By Dickson Mercer
Washington, DC
April 1, 2012
For the Washington Running Report

Main field gets underway.

A year after Frank Shorter took gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics and ignited the first running boom, fewer than 200 people showed up on a muggy day for the inaugural Cherry Blossom Invitational Run. Billed as a final tune-up for the Boston Marathon, the founders believed 10 miles was the perfect distance. Ten miles. It was long enough to provide an adequate test. It was not, however, long enough to [button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]leave runners feeling “too pooped out,” according to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run’s 40th anniversary race program.

One runner tearing up the local scene back then was Phil Stewart. Stewart, in fact, was this region’s top finisher at the 1975 Boston Marathon.

Stewart is now race director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, a race that now attracts tens of thousands in celebration of “the Runner’s Rite of Spring” and over the years has showcased the best of the best – be it in the world, in America, or within the local scene.

Bethesda’s Ben Beach today finished his 40th Credit Union Cherry Blossom, a feat he shares with no one else.

This year’s event celebrated that history and more. Past champions who spoke at the expo Friday and Saturday and raced today included Bill Rodgers, who, in addition to winning the New York City and Boston marathons four times apiece between 1975 and 1980, won four Cherry Blossoms in a row starting in 1978.

There was Greg Meyer, who set the American record (46:13) here in 1983 before becoming the last American to win Boston.

There was Carl Hatfield, who won the race in 1974 and 1975.

There was Credit Union Cherry Blossom course recorder Colleen De Reuck and 1984 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson (left).

Samuelson was 28th today in 1:02:27. At 54, her time was almost 10 minutes faster than the inaugural winning time set by women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer.

Today, 174 women ran faster than Switzer’s time from 1973. Today, Dave Burnham’s time of 51:23 would have put him right on the heels of Sam Bair, the inaugural men’s winner.

Burnham, who lives in Arlington and races for Georgetown Running Company, was 17th.

Men’s race: Training partners set the pace

Last year it was nine miles of back-and-forth battling with Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, a battle that Kenya’s Allan Kiprono (photo below of Kiprono winning in 2012) ultimately lost.

At this year’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom, it was Kiprono’s turn to take the lead, and the win. By the time he and his training partner Lani Kiplagat passed the one-mile mark, they already held a decent-sized lead on the rest of the field. But as that lead on Kenya’s John Korir – a three-time Credit Union Cherry Blossom winner – increased, Kiplagat turned to his teammate and offered a suggestion.

“I told him, ‘Allen, let’s maintain the pace. Don’t reduce the pace. Let’s push,” Kiplagat said.

Push they did – but the day ultimately proved to be Kiprono’s. Taking advantage of perfect racing conditions, the 22-year-old soared to the lead shortly after 5K and lowered the event record to 45:15, this year’s fastest time in the world for 10 miles. Kiplagat, meantime, came through in 46:28.

Korir, who at 36 has more than a decade of racing in his legs than Kiprono and Kiplagat, was third in 47:33. Still, he was unfazed. “Now I know these guys are so tough,” he said. “I’ll catch up in other races.”

After falling off the pace set by Kiprono and Kiplagat, Korir fell back to the chase pack, then managed to hold off Ian Burrell, 27, of Tucson, AZ by just a second. This was Burrell’s first race since January’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where he was 15th in 2:14:04.

Burrell said he struggled with allergies. In other words, as he settled into a pack with Korir and Jesse Cherry, 24, of Blowing Rock, NC, the best he could do was hang on while Cherry did most of the leading. Then, at the 800 meters to go sign, Burrell dug up some leg speed. “I was just kind of gritting my teeth and thinking about all the diapers I could buy with the prize money,” he said.

As top American, he earned an extra $1,000 in prize money.

Cherry, who finished fifth in 47:40, was also running his first race since the Trials, where he was 16th in 2:16:31.

Top American runners Josh Moen, 29, of Minneapolis, MN and Patrick Rizzo of Boulder, CO finished 7th and 8th in 48:38 and 49:14, respectively. They were followed by two runners from Washington, DC, Pacers’ Stephen Hallinan (left), ninth in 50:18 and Paolo Natali, 10th in 50:44.

