The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer — which can mean one big thing for the running community: more runners are taking to the region’s sidewalks, paths and trails.

As more runners ditch the treadmill in favor of running outside, there are health and safety reminders to consider. Chief among them is knowing the correlation between warmer temperatures and running risk, said Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the medical director of MedStar Sports Medicine for the Washington region. Spring can yield some warm-but-not-too-warm running conditions, but “just because the air feels [cooler], you have to be careful,” he said.

Temperatures can feel comfortable and quickly get dangerous as you exercise, he said. Runners need to be careful with outdoor exercise when temperatures are between 73 and 82 degrees, but with higher humidity levels — a foregone conclusion in the D.C. area — temperatures as low as 73 can be high risk, Dr. Douoguih said.

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Running Shorts

  • The “zoo loop” on the Rock Creek Trail is nearing completion, with work potentially being done by the end of July.
  • The current plans for the pedestian expansion of the American Legion Bridge include a ramp to the C&O Canal Towpath but not MacArthur Boulevard.
  • Oakton and American University alumna Keira D’Amato has been named to the U.S. marathon team for the World Track and Field Championships, following Molly Seidel’s injuray withdrawal. The women’s marathon is Monday, July 18 at 9:15 ET. She’s also opening a Potomac River Running store in Richmond.
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2023 PNC Parkway Classic

Born in 1984 as the George Washington Parkway Classic, it is among the most scenic and spacious distance races on the East Coast. From the serene beauty of our spacious course meandering through the finest spring bloom in the DC

Doubts swirled around my head, and my right quad muscles ached with cramp-like pain. It was only ten miles into the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon but as I watched what felt like hundreds of runners zip past me, I started to recalibrate my pre-race goal: Three hours and 50 minutes became four hours. Then four and a half hours. Then simply finishing.

The race turned into a mental battle. My legs screamed for me to stop and walk, while my brain urged me to continue on pace. The 10th mile would be my slowest up to that point. I tried to find motivation wherever I could. I repeated the mantras, “mind over body” and “don’t run scared,” to myself as I locked on to the runners in front of me. I visualized how satisfying it would feel when I crossed the finish line with another sub-four hour marathon. I thought about my supporters back home who were tracking my race online. 

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Running Shorts

  • Arlington County is accepting feedback on the Arlington Boulevard Trail through Tuesday, July 5.
  • Georgetown alumna Emly Infeld made the U.S. world championships team in the 5,000 meters with her third place finish at the USATF Championships.
  • Laurel resident Juliette Whittaker, who sent the national high school record in the 800 meters in 1:59.04, winning the U.S. U20 championships and making the world team, was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Outdoor Track for Maryland.
  • Georgetown’s Lucas Guerra made the U.S. U20 world championships team in the 3,000 meters.
  • Washington Latin alumnus Luke Tewalt, racing for Wake Forest, made the U.S. U20 world championships team in the 1,500 meters.
  • Aaron Yoder, world record backward mile holder, will compete in the U.S. Backward Running Track Championship July 9 at Edison High School.
  • Arlington’s Mike Wardian finished his cross-country run to Delaware from San Francisco to raise money for World Vision.
  • St. John’s junior Meredith Gotzman was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Outdoor Track for Washington, D.C.
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St. Rita 5K & Fun Run

The 18th annual St. Rita 5K & Fun Run is a fall classic on treelined streets through beautiful Alexandria, Va.

Certified & chip-timed 5K follows a flat, fast, out-and-back course through Potomac Yard.

The morning festivities includes a live DJ,

Running Shorts

  • The Rock Ceek path has reopened between Shoreham Drive and P Street, and the tunnel through the I-66 bridge south of the Kennedy Center has opened.
  • Three Trials Fever patients will experience relapses in 2024, thanks to their races at Grandma’s Marathon, which qualify them for the Olympic Trials. Reston resident and Falls Chuch native Susanna Sullivan was third in 2:26:56, Thomas Jefferson alumnus Johnny Phillips ran 2:14:10 and Centennial alumnus Brian Harvey ran 2:17:40.
  • The Road Runners Club of America recognized Arlington County was recognized as a “Runner-Friendly Community.”
  • A handful of local distance runners will be competing in the USATF Championships and the USATF U20 Championships this weekend in Eugene, Ore.
    • In the 800 meters, the District Track Club’s Vincent Crisp and Georgetown alumna Sabrina Southerland.
    • In the 1,500 meters, Georgetown’s Matthew Payamps and Jack Salisbury and Georgetown alumna Josette Norris.
    • In the 5,000 meters, Chantilly alumnus Sean McGorty, the District Track Club’s Willy Fink, Heritage alumna Weini Kelati and along with Norris, Georgetown alumnae Emily Infeld and Katrina Coogan.
    • In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Tuscarora alumnus Fitsum Seyoum.
    • In the U20 meet, Laurel resident Juliette Whittaker will run the 800 meters.
      • Washington Latin alumnus Luke Tewalt will run the 1,500 meters, for Wake Forest.
      • Georgetown’s Lucas Guerra will run the 3,000 meters.
      • In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Colgan alumnus Bryce Lentz, running for the Air Force Academcy, and Oakton alumnus Garrett Woodhoouse, running for Utah State.
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The only thing better than running 50 miles through D.C. with four friends on an unseasonably cool June day? Running 60 miles with nine friends.

