Washington, DC
Nick Golebiowski runs the 2019 Monumental Marathon. Photo: MarathonFoto

Maybe if he had gotten out of his own head earlier, all those races on the track would have been more fun for D.C.’s Nick Golebiowski. 

Or maybe the oval, or the grass for that matter, was never the place for him. Either way, at 24, he knows what it can take others years to figure out — he’s a marathoner. If the love of the training hadn’t been clear enough, he got objective feedback when he ran his first marathon in 2:18:39 two weeks ago at Indianapolis’ Monumental Marathon, qualifying him for the Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Learning from the injuries and inconsistency that plagued his early years at Georgetown culminated in the mental breakthrough that he punctuated with a Big East championship in the 10,000 meters his senior year. He continued his career in grad school at the University of North Carolina, but immediately moved to the roads after he didn’t make the first round of the NCAA Championships.

“Not making regionals opened up the possibilities of the roads,” Golebiowski said. “If I had advanced, maybe I would have tried to run faster on the track.”

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2017 Fairfax Turkey Trot 5k. Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

Outside of mammoth races like the Army Ten-Miler, Marine Corps Marathon and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, Thanksgiving is the busiest day of road racing in the D.C. area. Last years, 13 turkey trots totaled 21,214 finishers just in their timed divisions, to say nothing about fun runs, walks and tot trots, many of which these events sport.

This year at least 16 races will kick off around the D.C. area, with another one following a few days later.

Run hard, run for fun, wear a turkey costume, wear a pie costume if you can find one…whatever does it for you, the options are out there in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.

Note that the Virginia Run Turkey Trot and the Turkey Trot for Parkinsons in Lorton have both taken hiatuses. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re done for good – the Cheverly Trot is making a comeback this year.

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Holiday Half and 4 miler

The Holiday Half Marathon and 4 Mile Fun Run showcases beautiful Wakefield Park, Lake Accotink and the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail. Come and join in on the fun!

The races begin at 8:30 am at Wakefield Park. With fees

Pike’s Peek 10K runners start off the 2019 race on Redland Road , one of five Maryland roads the race closes. Photo: Dan Reichmann

The Annapolis Ten Mile Run was three weeks away when the Annapolis Striders got a phone call that almost ended the annual race for good.

It was illegal in the state of Maryland to shut down the roads for a foot race, police said. 

That was news to former state Sen. John Astle (D), a longtime member of the Striders who helped found the A10 in 1976 with six other runners. Over the next few decades, the race grew into one of Annapolis’ biggest running events. 

“We were told if it wasn’t specifically permitted, then it was prohibited. The law was silent,” Astle said. “We were three weeks out — people had made travel arrangements to be there. They told us we could have the race this year — but then no more.”

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Canaan Valley Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

Canaan Valley Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

5k – Saturday, April 25, 2020 – 10am

Half Marathon & 10k – Sunday, April 26, 2020

Canaan Valley Resort
Davis, WV 26260

Olivier Leblond competes in the 24-Hour World Championships in Albi, France. Photo: Tracey Outlaw

Olivier Leblond of Arlington was having a great day at the 24-Hour World Championships in Albi, France. 

He still felt good through the first 100 miles. But once it got to be 2:30 a.m., and he’d been running for more than 16 hours, he said, it was tough to think about having more than seven hours of running left. Still, he kept going.   

“You get tired until you see the sun,” said Leblond, 47. 

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Run with Santa 5k

Are you ready? Word on the street is Santa and Mrs. Claus have been training like champions! Join us for the 8th annual Run With Santa 5k! The race will be held at Reston Town Center at 8:30 am on

If you complete different challenged along the Potomac Heritage Fat Ass 50k course, you can take minutes off of your finish time. Photo: Courtesy of Thomas McNulty

Trail races are already pretty chill, but those looking to take low-key to an even lower level should go find a Fat Ass.

Fat Ass events are free, loosely organized group runs that focus on trail community and camaraderie over competition. Depending on the organizer, races will sometimes have aid, sometimes swag, and sometimes course markings, but an entry “fee” is always a donation of food or drinks to a communal aid station.

“My first true experience into the real-world culture of trail running and the ultra family was at Halloweeny FA put on by VHTRC,” says D.C. resident Thomas McNulty. “My race entry ‘fee’ was two bags of potato chips. There was no judgement on whether I had run fast, slow, run the whole distance, run part of the distance or didn’t run at all. New friends were made, laughs enjoyed and I quickly realized that this was the people that I wanted to surround myself with.”

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Lake Braddock’s girls celebrate upon hearing they won the 6A championship. From left: Amelia Bradecamp, Sophia Rossen, Caroline Fleenor, Kayla Nocerito’s back, Alexandra Hague. Photo: Bruce Buckley

It had been a while since Bethany Graham had run down the long stretch that leads to the Virginia state meet finish line at Great Meadow. Three years in fact, since she had made it through a cross country season unscathed. In that time, John Champe high school grew to 6A from 4A, and when the senior finished first with a 34-second margin of victory over Ocean Lakes sophomore Aniya Mosley running 17:42, she nearly led the Knights to a team title in the state’s largest division.

Her own race held true to her formula all season – go out fast and hold on. Within seven minutes, she was alone.

“The last mile was pretty difficult, but I managed to finish strong,” she said. “I was pretty lucky all season to stay healthy.”

But unfortunately for Champe, the six of the top 11 finishers were running without their teams, meaning Lake Braddock’s top finisher Sophie Willis’s 12th place finish only counted as six points, cutting the advantage Graham offered. Lake Braddock put seven ahead of Champe’s fifth and edged the Knights by eight points.

“We didn’t even think we’d be on the podium,” Graham said. “We were going up against so many teams that been so good for so long. After we lost Mythri Madireddy to an injury, it encouraged the younger girls to step up, and they did.”

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