A top local runner and Olympic Trials qualifier, Hallinan’s 10-mile best is more than a minute faster than what he ran today. As with Burrell though, Hallinan cited allergy difficulties.

“I knew kind of a mile in, it was going to have to be one of those days where I tough it out, so I was trying to hang on to five-minute pace the best I could,” said Hallinan, who ran alone starting a quarter mile into the race.

Women’s race: Tinega repeats

In the elite women’s race, which started 10 minutes before the rest of the field, Kenya’s Jelliah Tinega dismissed her competitors even earlier in the race than Kiprono to win in 54:02.

It was her second straight title. Tinega said she will return next year to go for a three-peat.

Places two through five were separated by just 13 seconds with Malika Mejdoub, 29, of Ethiopia coming out ahead in 54:24.

Mejdoub was followed by Yihunlish Delelecha, 30, of Ethiopia in 54:33 and Agnieszka, 26, of Poland in 54:36.

The top local finisher, Claire Hallissey, 29, of Arlington, who was fifth, was just a second behind Agnieszka. The next race for the England native is the Virgin London Marathon on April 22. There, Hallissey, who has a marathon best of 2:29:27, is hoping to put up a performance that establishes a solid case for claiming a spot on England’s Olympic marathon team.

Still, this race holds special meaning for her, Hallissey said. Credit Union Cherry Blossom was her first race in the District after she moved here a couple of years back and she would like to return one day with fresher legs.

“I want to come back and finish in the top three,” she said.

Top American honors went to Stephanie Pezzullo, 29, of Charlotte, NC, who finished sixth in 55:16. Pezzulo was followed by Kristen Zaitz of Boulder, CO, who ran 55:24, and Emily Harrison, formerly of Front Royal, VA, who ran 56:04. Harrison now trains in Flagstaff, AZ.

After Hallissey, the next local was Georgetown Running Company’s Andrea Garvue. The 27-year-old Chevy Chase resident caught a side stitch early in the race. In the second half, feeling stronger, she hooked up with a pack that pulled her along to a time of 58:50, good for 12th overall.

Meanwhile, in the master’s division, competition was stiff. Fourteen years ago, DeReuck (below) set a world record time here of 51:16. Today, at 47, the Boulder, CO was top master – and 10th overall – in 58:14.


By Mollie Zapata
December 3, 2011
National Harbor, MD
For the Washington Running Report

This event certainly had some problems. WRR plans to follow up on these in our upcoming Jan/Feb issue.

More than 15,000 runners competed in the Inaugural Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K at National Harbor just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Washington, DC on Saturday, December 3. The Hot Chocolate race series, tagged as “America’s sweetest race” already exists in five major U.S. cities and made a chocolate splash at its 2011 DC debut. Runners’ packets include racing jackets. The post-race party promised Ghirardelli hot chocolate and a chocolate fondue fountain for all competitors in both the 15K and 5K races.

But before the chocolate party could commence, the runners had to complete the beautiful course, located along the Potomac River at the National Harbor.

First place out of 10,150 total finishers in the 15K went to top local Stefan Kolata, 30, of Washington, DC who led for most of the race and finished in 49:25.

“The course was good, very hilly, but it was nice having so many people cheering,” commented Kolata on the switch-back format of the route. Dustin Whitlow, 25, of Arlington, VA took second place in 51:24, and Mark Torres, 36, of Chevy Chase, MD finished third in 5:38.

Lisa Thomas, 35, of Alexandria, VA handily won the women’s division of the 15K race in 54:50 and it was also fast enough to place her 10th overall.

“It was tough, that’s a killer hill at the end,” said Thomas who is training for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Houston, TX this January. She described her race strategy as, “staying strong on the up hills and pushing it on the down hills.” Behind her, Felicity Brower, 22, of Cincinnati, OH took second in 57:21, and Barb Fallen-Wallace, 38, rounded out the top three in 57:36.

The only downside of the day was due to a combination of bad luck and race logistics. A traffic accident blocked the main route to the start, causing race organizers to delay both the 15K and 5K start times. Due to limited parking, race organizers provided a shuttle service from Crystal City Metro Station and required carpools for anyone parking at the National Harbor.

