Though she had kept a relatively low profile since winning the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon, Perry Shoemaker is back after qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials April 28 at the Eugene Marathon. Her 2:43:33 was a PR of more than eight minutes.
“I’m still shocked that I did it,” Perry said a little over a week after the race. “And of course I’m still very excited.”
For years, Perry, 48, has challenged the notion that results slow down with age. She says that qualifying for the Trials became a dream when she realized she could do it with the right conditions and without injuries. “Without injuries” turned out to be a key challenge.
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.
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.
Name: Daniel Ahern
Self – described age group: 50-54
Residence: Logan Circle
Occupation: Public Affairs
Why you run: To beat my little brother. Every summer we meet in Falmouth, Mass., with family and friends to race seven miles through the shady early hills, then the exposed beach segment towards the mile five Allen Avenue cheering station, while turning for home up to the hill with a fast finish on the downslope. The loser has to adorn the champion with a medal and recite “you are the better runner this year, and I only hope to be your equal.” I haven’t had to say those words in many years. I could probably slow my pace and make these races competitive, but I only know one speed. And before you start feeling sorry for him, he’s a Jets fan. He’s used to losing.
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.
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.”
Name: Madeline Shepherd
Self-described age group: 30-34
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Nonprofit Lobbyist
Why you run: Running is my alone time, when I can tune into the pattern of my footsteps and breathing and tune out everything else.
When did you get started running: I realized that I enjoyed running when I was working to make the varsity volleyball team in high school, but I didn’t start running for its own sake until after college. I was inspired by friends and former classmates running half and full marathons and thought I would give it a try. After my first half marathon in 2010, I was hooked.
- Georgetown alumna Rachel Schneider’s 15:06.71 at the USATF Distance Classic May 16 at Occidental College put her under the 2020 Olympic qualifying time of 15:10.
- ArlNow reported that the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board approved $680,000 in assistance for 13 projects, including one to look into options to close a gap near the East Falls Church Metro station.
- A variety of distance runners with local connections will compete in the NCAA Track and Field Championships, starting with the regional finals this weekend: