By James Moreland
Washington, DC
March 6, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” Here in hilly northwest the clouds parted for the third annual race.

Though we were warned that all week that it may be time to build an ark, the early morning showers gave way to a delightful cool morning. Though the streets were still wet, the Gods had stopped perspiring on us when the race got underway at 8:30 a.m.

In the first two year’s the event record was at 17:09. There were a few runners capable of that lined up behind the ChronoTrack mats. Henry Wigglesworth, 53, and formally of Seattle, was well aware of rain during runs. He may not have been fully ready for this course.

Like water running down a drain, runners scurried to the base of the course in the opening half mile. A mile later runners still had not reached the top of the course near the Washington Cathedral, the highest point in DC.

Cody McLane-Baughman, 19, of Alexandria, VA had led the spirited early charge. He was the oldest of the scores of young runners in this race. Students got in for the honey of a price — $5. Of course the first hundred meters belonged to the shorter crowd that has to make height at the amusement parks. Many of the flamed out early though Mei Copacino (left) at just 11 years of age held onto third place until the final seconds, charging the steep downhill to the finish with 23:27.

There were so many police cars throughout the course that surely it must be a parade. The course was well marked and well marshaled. That was important because this scenic course was of long and winding hills that took us to who knows where. Seventh place Daniel Yi agreed with other runners that the course ran like a cross country race, lots of fun but not too fast. Judge for yourself: Yi was seventh in 19:05. Last November at the NCT Marathon he was second overall in 2:38:07, a 6:03 pace.

As this race started at school and was mostly about kids and having fun, 8 of the 10 age groups included teens. Those divisions went two deep while the adults had a single winner. Fourth for the men was Jack Beecher, 19, in a solid 18:51. Of course for the women Copacino was just 11.

The first year (2008) of the race former Mayor Adrian Fenty was in the field. This year his brother Shawn Fenty was in the field as well as DC Councilman Kwame Brown.

Will Eden, 24, of Washington, DC (right) moved away from the field on the first long climb. Maybe with a little more competition he might have closed on Thomas Rhodes’ 17:09 record set in 2009. Eden ran 17:23 for easily the second fastest time for this event. Rhodes had run an excellent St. Patrick’s Day 8K in 25:41 last year.

Second place Andrew Philips, 32, was the first age group winner in the elongated 30-49 division with 17:54. Wigglesworth was the fall 50-54 champion in the Runner Rankings based on his 16:38 5K in October. Today he ran a spirited 18:16 to finish third overall and crush the 50-99 division.

For the men 2009 was the faster year, while 2008 was faster for the women. This year Tamara Shear, 25, of Washington, DC (left)made it look easy setting the new event record in 20:34. Surely she knew she had an easy victory today but she may not have known how close she was to Michelle Harburg’s 20:41 from 2008.

Second place Sandrine Falgon, 40, of Washington, DC also ran all alone and crushed the masters best with the fourth fastest women’s race in 21:40. Colleen Roh, 32, of Washington, DC used a ferocious quick to steal third in 23:25.

The threat of rain scared away some of the nearly 1,000 runners who had signed up. Those who stayed at home missed out on a fine and fun event.

Antes de la carrera and sin dudo despues de la carrera era lluvia. Claro que la ciudad se divierte con una lluvia torrencial pero no durante la carrera de 5K. Gente de ocho eastados viene a correr pero el evento era especialment para los jóvenes. Los jóvenes aman la empieza de la carrera que iba cuesta abajo. Pero lástima, hace solamente unos pocos minutos y la calle completamente se convirtió en  cuesta arriba.

Will Eden de Washington, DC acepta el desafío de las colinas difíciles a terminar en primer lugar con 17:22. Para las mujeres, Tamara Shear de Washington, DC fácilmente bate el récord del evento con 20:35.

Después de corriendo, todos volvían a la escuela para enojar café, agua, bagels, y pastels.


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