The U.S. Secret Service is always ready to protect foreign leaders on American soil — even if it involves running a marathon in the process.
Last week, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mason Brayman and Lieutenant Bill Uher received an assignment unlike anything they’d ever encountered: run the TCS New York City Marathon with President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia.
As the Montgomery Blair High School cross country team geared up for its weekly long run, Morgan Casey felt a pang of hunger. She would silently grind through the discomfort, and eventually it went away. This habit only worsened as the year wore on. By the end of her junior year, Casey was at least seven pounds lighter than the beginning of the year, a state champion, and anorexic.
She is not an anomaly. A 2007 study found that around 20 percent of female high school athletes self-reported disordered eating. Athletes tend to underestimate disordered eating and eating disorders, however, so the actual number could be much higher. This problem continues, and may even intensify, in college. One Columbia University study found that 35 percent of female college athletes were at risk of developing anorexia nervosa, and 58 percent were at risk of developing bulimia nervosa. Those with eating disorders face worsened physical health and a are also a high risk of suicide. With a mortality rate of about 10 percent, anorexia has been called the “most fatal mental health disorder” by the National Institute of Mental Health.
George Marshall cross country coach Darrell General, winner of two Marine Corps Marathons, is in the running for a $25,000 prize from the 2018 Hometown Heroes Award. Voting closes Friday, Nov. 16.
General is the only cross county or track coach among the finalists and the only East Coast finalist. For years, General has maintained a rigorous work schedule to support his family and his competitive running career, which included five Olympic Marathon Trials qualifications and two Marine Corps Marathon victories. Read all about that here.
He has been coaching cross country at George Marshall High School, and aside from his coaching of the 2016 state 5A championship team, two individual state championships and a handful of Foot Locker finalists, has had a hand all of his athletes’ developments. Check out a video produced for the contest, located below the ballot.
In the last five years, D.C. state championships have had the most drama in the middle, where teams’ fourth and fifth runners battle on the margins while Taylor Knibb or Page Lester run away with the individual title. Spectators got better shows this year, The race this year stayed interesting much, much longer, with Woodrow Wilson sophomore Ava Nicely kicked past Washington Latin sophomore Zoe Edelman in the last tenth of a mile to win the individual title, 19:41-19:43.
Nicely and fourth-place finisher Claire Wigglesworth (20:03) led the way for Wilson upset of defending champion St. John’s, 44-49. It made Wilson the first public school to win a title since the DCSAA championship race started in 2013.
Jenny Mendez Suanca won a face-off among three Marine Corps Marathon champions, running 2:40.19 for her second title, following her win in 2015. Defending champion Sarah Bishop, of Dayton, Ohio finished fourth in 2:49:49 and 2013 winner Kelly Calway, of McLean dropped out after 10 miles with hamstring concerns.
Suanca’s time is the fifth-fastest winning time for the race and bests Calway’s record for this course layout, 2:42:16.
Suanca, 38, of Costa Rica took the women’s led early and stretched it out to a six-plus-minute lead over San Antonio’s 1st Lt. Lindsay Gabow, who was second in her first marathon, running 2:46:34.
- McLean resident Philippe Rolly won the USATF Masters 15k championship, running 50:40 at the Tulsa Run Oct. 27.
- West Springfield alumna Caroline Alcorta won the Big East Cross Country Championships, followed in second by Patriot alumna Rachel McArthur. The two run for Villanova.
- Georgetown’s men won the Big East Cross Country Championships.
- Heritage alumna Weini Kelati won the Mountain West Conference Championship. She runs for New Mexico.
- The Walk and 5k to End HIV has been postponed to Dec. 1.
Jeff Stein spent the afternoon following last year’s Marine Corps Marathon recovering in the hospital after heat stroke finishing in eighth place. He fared considerably better this year, breaking the tape in 2:22:49 for his first marathon victory.
True to his buildup this year, it was a race that, for him, seemed decided only at the end.
“When I was in the last mile, I heard the announcer say the leader had someone right on his tail,” Stein said. “I got pretty worried because I knew Patrick (Hearn) was a strong second-half runner, and I was wasn’t sure how much my legs could take. I was fleeing him for the last few miles.”
Northwood made history at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, winning the school’s first Montgomery County Championship behind Obsaa Feda’s individual championship. If that wasn’t enough, fellow Northwood senior Eldad Mulageta finished second.
“We tried to just cruise, but our pace wasn’t matching our effort because of the mud,” Feda said. After two miles, Mulageta told Feda to go on ahead. “It was just me against the mud.”
Desta Beriso Morkama was in a hurry. After winning the Marine Corps Marathon last October, Morkama quickly packed up his belongings, accepted his trophy and rode his bike home, where he made himself a quick meal and jumped into bed for a 30-minute power nap.
A few hours later, he would be reporting to his first shift at the local 7-Eleven convenience store. The celebration would have to wait.
“Before I work, I just push myself, ‘Desta, go, go, go, go work,'” Morkama said. “I push my mind that I have to work.”
The 43rd Marine Corps Marathon will bring tens of thousands of runners and spectators to D.C., Arlington and the National Harbor. Whether they’re gunning for the win, hoping for a personal record or just trying to cross the finish line, they’ll be making memories along the way.
Roughly 25,000 runners will line up for the marathon (starting near the Pentagon) and the 10k (starting on the National Mall). The marathon course will weave through Arlington County before crossing the Key Bridge into Georgetown, taking a trip up and down Rock Creek Parkway, around Hains Point and the National Mall before crossing back into Arlington, where runners will finish by climbing the hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn. The 10k follows the last 6.2 miles of the marathon route.
You can track runners here. Read on to learn about the best way to watch the race, why you shouldn’t run using someone else’s bib, who has run every Marine Corps Marathon and find out about the time the race was a day away from cancellation.