The 5K, which was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. went off at 8:15 a.m., which caused the scheduled 8:00 a.m. start for the 15K to be pushed to 9:00 a.m. Runners huddled and shivered and jumped and jiggled to stay warm as they waited for the gun on a brisk December morning. Despite the logistical setbacks, spirits remained high among many participants and an enthusiastic DJ kept the crowd excited.

In the 5K, 5,293 runners and walkers completed the course. Bert Rodriguez, 32, of Arlington, VA won the men’s’ race in 16:54, and Kelly Swain, 26, of Washington, DC won the women’s competition in 18:46. Both noted problems with course markings. “I didn’t feel really warmed up until a mile and a half in,” commented Swain. “I wasn’t quite ready to race a 15K, but maybe next year if they get the logistics figured out I’d do it.”

While there were a portion of runners disgruntled at the delayed start, one runner noted, “You had to look on Facebook, they actually did notify us of all the important information.”

Though 15K (9.3 miles) is not a common race distance, runners embraced it as a comfortable mid-way between 10K and Half-Marathon. Both races started on a downhill and ended with an uphill, adding an extra challenge to the event. “It’s probably the hilliest race in the area,” noted Swain.

“Once we got started, the course was beautiful and it was actually perfect running weather,” commented DC runner Cristina Burbach who competed in the 15K. “I wanted to get a good training run in,” she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by many of the runners, most who came with the goal of running a fun and pretty race. The entire morning was festive, with competitors running in costumes that ranged from cups of hot chocolate to Santa hats – “Why not? It’s fun and functional for the cold!” said 15K runner Patrick Kelly of Washington, DC.

One team of four particularly enthusiastic high school runners from the Osborne Park Cross Country Team ran the race in matching decorated T-shirts to celebrate the end of their racing season. “We loved it. It was a really fun time and people loved our outfits!” said Rachel Labella.

And, of course, the post-race party provided a well-deserved sugar high for all. Runners meandered around tents, enjoying fondue platters, and sipping hot chocolates. Most agreed that it was worth the effort, “It was the first year, so next year the logistics should be better. I’d definitely do it again,” concluded Burbach.


By Jim Hage
Rockville, MD
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kenyans Julius Kogo and Risper Gesabwa took advantage of a prevailing tailwind to set men’s and women’s course records of 28 minutes 6 seconds and 32:07 at the 16th Kaiser Permanente Pike’s Peek 10K in Rockville.

And while the point-to-point course notably features a net loss in elevation, give the winners, four new age-group record holders, the many who lowered their PRs, and all of the 2,558 finishers their due: Rockville Pike rolls down and up and the early-morning wind was gusty and changeable. The day the wind blows steadily from the north, even these formidable records will fall.

But for now, Kogo, 25, and Gesabwa, 22, are at the top of their games; gone are the old marks of 28:30 by Tesfaye Bekele (2009) and 32:45 by Jen Rhines (1998).  Last year at Pike’s Peak, Kogo was the runner-up – by one second–to Ethiopian Bado Worku, who won in 28:43.

Photo left: The men’s lead pack about 3.5 miles into the race. “I didn’t want to be second again,” Kogo (Bib #2) conceded, and with a quick third mile he winnowed a pack of 15 to just three. Only Nicholas Kurgat (#21), who trains with Kogo in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Abiyot Endale (#10), the affable Ethiopian from the Bronx, stayed close. Kurgat finished second in 28:14 and Endale took third in 28:19, a 55-second personal best established at last year’s race when he finished ninth.

“My dream was to break 29 minutes,” Endale said, “so I am very happy. I am recovered from a knee injury [chondromalacia] and am training good again.” Endale, 24, ran 29:18 and finished third at the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond on April 4.

Another surprised but happy runner was Jeffrey Eggleston, 26, seventh and the first American in 28:34, a personal best by a whopping 83 seconds. “My PR was kind of soft, but I’m really excited,” said Eggleston, primarily a marathoner who is training for the World Championships in South Korea this summer.

“My plan today was to hang as long as I could. And we needed someone to represent the U.S.!” Eggleston added. “It was a great field but I wasn’t afraid. I beat Girma Tola [eighth in 28:45] who ran 10K at the Sydney Olympics. So that’s cool.”

