Christine Ramsey of Baltimore won the Pike's Peek 10K in Montgomery County this morning. Photo: Mark Schadly.
Christine Ramsey of Baltimore won the Pike’s Peek 10k in Montgomery County this morning. Photo: Mark Schadly.

The fourth try was the charm for Christine Ramsey, who broke the tape at the Pike’s Peek 10k Sunday morning in 34:43.

The Baltimore runner debuted here in 2008, finishing 5th in 36:19.  Four years later, she returned, running more than 90 seconds faster but finishing two spots lower. Last year, another solid showing got her 11th.

Enter 2014.  This morning, two miles in, Ramsey, 31, found herself in the lead pack with about half a dozen women all running well under six minutes per mile. “I felt pretty strong, so I picked it up,” she said. “They were still pretty close behind me, but nobody went with me.”

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] 10k Results [/button-red] At mile 4, Ramsey surged again, holding onto a slim lead over Alexandria’s Lindsay O’Brien, on the way to a new personal best of 34:43 and a $500 pay day. “It was great because we pushed each other,” she said of her competitors.

Ramsey, as of late, has been more focused on reaching the finish line of her PhD program than on trying to win races. She recently turned in her dissertation; the defense is in two weeks. “So it felt good to have a good race,” said Ramsey, who will move to New Haven, Conn., soon to start a post-doctoral position.

All but 70 seconds separated Ramsey from Selamawit Lemma in 5th. O’Brien was 2nd; it was her second-straight sub-35-minute showing here. Columbia’s Julia Roman-Duval was 3rd in 35:05, followed by Loring Crowley of Winston Salem, N.C., in 35:23. Kensington’s Cindy Conant, 53, was the top master in 38:08.

On the men’s side, Nahom Mesfin, running his first Pike’s Peek, took the lead early and never looked back. He was all alone, pumping his arms on the long downhill to the finish line and waving to the crowd, winning in a net time 28:28, 22 seconds off Julius Kogo‘s event record set in 2011.

Mesfin, a former Olympic steeplechaser, is living in Alexandria, and is transitioning to longer races, he said.  To that end, he recently returned from a four-month training trip to his native Ethiopia.

Early in the race, Mesfin questioned the feedback he was getting from his watch, he said. He was seeing kilometer splits in the low 2:30s, but the pace felt a slower than that, he said. “I was not in a good mood.”

Less than a half hour later, his mood had changed.

“I am so excited, and so happy,” said Mesfin, who had been disappointed with his performance at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run earlier this month.

Baisa Moleta, also of Alexandria, was 2nd in 29:04, followed by Dereje Deme of Silver Spring in 29:09. Gurmessa Megerssa, a Washington, D.C., resident via Ethiopia who reigned supreme over the local roads in 2006 and 2007, closed hard down the final straight to clock 29:19. Getachew Asfaw of Silver Spring rounded out the top five.

Bethesda’s Conrad Laskowski, 7th in 30:12, ran with the lead pack early on alongside Gaithersburg’s Chris Sloane, 8th in 30:33.

“I was trying to run under 30,” Laskowski said. “Came up a little short, but I am happy with it. It’s a PR.”

Philippe Rolly, 41, of McLean, was top master in 31:37.

Downhill, fast, and cool

For Pike’s Peek, runners start on Redland Road near the Shady Grove Metro station, make a quick left on Route 355 and bee-line it south past the White Flint station, where a big downhill covers the last .2 miles. “It is probably the fastest 10k you can get without going on the track,” Ramsey said.

That, as it happens, is only part of its appeal. In addition to professional-level competition, former race director Jean Arthur can only remember two years when this Montgomery County Roads Runners event had bad weather. This year, the temperature was cool, and the way the finish line banner was flapping, you knew the wind was at runners’ backs.

“I ran it for the first time last year, and I thought it was so good I came back again,” said Brian Carlson, a nine-time marathoner who started running in 1988. The Reston Runners member, who is 67, likes the net-downhill course. Plus, he said, “It’s a very well-run race.”

“You know it’s net downhill, so you know you’re going to get a pretty good time,” said Jody Gil, who came close to achieving her goal of breaking 53 minutes.

Gil ran with her longtime friend Jared Sher for six-plus miles. “He turned on the guns at the end,” she said.

Leland Hao ran the race with his son, Kelvin Hao, 11. It was Kelvin’s first 10k, and the smile on his face afterward suggested he’ll have no problem finishing the Disneyland 10k in late August.

When Kelvin’s younger sister was hospitalized for cephalitis, he met other kids his age fighting a rare childhood disease called ataxia-telangiectasia, also referred to as Louis-Bar syndrome, Leland Hao said. In Anaheim, Calif., Kelvin’s race will raise money for the A-T Children’s Project, which seeks a cure.

