ranked for the year, runners must run at least six races, three before July 1 and three after. Why? It’s the most fair (and manageable) way to help put together a list of the runners who have made a commitment to road racing in the Washington, D.C. area.

There are at least 51 events in each half of the year, giving you plenty of opportunities to get in the races you need to be ranked. We’re still confirming a few dates for races. Keep in mind, races may be removed if they encounter course trouble, but we will try to replace them if something is removed.



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