Former Georgetown University track standout and now medical student Maggie Infeld, 25, was the top American woman, 10th in 34:07.

Gesabwa’s one-second win over Ethiopian Alemtseha Misganaw was another in a series of close races between not-quite-friendly rivals. Gesabwa complained afterward that Misganaw ran too close, clipping her heels repeatedly.

“She was right here!” Gesabwa said, slapping her hip. Gesabwa nearly won this year’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, where Misganaw took fourth. Gesabwa also bested Misganaw by two seconds at the Azalea Trail 10K Run (Mobile, Ala.) in March.

Denise Knickman (photo left), 42, ran 37:02 to win the women’s masters race and Joseph Ekuom, 41, took the men’s masters title in 31:39.

Some 15 members of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase rescue squad–emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and paramedics–completed the race. Two more members rode bikes along the course to provide first aid support.

The rescue squad’s Craig Pernick, 50, from Chevy Chase, ran his first 10K, competing admirably if not quite finishing alongside team members such as Oliver Vickery, 18. “It was good to finish,” Pernick said. “I’ll do it again as long as my knees hold out.”


Award Winners

Open & Masters By Gun Time, Age Groups By Net Time 
 No Duplicate Prizes

 MALE OPEN Gun Time                                       $$$
 1     2 Julius Kogo           25 Chapel Hill NC       28:06# 1000 
 2    21 Nicholas Kurgat       31 Chapel Hill NC       28:14#  750 
 3    10 Abiyot Endale         24 Bronx NY             28:19#  650 
 4     7 Kumsa Adugna          24 Bronx NY             28:23#  600 
 5     4 Deresse Deniboba      28 Bronx NY             28:28#  550 
 6    13 Reuben Mwei           26 Marietta GA          28:32#  500 
 7     5 Jeffrey Eggleston     26 Flagstaff AZ         28:34#  450 
 8     6 Girma Tola            35 New York NY          28:45#  400 
 9    22 Kipyegon Kirui        30 Chapel Hill NC       28:47#  350 
 10     3 Tesfaye Assefa        27 Bronx NY             28:57# 300 
 # Under USATF OPEN guideline    

 1    16 Risper Gesabwa        22 Marietta GA          32:07# 1000 
 2    17 Alemtseha Misganaw    30 New York NY          32:08#  750 
 3    32 Aziza Aliyu           25 New York NY          32:22#  650 
 4    18 Malika Mejdoub        28 Jackson Heights NY   32:42#  600 
 5    20 Hirut Mandefro        25 Flagstaff AZ         32:48#  550 
 6    24 Hellen Jemutai        29 Chapel Hill NC       32:54#  500 
 7    35 Yihunlish Bekele      29 Washington DC        33:20#  450 
 8    23 Divina Jepkogei       25 Chapel Hill NC       33:22#  400 
 9    34 Tezeta Dengersa       30 Burtonsville MD      33:39#  350 
 10  1465 Maggie Infeld         25 Washington DC        34:07  300 
 # Under USATF OPEN guideline    

 1    41 Joseph Ekuom          41 High Falls NY        31:39*  250 
 2    28 Elarbi Khattabi       43 Westchester PA       31:58*  200 
 3    43 Curtis Cox            43 Trinidad WI          32:02*  150 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 1    42 Denise Knickman       42 Baltimore MD         37:02*  250 
 2    45 Alisa Harvey          45 Manassas VA          37:45*  200 
 3    25 Elena Orlova          41 Gaithersburg MD      38:12   150 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 MALE AGE GROUP:  15 - 19 Net Time
 1  2593 Dagmawi Abebe         17 Gaithersburg MD    34:10    75 
 2  2507 Patrick Ochoa         17 Derwood MD         40:14    50 

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  15 - 19 Net Time
 1  1760 Allison Marella       15 Damascus MD        42:22    75 
 2  2485 Alex Starnes          15 Manassas VA        46:01    50 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  20 - 24 Net Time
 1    56 Andy Sovonick         24 Gaithersburg MD    32:16    75 
 2  2738 Benjamin Bartlett     23 Columbia MD        34:03    50 
 3   234 Alex Booth            23 Bethesda MD        34:29    25 