The race had a wave start to accommodate about 2,500 participants, and for the first time offered pacing teams. Bethesda’s Danny George, typically a 36-minute 10k runner, helped about 10 runners meet their goal of breaking 45 minutes.

“I just wanted to stay even and give them a little head start,” George said. “That way, once they got to the top of the hill, they could just coast right in.”

Doug Woods (229) scopes out his competition at the MCRRC Piece of Cake 10k. Woods went on to win. Photo: Conroy Zien
Doug Woods (229) scopes out his competition at the MCRRC Piece of Cake 10k. Woods went on to win. Photo: Conroy Zien

When runners registered for the most recent Montgomery Country Road Runners Club race, they were mistaken if they thought it would be a “piece of cake.” Little did they know that they would have to conquer tough-rolling hills through Seneca Creek State Park in order to cross the finish line.

“It’s a very challenging course,” said Carol English of Germantown, Md. “But it’s good. It builds character.”

Since 1997, English has been involved with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. She is currently enrolled in the club’s speed development program, which included the club’s Piece of Cake 10k.

“The club is an amazing group,” English said. “They put on well-organized races.”

MCRRC’s Piece of Cake 10k, one of several races of the MCRRC championship series, attracted nearly 350 runners. The Piece of Cake title actually comes from the annual cake contest the MCRRC holds in celebration of the club’s birthday. This year’s race marked the club’s 35th anniversary.

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]

The race brought out several talented competitors, including Douglas Woods of Gaithersburg, Md. Woods trailed behind second-place finisher Eric DaSilva until the last 800 meters, when he passed DaSilva. “I just ran on his shoulder, he didn’t want any help,” Woods said. “I kicked the last half mile.”

[button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] MCRR Photos [/button-red]Aside from the first-place title, Woods may have had another motivating factor waiting for him at the finish.

“Cake. Where’s the cake?” Woods asked as he looked around.

But not all runners were able to reward themselves with delicious cake in celebration of the club’s birthday.

“I gave up sweets for lent,” said Tommy Young of Brookville, Md., who had just completed his first 10k.

Unlike sweets, Young was able to enjoy quiet roads through the woods near Clopper Lake during the race. His girlfriend,Katherine Young of Silver Spring (they’re not related—they just happen to have the same last name), “pulled” Tommy in with the club earlier this year. Katherine has been involved with the club for two years.

Both of them plan on competing in the upcoming 10 Mile Cherry Blossom.

Cindy Conant of Kensington Md. was the first female finisher to cross the finish line with a time of 40:29. With Conant competing in races nearly every weekend, including the 10 Miler Cherry Blossom and the Boston Marathon, Conant said she prefers the low-key club races.

“I don’t have to pick up my race-packet the day before,” Conant said. “I want to end where I start.”

As the club wrapped up it’s 10k race, it was only the beginning of its annual meeting and awards brunch. Among the awards presented, four outstanding high school runner college scholarships were divvied up between Benjamin Withbroe of Einstein High School, Nick Simpson of Einstein High School, Isabelle Latour of Quince Orchard High School and Laura Nakasaka of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

“We’ll be living up to what they saw in us these past four years and will be working hard academically, in the community and in our sports,” Nakasaka noted.

Though the club rarely hands the award out, Dee Nelson of Gaithersburg, Md. was presented a life-time achievement award. With 45 years of running under her belt, the Piece of Cake 10k marked her 1,487th race.

“I have found over the years that training less is actually working out,” Nelson said.

Nelson is nearing her goal of hitting 1500 races and averages nearly 60 races per year.

Among other impressive award-winning runners was Joe Sangillo of Rockville, Md. He received the most improved runner of year award. Sangillo may look like another other seasoned runner, but that wasn’t always the case. In two years, Sangillo weighed more than 100 pounds heavier and could barley complete a 12-minute mile. But just last year, after completing the MCRRC first time marathon program, Sangillo accomplished his goal: completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 3:40. Since 2006, Sangillo has lost a total of 130 pounds.

“Just don’t underestimate yourself,” Sangillo said. “I smashed any expectations that I had for myself.”


Carlton Conant of Kensington grins while climbing a hill during the Country Roads Run Five Mile. Photo by Ken Trombatore
Carlton Conant of Kensington grins while climbing a hill during the Country Roads Run Five Mile. Photo by Ken Trombatore

Getting up on a chilly, Sunday morning in February is no challenge for Cindy Conant, 51 of Kensington.

