There is a hidden gem for Washington-area runners in the heart of Loudoun County — Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. Over 20 miles of well-groomed grass trails traverse the 725 acres of grassy fields, hardwood forests, wetlands, and creeks. It’s a wonderful cross-section of the beautiful landscape that can be found in Northern Virginia. The picturesque scenery is an ideal backdrop for logging miles on soft trails. If you’re the type of runner that likes to connect with nature, this place is worth the trip no matter where in the metro area you live.
The first thing that may stand out to you is the odd name, the origin of which goes back to the early 19th century. Once you experience this place, the second word of the name makes sense, given “reeks” is a Gaelic word referring to hills and dales, which are abundant. The term “banshee,” Gaelic for female spirit, begs for further explanation. A local farmer, likely resulting from an intoxicating visit to a local saloon, came back home one windy night and claimed he heard a banshee on the reeks. The farm animals and wind were the likely culprits for the sounds, but over the years the story was repeated, and the area became known as Banshee Reeks.
The Grand National People Chase 5K/1K on May 20th has something for the entire family — a 5K race, a 1K Fun Run, and a free Stick Horse race for kids 9 years old and under (equine stick provided).
The rolling, challenging USATF-certified 5K course will take you through the picturesque Loch Moy Farm used for over 40 equestrian competitions each year. You will be led out by a rider on horseback over grass before heading into wooded trails along the Monocacy River. After emerging from the woods, you will run along a grass field while enjoying views of Sugarloaf Mountain and riders taking their horses over cross-country jumps.
The course continues on a wooded trail back to the grassy finish area where you will collect your medal, t-shirt, and swag bag while enjoying post-race refreshments. Both runners and walkers are encouraged to participate in the 5K or 1K races. Well-behaved, leashed dogs will be allowed on the course.
This event benefits the Maryland International Equestrian Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to provide funding for the development of dedicated riders from diverse backgrounds to compete at the top levels of equestrian sports.
Register now so you don’t miss out on this fun event!
Zebra Dazzle 5k Walk/Run or 100 Mile/30 Day Bike Challenge
4th Annual Zebra Dazzle 5k Walk/Run or 100 mile bike over 30 day challenge. All proceeds benefit amyloidosis awareness and research. Our race supports the Amyloidosis Foundation. The race is organized by Elaine, Bronwyn and Debra Davis who lost their
Rockville’s Dylan Hernandez (2:26:02) and D.C.’s Madeline Hartlieb (2:57:52) were the first D.C.-area runners across the finish line at the 127th Boston Marathon.
Despite facing strong headwinds in the closing miles of the race, Hillary Bor broke the men’s American record for 10 miles at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Sunday, running 46:11 for second overall. He trailed Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu by three seconds. Bor ran the 3,000 meter steeplechase on the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 and 2020, finishing seventh in 2016. Greg Meyer set the previous record of 46:13 at Cherry Blossom in 1983. Results Photos
Once again, the race served as the USATF 10 mile championships, and Sara Hall won the women’s division in 52:37, finishing behind second overall Uganda’s Sarah Chalangat’s 52:04. Vienna’s Perry Shoemaker broke the American record for women ages 50-54 with her 1:00:37.
Reston’s Susanna Sullivan, last year’s overall winner, was the D.C. area’s top finisher in seventh place, running 53:25. D.C.’s Zach Herriott was the top local man, running 48:57 for 14th place. Herriott won the race’s virtual competition in 2020. Bethesda’s Ben Beach completed the race, having run each Cherry Blossom dating back to when the race was started by the D.C. Road Runners
The race’s 50th running brought a new focus to the 5k race, which had previously been held as an alternative to the 10-mile distance. The race was held a day earlier and moved to a flat course starting at Freedom Plaza, where Baltimore’s Johan Fagerberg (15:03) and D.C.’s Casey Greenwalt (18:13) each won their respective races.
Virginia Beach 10 Miler
Celebrate the end of summer the Virginia Beach way with a classic Labor Day Beach Party. The weekend offers a 5K, 10 Miler, and “Live the Life Challenge” along with a J&A Racing infamous beach party featuring cold beer and
- The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 5:30 pm March 30 on the Liittle Falls Parkway road diet, which has closed two lanes of the road for a half-mile stretch, allowing for recreational use. The county planning staff has recommended the program continue.
- The Zoo Loop in Rock Creek Park is now open through 7 p.m.
- D.C.’s Tim Choi was a guest on the Micromobility DC podcast.
- The Road Runners Club of America honored several local runners through the 2022 National Running Awards program:
- Conroy Zien and Sarah Day for their role leading the Mongtomgery County Road Runners Club’s First Time Marathon program – Outstanding Beginning Running Program. Zien was named Best Running Coach in the 2015 Best of Washington Running.
- Kelyn Soong of the Washington Post – Excellence in Running Journalism. Soong wrote for RunWashington for several years.
- Jean Arthur of Silver Spring – Browning Ross Spirit of the RRCA.
Check out some mile seven photos from the Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Half Marathon. If you use any, please credit Charlie Ban/@RunWashington. Or be a jerk and don’t.
Losing to Live 5K Walk/Run
WHEN Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 9:00 am WHERE This convenient location is just minutes from your house located 1/2 mile inside the 1-495 Capital Beltway at exit 51. Spectators are welcome to watch and cheer on the runners. Capital
- Saturday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon will include changes to the latter miles of the race, with the finish moving to Judiciary Square from its longtime home at RFK Stadium. The start of the race will include a trip over the Arlington Memorial Bridge after several years away.
- The Potomac Valley Track Club was a close second at the USATF Masters Indoor Track Championships. Vienna’s Perry Shoemaker ran 10:07.36 to set an American record for the indoor 3,000 meters for the 50-54 age group.
- Registration has opened for this year’s Army Ten-Miler.
- The Chocolate City Relay is accepting applications for the group’s June 10 event around Washington, D.C. Apply here
- After its winter hiatus, the District Running Collective will resume its Wednesday night runs this week. RVSP here
- South Lakes’ girls 4×800 team finished second at New Balance Indoor Nationals.
Runners from local clubs including the D.C. Road Runners, Georgetown Running Club, Prince George’s Running Club, Montgomery County Road Runners Club and more raced the RRCA Club Challenge Feb. 26 on Howard County’s hilly 10-mile course. The Georgetown Running Club won the overall, women’s and men’s team competitions, along with overall titles for Sam Doud and Kerry Allen, who set the course record. Check out photos here