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  20 - 24 Net Time
 1  1923 Rebecca Parks         22 Reisterstown MD    39:14    75 
 2  3029 Alison Case           23 Rockville MD       41:15    50 
 3   607 Amy Greenberg         23 Potomac MD         46:41    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  25 - 29 Net Time
 1    36 David Berdan          29 Owings Mills MD    29:30#   75 
 2    75 Birhanu Feysa         28 Silver Spring MD   29:34#   50 
 3    71 Tarikii Bokan         29 Herndon VA         29:34#   25 
 # Under USATF OPEN guideline    

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  25 - 29 Net Time
 1    31 Dirbe Hunde           27 New York NY        34:09    75 
 2    69 Keneni Chala          29 Washington DC      34:36    50 
 3    33 Muliye Gurmu          27 Bronx NY           35:33    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  30 - 34 Net Time
 1     8 Kitema Nigusse        30 Bronx NY           29:24#   75 
 2    38 Mark Stallings        30 Atglen PA          30:06    50 
 3    15 Wilson Komen          33 Washington DC      30:18    25 
 # Under USATF OPEN guideline    

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  30 - 34 Net Time
 1    30 Michelle Miller       30 Damascus MD        35:36    75 
 2   603 Elizabeth Young       31 Washington DC      37:30    50 
 3    60 Lynn Knothe           33 Wilmington DE      39:03    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  35 - 39 Net Time
 1    14 Michael Wardian       37 Arlington VA       30:21*   75 
 2    40 Troy Harrison         35 Waterfall PA       31:38*   50 
 3  1804 David Wertz           35 Arlington VA       32:03*   25 
 4  1295 Kris Simms            39 Baltimore MD       35:08    25 
 5  1113 Keith Freeburn        37 Centreville VA     35:49    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  35 - 39 Net Time
 1  2680 Brenda Schrank        39 Winchester         36:56    75 
 2  1256 Sandra Bonilla        35 Kensington MD      42:03    50 
 3  2657 Christie Yang         39 Falls Church VA    42:57    25 
 4   274 Kaari Lii Linask      37 Rockville MD       43:29    25 
 5  1651 Kimberly Price        38 Gaithersburg MD    44:26    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  40 - 44 Net Time
 1  2767 Mike Colaiacovo       41 Ellicott City MD   33:30*   75 
 2    44 Jordan Snyder         44 Rockville MD       33:52*   50 
 3  3008 Brian Davis           40 Rockville MD       36:39    25 
 4  1913 Joerg Schroeder       43 Rockville MD       37:04    25 
 5  2101 Eric Lawrence         43 Potomac MD         38:02    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  40 - 44 Net Time
 1    47 Paula Pels            43 Bethesda MD        40:34    75 
 2  2159 Cheryl Young          41 Reston VA          42:14    50 
 3  1639 Janice Lunenfeld      41 Rockville MD       42:52    25 
 4  2612 Theresa White         41 Annandale VA       43:36    25 
 5  2807 Alida Anderson        41 Potomac MD         44:18    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  45 - 49 Net Time
 1   382 Mark Neff             49 Derwood MD         34:41*   75 
 2    48 Jhonny Camacho        48 Torrington CT      36:55    50 
 3  2797 Howard Frost          45 Falls Church VA    37:40    25 
 4  1033 George Lane           45 Ashburn VA         37:43    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  45 - 49 Net Time
 1    49 Linda Foley           49 Oak Hill VA        39:08    75 
 2  3254 Leslie Anchor         48 Rockville MD       44:12    50 
 3   633 Lynn Zipf             46 Silver Spring MD   45:29    25 
 4  3018 Kris Barner           45 Rockville MD       46:06    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  50 - 54 Net Time
 1  1699 Henry Wigglesworth    53 Washington DC      34:20*   75 
 2    65 Dave Berardi          50 Baltimore MD       34:43*   50 
 3    51 Greg Cauller          51 York PA            34:44*   25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  50 - 54 Net Time
 1  1359 Deedee Loughran       52 Oak Hill VA        40:01*   75 
 2  2420 Win Persina           51 Washington DC      42:09    50 
 3  1460 Paula Galliani        51 Gaithersburg MD    45:59    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 MALE AGE GROUP:  55 - 59 Net Time
 1    59 Chuck Moeser          59 Sterling VA        35:55*   75 
 2  1285 Roland Rust           58 Bethesda MD        37:36*   50 
 3    55 Peter Darmody         55 Gaithersburg MD    37:48*   25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  55 - 59 Net Time
 1  2672 Betty Blank           58 Falls Church VA    44:11*   75 
 2  2571 Heather Sanders       55 McLean VA          45:14    50 
 3   324 Linda Mattingly       56 Hyattsville MD     48:17    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 MALE AGE GROUP:  60 - 64 Net Time
 1  2117 Timothy Morgan        60 Damascus MD        39:17*   75 
 2  1751 Richard Adams, Jr.    60 Herndon VA         40:06    50 
 3  2676 Jim Wright            61 Gaithersburg MD    40:42    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  60 - 64 Net Time
 1  2176 Nancy Avitabile       63 Bethesda MD        48:28    75 
 2  2458 Alice Franks          62 Rockville MD       48:28    50 
 3  2276 Anne Forsha           60 Derwood MD         50:53    25 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  65 - 69 Net Time
 1  2095 Donald Hensel         66 Gaithersburg MD    44:35    75 
 2   684 Michael Golash        67 Washington CA      45:19    50 
 3  1345 Gregory Chaconas      65 Washington DC      46:38    25 