In fact, the Country Road Run Five Mile in Olney, she won in 32:30, was really just a warm-up. She still had an additional 15 miles planned for the day and Conant planned on suckering a few of her friends into training with her. After 23 years of racing — including a number of Boston Marathons — Conant hasn’t skipped a beat.

“I just love running,” Conant said. “When I turned 50, I had my fastest races.”

Conant was one of 300 in the second leg of the MCRRC championship series, and started from Brook Manor Park near the Olney Swim Center, where runners stood to stay warm before the start of the race..

Michele Parks of Rockville didn’t mind the cold, though. She eagerly waited for her six-year-old son, Jason Parks, to finish the 1-mile fun run (he won). Jason started with the RockvilleTrack Club one year ago and recently finished his first 5K.

“He really loves it,” Michele Parks said. “He asked to compete in the full race.”

The overall first-place finisher, Joe “the Twinbrook Kid” Wiegner, 30, of Germantown, won in 27:25. After a long layoff from racing in 2012, with a few summer track meets, he’s back to training for the spring track season.

“I am focusing more on middle distance,” Wiegner said. He trains with the GeorgetownRunning Club and is excited for 2013.

The quiet out-and-back course through Olney didn’t lack hills. Near the finish, Janeth Scott, 50, Columbia, admitted the hills were not easy. “You wouldn’t want a 50 year-old to beat you,” Scott shouted at a younger man as she passed him up a hill near the finish. Scott got her start with the Howard County Striders. She ran her first 5K to lose weight and maintain her fitness.

“I looked at the other runners and said I wanted to be like them one day,” Scott said.

Scott is currently training for a 10-mile race and has competed in the Boston Marathon.

“It’s a great venue,” explained Olney resident race announcer and Marc Wolfson, 62. As competitors crossed the finish line, Wolfson passionately cheered them on. Though he was not competing himself, he is an avid runner. Wolfson was recently featured in Runner’s World’s bodies issue that examined how sweat, blisters, hours and miles have physically shaped runners. Wolfson said that one goal for the championship series was to get more runners out to race during the winter months. “It’s a tough time of year for races,” he said.

Willie Flowers, 41, Ellicott City, also mentioned the grueling hills. Flowers has been running for seven years and got his start while he was in charge of a health alliance.

“I wanted to be an example,” Flowers said.

Flowers has competed in seven marathons.

Race organizer Cathie Rosenfeld said the goal of the race was to give the Montgomery County Road Runners a venue to run together as group. This was her fifth and final time organizing the race. She recently moved to Delaware and came back one last time for this race.

“These people are like family to me,” Rosenfeld said.

Though it’s not easy to part with the MCRRC, Rosenfeld plans to get involved with a local running club in Delaware.

February may not be the easiest month to get runners to compete, but Rosenfeld still got to spend her last race in Montgomery County with hundreds of fellow club members willing to conquer the cold. Runners were rewarded with spending the rest of their Sunday morning together in a warm room full of fruit and bagels.


By James Moreland
Washington, DC
October 16, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

The 6th annual Boo! Run for Life 10K run and 2 Mile walk moved east about a mile and a half to East Potomac Park to accommodate the large crowd of people attending opening ceremonies for the the new Martin Luther King Memorial just north of the traditional course in West Potomac Park. Most of the course was the same, starting on the channel side and racing around the point to where mile one would have been and then returning home.

With all the elite runners at the Army 10 Mile last week and the Baltimore Running Festival Saturday, it was great to see more than 500 runners and scores of walkers to celebrate the near perfect autumn morning.  One runner tried to find fault with, “Did you notice the breeze on the river side.” Maybe it was three mph instead of the dead calm on the channel side. Pancake flat, this course was made for records and the event scored eight of them.

Three women’s records were soft and certain to go down though Hilary Cairns’ event record 37:20 would be untouchable. Lindsay Larose, 29, had an easy time winning in 39:09 to get a fourth. For nearly four miles Mary Davison, 38, held off Cindy Conant, 50, of Kensington, MD. But Conant has been busting up not just her division but winning races outright and she powered her way past to take the runner-up spot 40:09 to 40:25, while shaving more than 14 minutes off the record. Gay Petrey, 47, form South Carolina, one of seven states represented in the first 14 runners, knocked almost five minutes off her division’s record with 45:50.

Naomi Stanford, 61, does not race often but when she does she nearly always wins. More than one rankings winner from her division has expressed awe at her racing. Her only race in the spring winning the National Half Marathon in 1:41:25 was the top race of the season. Today she was a mile ahead of the former record in an excellent 46:37.