In its second year, the Chocolate City Relay grew both in length and depth June 11, adding a second team of Black women traversing the city in a DIY relay and throwing in a little competitiveness along the way.

“I work in D.C., but I live in Maryland, so I’m not running around here too much,” first-year runner Yodit Tefera said of the Northeast neighborhoods she had just finished running. “Everything is pretty new to me, so I’m getting to know more neighborhoods.”

On top of the 10 women hitting the roads, two drivers and two bicycle guides supported the runners along the way, along with friends along the course and waiting at the Hains Point finish to cheer on all of the runners sharing the 24th leg.

Dira Hansen watched from afar the last year and hoped to take part.

“When I saw them finish last year, I thought it was awesome,” she said. “So I kind of Insta-stalked them and hoped they’d do it again and invite me.”

 

I can’t get the map to embed to save my life, but click here to see it in more detail

They invited her, and she added a competitive element to a lineup that pitted newcomers against the veterans. The newcomers touted Hansen’s sub-three-hour finish at the Shamrock Marathon in March and helped her warm up with some strides along Mt. Olivet Road NE before she took the handoff and sped down West Virginia Avenue NE.

Though the teams — veterans in blue, rookies in pink, started together, before too long, competitive instincts took over and turned the event into a cat-and-mouse game, aided somewhat by a drizzle that kept drivers off the road and opened some road crossings faster than usual.

Though all of the runners participate in traditional races, veteran runner Alison Staples noted, the event generally takes on a more community-based, cooperative effort, and PRs take a back seat.

“This is more special because we put it together, the support team has volunteered to come out and help,” she said. “It’s been incredible for sisterhood, enjoying each other’s company and celebrating that we are all healthy enough to run.”

Staples moved to D.C. from Baltimore in 2021, and after striking up a social media friendship with Brittany Greene, Greene recruited her into the inaugural relay.

“There were a lot of women doing amazing things, but we didn’t all necessarily cross paths in our worlds, so finding a way to bring everyone together in a way that amplifies our stories was important and gets people into new areas exploring D.C.,” Greene said.

She mapped out a course that crossed all eight wards of the city, but added roughly 10 miles in Ward 8, in Southeast D.C.

“We tried to use rec centers and schools as landmarks, to give people a framework for what’s in D.C.,” she said. “We wanted to add a level of challenge, and the ladies were up for that, so everyone got some more hills.”

In addition to the 10 runners, five planned to complete a virtual relay. After gas and supplies were paid for fundraising went to Girls on the Run programs, where a several relay runners volunteer as coaches.

In between legs on the rookie team, Courtney Carter marveled at the way Greene and her friends made the event happen

“To have this home-grown, locally-created relay that’s doubled in size and to get to do this with these amazing women and our support, it’s super meaningful, it’s super dope, and people are excited about it.

“It means a lot, we all know how important representation is and we know that we need more of it in the running space. And it’s just a way of claiming space, and I’m a fan of that.”

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FONA Fall 5K

Enjoy autumn at the U.S. National Arboretum during FONA’s Fall 5K. This race will take you past garden collections brightly colored with fall foliage, over tree-lined rolling hills, and along streams winding their way to the Anacostia River. This race

A man riding a white moped harassed a woman running in the National Arboretum and another cycling on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in the afternoon and evening June 10.

He was described as a stout black man appearing to be in his mid-20s, wearing a mask, black pants and a black sweatshirt with the word “impress” in white lettering.

Around 2:30 p.m., he approached a woman running on Azalea Road in the arboretum near its southern intersection with Eagle Nest Road, dismounted the moped, presented a condom to her and after she refused his advances, moved on ahead, while continuing to look back toward the runner. He passed the runner again while she was returning to the visitor’s center.

Around 6:30, he tailgated a cyclist heading south on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail near the Bladensburg Waterfront, blocked the trail’s exit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and started masturbating in view of the cyclist. After she biked away, he briefly chased her on the moped, then drove by and waited at the trail’s intersection with Deane Avenue.

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Running Shorts

  • Georgetown’s Parker Stokes led local distance runners at the NCAA Championships with his third place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 8:18.88.  Colgan alumnus Bryce Lentz ran 8:52.33 in the semifinals for the Air Force Academy.
    • Georgetown had two women’s 10,000 meter finalists: Charlotte Dannatt finished eighth in 33:26.78 and Maggie Donohue finished 13th in 33:42.99.
    • Patriot alumna Rachel McArthur ran 4:21.15 in the semifinals for Colorado.
    • Howard’s 4×400 meter team of Jessika Gbai, Ameenah Saalih, Ozioma Scott and Jessica Wright finished sixth in 3:28.39.
  • Our long, regional nightmare is over – the Riley’s Rumble Half Marathon will return to the Maryland Soccerplex after a year in exile to the C&O Canal Towpath, albeit its original course.
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