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  65 - 69 Net Time
 1  2517 Dee Nelson            67 Gaithersburg MD    49:37*   75 
 2   914 Joann Szczepkowski    65 Rehoboth Beach DE  49:44*   50 
 3  2143 Chris Craun           65 Bethesda MD        49:45*   25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 MALE AGE GROUP:  70 - 74 Net Time
 1  2624 Gerald Ives           71 Washington DC      44:26*   75 
 2    61 John Elliott          72 Columbia MD        46:18*   50 
 3  2675 Chan Robbins          73 Arlington VA       51:39    25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  70 - 74 Net Time
 1  2473 Betty Smith           70 Rockville MD       70:03    75 
 2  2189 Jamie Wollard         72 N.Bethesda MD      76:17    50 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  75 - 79 Net Time
 1  2515 Skip Grant            75 Chevy Chase MD     48:07*   75 
 2  1717 George Yannakakis     79 Sparksglencoe MD   51:31*   50 
 3  2725 Henry Guyot           76 Washington DC      54:03*   25 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  75 - 79 Net Time
 1  3016 Jacquelin O'Neil      79 Washington DC      77:37    75 

 MALE AGE GROUP:  80 - 99 Net Time
 1  1419 Jack McMahon          80 Silver Spring MD   54:39*   75 
 * Under USATF Age-Group guideline

 FEMALE AGE GROUP:  80 - 99 Net Time



Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

By Max Lockwood Chevy Chase, MD February 15, 2010 For the Washington Running Report



Please come and to our panel of experts and learn about the many aspects of running including massage therapy, podiatry, physical therapy, and coaching.



Saturday, February 27, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.


The event is free and open to all. No RSVP is necessary. The Chevy Chase Running Company is located at 4461 Willard Avenue in Chevy Chase, MD. There is parking behind the store and the Friendship Heights metro is only minutes away.


Please e-mail the Chevy Chase store at [email protected] with questions.


Below is a list of the experts and short excerpt on them.


Dr. Lee E. Firestone is a Podiatrist who practices in Chevy Chase and Washington, DC. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and a Fellow of the American  Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Dr. Firestone was recently recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine, as a top Sports Medicine Podiatrist in the DC area. Dr. Firestone works extensively with runners and is an active member of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. He has been in practice since 1994.


Jeff Horowitz is a survivor of more than 150 marathons and ultras. His love of running has taken him all over the world, from Antarctica to the Great Wall of China, the Himalayas, and Africa. With the support of his wife Stephanie and hearing no objections from his 4-year old boy Alex, Jeff quit working as an attorney in 2008 to pursue this passion full-time as a writer, running coach, personal trainer, professor, and also as a brand ambassador for The Nations Triathlon and a program manager for a free summer triathlon program for at-risk youth. ACHIEVE KidsTri.