For the men Derik Thomas, 45, was stalking the top two runners racing along the river side by side at the four mile mark. Richard Andrews and Brian McMahon were racing side by side. Somewhere past the parking lot were the Awakening used to reside Andrews put on a move to win in 34:29. McMahon held on to the runner-up spot in 35:07 with Thomas nearly imposing his will in a record setting 35:19. Former record holder Kevin D’Amanda will soon be fifty but his very nice 38:31 would still be well off the masters record set by then 51-year-old Henry Wigglesworth in 34:48.

Even with a late start Steve San Miguel, 19, notched a new record 38:31 to take both 2009 and the 2010 top teens who had tied for the record. After Thomas the top master was 67-year-old Jim Noone. Noone made it look easy taking down Lou Shapiro’s event record by 21 seconds in a swift 43:19. Not far behind him Donald Hensel, 67, had set the 60-64 record three years ago in 44:01. Michael Wesbecher may have known that because he bolted across the finish line in 44:00 to reset the score.


Place Num   Name     Lname      Age City                  Gun T Net T Pace  
===== ===== =================== === ===================== ===== ===== ===== 
    1   537 Richard Andrews      25 Washington DC         34:29 34:29  5:33 
    2   704 Brian McMahon        29 Washington DC         35:07 35:06  5:39 
    3   347 Derik Thomas         45 Alexandria VA         35:19 35:18  5:41 

Place Num   Name     Lname      Age City                  Gun T Net T Pace  
===== ===== =================== === ===================== ===== ===== ===== 
    1   581 Lindsay Larose       29 Arlington VA          39:09 39:07  6:18 
    2   432 Cindy Conant         50 Kensington MD         40:09 40:08  6:28 
    3   691 Mary Davison         38 Bristow VA            40:25 40:24  6:31 

    1   406 Steve San Miguel    19 Falls Church VA         37:31 

    1   449 Jenna Rieling       19 Aberdeen NJ             42:41 

    1   436 James Bolognani     21 Washington DC           36:27 

    1   660 Maureen McCarthy    20 Washington DC           41:06 

    1   375 Matt Deters         26 Washington DC           36:52 

    1   420 Vanessa Taylor      25 Spencerport NY          42:48 

    1   473 Brian Young         33 Washington DC           35:57 

    1   114 Sam Zinnerman       31 Forestville MD          44:03 

    1   814 Richard Rapine      39 Alexandria VA           36:31 

    1   330 Alissa Huntoon      38 Washington DC           51:16 

    1   429 Charles Manahan     44 Vienna VA               42:07 

    1   565 Tracey Walsh-Chocol 41 Alexandria VA           57:09 

    1   706 Howard Frost        46 Falls Church VA         38:02 

    1   276 Gay Petrey          47 West Columbia SC        45:42 

    1   829 Matt Hardison       50 Vienna VA               44:17 

    1   366 Margaret Staeben    50 Arlington VA            54:36 

    1   460 Thomas Hauser       59 Alexandria VA           52:45 

    1    10 James Moreland      59 Gaithersburg MD         47:39 

    1   542 Michael Wesbecher   63 Oakton VA               43:57 

    1   541 Naomi Stanford      61 Washington DC           46:28 

    1   326 Jim Noone           67 Fairfax VA              43:17 




    1   436 James Bolognani     21 M Washington DC         36:39 36:27 

    1   441 Sarah Rosenstein    22 F Washington DC         45:28 45:22



McLean 5K Race Report

By James Moreland
McLean, VA
October1, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

Below, runners charge the final meters to the finish line. Above, the finish arch awaits.

In its fourth year this little race is starting to gain momentum. The first two years the winners of the race barely broke 19:00 on a course that, while never flat, has no hills of consequence. In the second year, hometown legend Ted Poulos measured the field and ran just fast enough to win in 18:42. Take note that Sarah Spalding finished only one second later to keep things interesting. Then in 2010 some very fast runners entered the fray. Michaela Courtney easily set the women’s event record in a sparkling 17:22 that was sixth overall a stride behind Craig Clar. Poulos who has a PR of 15:48 settled for a division win in 18:32. Mark Drath lowered the bar beating runner-up Christopher Pruitt by a 100 meters in 15:44. Finishers nearly doubled to just short of 300 finishers.

Now for 2011 the race was offering a 7-day Wyndham Worldwide Vacation for the overall winners as well as for a random winner. This helped the race to a record 360 finishers on a cool, breezy morning that started to spit rain just moments before the start of the event. Philippe Rolly, 39, who once possessed 29:00 10K speed returned after finishing third last year. He improved to 17:07, which was all alone again in third place. The battle for the top prize came from runners nearly half his age.

