Washington, DC
Washington Latin senior Luke Tewalt. Photo: Ed Lull

When he tore onto the track at Kenilworth Park while finishing the DCXC Invitational, Luke Tewalt wasn’t upset to be counted third among seniors. Nearing the finish line as the clock turned over into the 15:30s, he knew he was going to PR no matter what (he ran 15:35), and that was unthinkable a few weeks before.

On his second set of one of his favorite workouts as Washington Latin Public Charter School’s season got started, he felt something go wrong in his right glute.

“It was a twinge, but I felt like I could run through it,” he said. “A little while later, I couldn’t move without it hurting.”

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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

The Powerline Trail as it is best enjoyed, under cloudy skies, shortly after opening in October 2018. Photo: Charlie Ban

After years of dedicated planning and construction, Montgomery Parks opened the Powerline Trail, also known as the Pepco Trail, in October 2018.

The 6.8-mile trail, which kicks off from South Germantown Recreational Park in Germantown, Md. and terminates at North Potomac’s Muddy Branch Stream Park, marked the first use of power corridors for recreational use in Montgomery County. In my final days before shipping out for my freshman year of college, I decided to hit the trail to see if it would live up to the hype. 

The origins of the trail date back to 2015, when power companies Pepco and Exelon were nearing a merger. Dave Magill, the Maryland advocacy director for MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), remembers first hearing of the possibility of including the construction of a trail as a condition in the merger.

“A bike advocate, whose name I cannot remember, was chatting with me and said, “you know, Pepco hasn’t been very good with allowing trails of any kind, whether bike or hikers, either on or even across their power lines. Maybe to get an approval, they’ll have to go before the public utility commission (PUC). This is an opportunity to intervene in the merger and ask for them to change their policy about trails. That idea really resonated with me.”

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Elise Abbe, on her way to second place at the 2018 Third Battle Invitational. Photo: Charlie Ban

She already went through the trouble of doing the training. Coming to the meet. Warming up.

As long as she’s there, Elise Abbe might as well run really, really hard.

It took her the better part of three cross country seasons, but she figured out that putting herself out there in a race wasn’t going to kill her.

“A lot of people are scared to race, that it’s going to hurt,” she said. “I go into my races excited that I have a chance to push myself, so I want to find out how fast I can go.”

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JINGLE BELL ROCK & RUN

The Jingle Bell Rock & Run takes place on Saturday, December 14th at the area’s premier gathering place – One Loudoun in Ashburn, Va! Celebrate the holidays with us! Run the 5K/10K race, or have your little ones hop straight

Running Shorts

  • Keira D’Amato, an alumna of Oakton High School and American University, was the fifth American woman across the finish line at the Berlin Marathon, running 2:34:55.
  • Sara Freix, a Westfield High School alumna, was named Virginia Tech Athlete of the Week after winning the Hokie Alumni Race.
  • Heather Delplaine, a Damascus High School alumna, was named the Capital Athletic Conference’s Athlete of the Week for her second place finish, for Salisbury University, at the Hornet Harrier Invitational. The University of Mary Washington’s Jeff Gibson, an Edison alumnus, was Capital Athletic Conference’s Athlete of the Week following his victory at the same race.
  • Catholic University’s Alex Filiault and John O’Rourke were named Landmark Conference Athletes of the Week, also for their races at the Hornet Harrier Invitational.
  • Quamel Prince and DuVal High School alumnus Edose Ibadin, both members of the District Track Club, competed in the preliminary heats at the IAAF World Championships in the 800 meters. They represented Guyana and Nigeria, respectively.
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Nyla Carter-Ogden climbs the penultimate hill on the Octoberfest Invitational course. The Chantilly girls won the meet. Photo: Charlie Ban

Colin McCauley feels like he could outkick most runners. Bryce Lentz knows he can’t. The two sped off at the Octoberfest Invitational, just knowing that at some point Lentz would have to run McCauley’s legs off if he had a chance of winning.

Under overcast skies, they started fast and  pulled clear of third place finisher David Barron of Westfield in the first few minutes.

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Daniel O’Brien leads Luke Tewalt and Albert Velikonja during the second mile of the DCXC Invitational senior race. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

There’s apparently a second layer to astrology that goes beyond newspaper horoscopes. According to my coworker, what time of day you were born adds a tint of good or bad fortune. For runners at the DCXC Invitational, what time of day they started their race made all the difference.  

That’s because cloud cover alternated from race to race, providing much-needed relief from heat that reached the upper 80s throughout the afternoon, while also surprising some runners when they got on the starting line, thinking the hot part of the day was behind them. Those varying conditions just hammered home that the races, divided among graduating class, existed separately of each other. The format also gives runners a chance to race against their peers only, offering each class a chance in the spotlight. That did some favors for the seniors, whose races had the most comfortable temperatures irrespective of cloud cover.

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Montumental Runner – Francis Yu

Name: Francis Yu
Self-described age group: 30-34
Residence: Northeast DC
Occupation: Government attorney
Why you run: Besides improving my overall health and fitness, I enjoy the feeling that I set and achieved certain goals. There’s also something about exploring a city or town on a run that makes you feel like you’re making the place your own. Whenever I travel, whether running through popular spots or isolated, obscure places, a good sightseeing run makes me feel like I took a piece of that place with me.
When did you get started running: Relatively late, in my mid-20s. One day I decided to see how far I could go, and I surprised myself when I made it from Rosslyn and across the Memorial Bridge to the Georgetown waterfront without stopping. I did that loop two or three times a week for several years until I decided to train for my first half marathon in 2013.

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