Washington, DC

Running Shorts

 

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Leesburg 20k and 5k presented by Harris Teeter

Join us for the 32nd running of the Leesburg 20K/5K presented by Harris Teeter, benefiting YMCA Loudoun County – run through scenic, historic Leesburg. The starting gun goes off at 7:30 AM for the 20k and 7:48 AM for the

With all due respect to Rock Creek Park, I’m getting a little tired of Rock Creek Park, or at least the parklands in DC. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply appreciate the city closing parts of Beach Drive to allow socially distant recreation during the COVID-19 crisis, but when you’re an injured runner it’s kind of hard to go where seemingly all the healthy runners are going.

So I’ve been trying to branch out, using a few criteria to stave off cabin fever: easy parking; quiet trails; plenty of shade; friendly dogs, preferably leashed.

 

One weekend, a running friend mentioned that he used to run at Lake Needwood, and I immediately remembered seeing it on a map near Rockville when checking how far north Rock Creek goes (answer: about eight miles north of Needwood to Laytonsville).

The 40-minute drive from downtown D.C. was a small investment to check all the boxes. That Thursday afternoon was made for lake exploring; I almost forgot about the midday humid heat — and if you can believe it, the pandemic — as I followed the tree-lined trails. As tempting as it looks, keep your feet and pets out of the water.  County tests for water quality in recent years have detected toxic blue-green algae.

The fact that parking at Lake Needwood is free is a big deal for me, though the small parking lots seem likely to fill up on busy summer weekends.  The park is open from sunrise to sunset.

Montgomery Parks’ website on the Needwood Trails says that there is no way to walk around the lake, but Needwood Drive has a safe path on the side of the road for pedestrians and bikers to cross the water on the north end of the lake, which is what I used to connect the Westside and Mudcat trails.

It’s difficult to talk about 75-acre Lake Needwood without mentioning nearby 55-acre Lake Frank and the natural surface trails surrounding both. I would not recommend centering a long run at Needwood itself, which is only about 2-3 miles around, but the asphalt Rock Creek Hiker/Biker Trail connects both waterways to the District of Columbia border less than 15 miles away. Given the narrow, winding route, you’re unlikely to encounter aggressive cyclists.

Boat rentals and fishing could distract non-running members of your household on certain days of the week if they’re into that. Check online for their revised schedule during COVID-19 times.

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Name: Maggie Edwards

Self-described age group: The Last of the Millennials

Residence: Navy Yard

Occupation: Policy and Advocacy Associate

How has your running changed in the last few months: I was training for the Pittsburgh Marathon (which did switch to virtual), so nothing has been super out of the ordinary for what my running looks like in a “normal” spring/summer

Why you run: I run because 1. I like the goal-oriented nature of running and being able to accomplish something new (whether that be a new distance or run a new course) and 2. it keeps me sane.

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Holiday Half & 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 starting gun goes off at 8:30 AM in Wakefield Park.

Running Shorts

  • Cross country in D.C. will be sandwiched by indoor and outdoor seasons under a plan announced by the DCSAA. . Winter sports, including indoor, will start practices in December, cross country will start in February and outdoor track will start at the end of March.
  • Nike Cross Nationals and its associated regional meets have been canceled for 2020. Last year, Loudoun Valley’s boys and girls teams finished 10th.
  • The Transportation Planning Board will be voting whether or not to adopt the National Capital Trail Network on July 22nd. Comments will be accepted until 9 a.m. July 22nd at [email protected].
  • Gaithersburg alumnus Aaron Anderson was a guest on the Run Farther and Faster podcast.
  • South Lakes sprinter and Michigan recruit Hannah Waller will be the guest on this week’s Potomac River Running Instagram Live, Wednesday, July 22 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Beach Drive in D.C.’s Rock Creek Park will remain closed to vehicles through the beginning of Phase 4 of the district’s reopening plan.
  • Oakton and American University alumna Keira D’Amato is a finalist for USATF Athlete of the Week. You can vote until 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 22.
  • Construction on the first phase of the W&OD Trail’s “dual trail project,” widening the trail to separate cyclists from pedestrians, will begin in Falls Church in August, with the second phase in Arlington being designed in the next few years.
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Perfect 10

The Perfect 10 presented by Fidelity Investments is back again! Determine your distance – 10K or 10 Miles. Once you cross that finish line you’ll be handed a one-of-a-kind finisher medal! The race includes a 10 miler, a 10k, and

The race tried to go on, to fight to the end. But with a little more than three months to go, the Marine Corps Marathon reached a point where the reality of the coronavirus pandemic was too much to face on Oct. 25.  It followed other large marathons in canceling, including Chicago and New York. Marine Corps will offer a virtual racing option. A day later (July 21), the Army Ten-Miler announced that it too would not hold an in-person race. It had been scheduled for Oct. 11 but had delayed registration.

“We explored various approaches to safely execute a live event and held numerous meetings with Marine Corps leadership, local government and public health officials,” said Race Director Rick Nealis. “We understand this is disappointing news for many, but we could no longer envision a way to gather together in compliance with safety guidelines. While we are unable to celebrate in-person this October, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the 45th anniversary event to the homes of runners around the world through a rewarding and engaging virtual experience.”

The bottleneck for the race came in the start and finish areas near the Pentagon and United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington County. Virginia limits gatherings to 250 participants and the starting line can see crowds of more than 20,000 runners in close quarters. In an attempt to reduce the roughly 28,000 runners who show up ever year on the last weekend of October, the race tried to shed runners, canceling the in-person 10k (good for 5,000 – 8,000 finishers annually). An attempt to stagger starts would run up against the deadline to reopen the 14th Street Bridge, forcing the race to tighten pace restrictions to 12:00 per mile, which would have cut nearly 8,000 of 18,000 who didn’t maintain that pace in 2019 and nearly 7,300 of more than 20,000 finishers in 2018.

The drew criticism from runners who questioned the race’s self-appointed moniker as “the people’s marathon.”

“Health and safety are our top priorities during this challenging time,” said Libby Garvey, Arlington County Board Chair. “The Marine Corps Marathon is a treasured event and tradition in our community that Arlingtonians look forward to each year. As we celebrate the race’s 45th anniversary this year, we will be enthusiastically and virtually cheering on each runner. We can’t wait to welcome these dedicated athletes and fans back to Arlington in person in 2021.”

A little farther away, the Baltimore Marathon (Oct. 17) and Richmond Marathon (Nov. 14) remain on schedule as of their most recent updates.

Just seven years ago, Marine Corps came within a day of canceling supply orders, and the race, in the face of the federal government shutdown that would have prevented runners from using most of the course.

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A former civilian employee of the Army Ten-Miler pled guilty in June to stealing vendor funds from the Army Ten-Miler expo.

Darryl Gale, 52, faces a possible sentence of 15-21 months and will be required to pay restitution in the amount of $124,758.21, and a forfeiture money judgment, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The government’s case alleged that between Jan. 1, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2018, Gale deposited money into his personal bank accounts from race vendors who purchased boths at the expo. He told vendors to make payments to him, explaining that his director was allowing him to personally sell a certain number of booths as a bonus.  Gale worked for the race as a civilian between 2012 and 2018.

 

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