Polina Gregory BA, MAT, ACSM is one of 20 Muscle Activation TechniquesTM Master Specialists in the country, and has been practicing since she became certified in 2005. She primarily works with the identification and treatment of muscular imbalances that contribute to poor performance and repetitive stress injury. She is the Co-founder of Elements of Motion a Resistance Training Studio focused on helping athletes and non-athletes alike achieve a healthy, strong, and pain-free body. She has been active in the health and fitness industry since the late 90s. In addition to her MAT certification, Polina is committed to continued education and mastery in the mechanics of the human body as it relates to exercise. She has completed course work in advanced foot mechanics, spinal mechanics, and cadaver study. She is professionally certified by the American  College of Sports Medicine as a Health and Fitness instructor and is preparing to test for her Mastery Level Resistance Training Specialist certification. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the UMBC.

Muscle Activation TechniquesTM (MAT) is a hands-on approach that identifies and addresses muscular imbalances/weaknesses that lead to inefficient function, pain and injury. This helps to restore normal body alignment; thereby, decreasing pain, reducing the risk of injury, and boosting recovery in athletes and non-athletes alike. MAT will leave you more flexible, more stable, and prepare you body to handle the demands of sport, exercise, and everyday life.


Keith Dowling is currently the Key Account Manager for Reebok Running, the proud sponsor of the 2009 Outback Distance Classic. Prior to his tenure with Reebok, Keith served as the inaugural race director for the National Marathon and Half Marathon – an event that has grown to more than 8000 runners in four years. Before organizing races, Keith ran professionally for adidas – a career that culminated with multiple Olympic Trials appearances, four National Teams, runner up at the 1998 Gate River Run, and the first U.S. runner to cross the line at the 2002 Boston Marathon in a personal best time of 2:13:28.

Terrel Hale-Massage Therapist: Specializes in Active Release Massage Therapy: Active Release Techniques (ART) and Active isolated Stretching (AIS) focus on both lengthening and shortening the muscles. These two, coupled with sports and deep tissue massage help the runner train injury free and recover quicker from each workout. The best way to experience all of these is in a holistic approach informed by the runner’s training plan on a regular basis, at least once a week or twice depending on where the race lies. Using these tools from an experienced therapist on a regular basis can help the runner push through to the next level and then stay there thus aiding the PRs.

Robert Gillanders, Doctor of Physical Therapy: An avid marathoner that has been practicing PT for 12 plus years and has a clinic at Water Street Gym in Georgetown. He has treated patients with running-related injuries since 2001. Today he works with local running teams and clubs on injury prevention via running specific strength training. Robert was recently named as an “expert in sports medicine” by the Washingtonian Magazine. He publishes a blog with exercise instruction videos and tips at:

Dr. Paul Glodzik of Capital Sports Injury Center will be coming in to speak about soft tissue injuries and their treatments. The treatments he will be discussing are Active Release Techniques and Graston Techniques. Both techniques are designed to break up adhesions and scar tissue build up within muscles, tendons or ligaments. With the removal of these adhesions patients will regain a painless full range of motion through their joints. Dr. Glodzik and Dr. Horwitz are the only certified providers of both techniques in the District of Columbia. Capital Sports Injury Center has three separate locations in Silver Spring, Georgetown, and Cleveland Park. For more information please see our Web site or contact us at 301-622-9000 or [email protected].

Dr. Stephen Kominsky completed a surgical residency with emphasis in reconstructive surgery for the athlete. His post -graduate training in Northern California exposed him to several different running shoe companies as a running shoe tester and consultant for development.
Dr Kominsky has been practicing in Washington,  DC for the past 27 years. He is the podiatrist for the Washington Capitals and the podiatry consultant for the athletic department at Georgetown  University. Dr Kominsky continues to remain involved in the sports medicine world as he is a frequent speaker to a sports medicine class at George Washington  University and interacts on a regular basis with some of the area running clubs. He is the in-house podiatrist for the Kirov School of ballet in Washington, DC.


Subscribe to our mailing list