Ethan Rissell, 22, has not been on the radar in a year or so but he battled all the way to earn the runner-up spot in 15:23. Andrew Benford, 23, of Richmond showed what a powerful runner he was triumphing in an event record 15:09. One tired runner coming off a slower than normal race mused that nobody would beat 20:00. Back in March on the track Benford had set a PR 13:59.99 to break 14 minutes by the slimmest of margins.

Standing at the starting line there were no women revving up to dart out onto Old Dominion for the nearly mile climb, albeit a mild elevation change. Then at a half mile Win Persina, 51, who usually starts easy, started pushing the pace. Maybe she had noticed that grandmaster women, such as Cindy Conant at the Kensington 8k last week, have been winning it all. Maybe she felt she would like that vacation. Whatever the reason, she pulled away from everyone to win handily in 21:26. Mimi Comer, 13, of McLean was next in 22:14. Fourth place Jen Norris, 40, started back in the pack otherwise she may have caught third place Kristin Novak. The final half mile contains two steep, though short humps but the way Norris tore over them, they might as well have been flat.

The final 200 minutes is a lovely downhill that leads around the final corner with the finish line right away there.  The weather was not a problem during the race but it sure was nice to be able to shelter inside the little courtyard a few yards away after the race. And of course there was food and drink.

Maynard Weyers, 75, looked smooth and relaxed as he glided home in 27:36. That was nearly a minute and a half faster than his Run for the Door 5k just two weeks before.

After the race, tags like were torn off bib (like in the olden times) but this time they were deposited in that little green bucket. Everyone would get a chance for the 7-day Wyndham Worldwide Vacation.


Overall Female 

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Win Persina       Washington  DC   51  20      21:26     21:26    6:55/M  

 Overall Male

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Andrew Benford    Richmond  VA     23  1       15:09     15:09    4:53/M  

 Female 19 and Younger        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Mimi Comer        McLean  VA       13  28      22:07     22:14    7:08/M  
 2     Megumi Chen       McLean  VA       15  42      23:01     23:01    7:25/M  

 Male 19 and younger        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Sam Hutton        Annandale  VA    15  7       20:10     20:15    6:30/M  
 2     Wesley Fouse      Annandale  VA    16  8       20:11     20:15    6:31/M  

 Female 20 to 29        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Kristin Novak     Arlington  VA    27  39      22:54     22:55    7:23/M  
 2     Martha Mishkin    Fairfax  VA      28  69      24:37     24:47    7:56/M  

 Male 20 to 29        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Ethan Rissell     Alexandria  VA   22  2       15:23     15:23    4:58/M  
 2     Douglas Hickeg                     28  4       17:41     17:41    5:42/M  

 Female 30 to 39        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Luise Rodriguez   Germantown  MD   39  44      23:14     23:18    7:30/M  
 2     Genta Branstetter McLean  VA       39  54      24:12     24:28    7:48/M  

 Male 30 to 39        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Philippe Rolly    McLean  VA      39  3       17:07     17:08    5:31/M  
 2     Andrew Howley     Arlington  VA    34  6       19:54     19:55    6:25/M  

 Female 40 to 49        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Jen Norris        McLean  VA       40  40      22:57     23:06    7:24/M  
 2     Cynthia Hutchings McLean  VA       48  52      24:03     24:05    7:45/M  

 Male 40 to 49        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     David Fouse       Annandale  VA    45  13      20:43     20:46    6:41/M  
 2     Kevin Morin       McLean  VA       49  14      20:58     21:00    6:46/M  

 Female 50 to 59        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Pat Leighton      Falls Church  VA 52  83      25:21     25:30    8:11/M  
 2     Carla Freyvogel   McLean  VA       54  89      25:32     25:33    8:14/M  

 Male 50 to 59        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     John Bacon        Arlington  VA    55  12      20:35     20:36    6:38/M  
 2     Robert Salmon     McLean  VA       50  24      21:46     21:49    7:01/M  

 Female 60 to 69        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Gwen Davies       McLean  VA       67  205     31:56     32:01    10:18/M 
 2     Sharoos Newton    Chantilly  VA    65  317     43:23     43:38    14:00/M 

 Male 60 to 69        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Tom Noonan        McLean  VA       63  56      24:16     25:10    7:50/M  
 2     Les Irby          McLean  VA       61  74      24:51     25:14    8:01/M  

 Female 70 and Older        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Ellen O'Brady     Woodbridge  VA   75  184     30:55     30:55    9:58/M  

 Male 70 and Older        

 Place Name              City             Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time Pace    
 1     Maynard Weyers    Alexandria  VA   75  134     27:34     27:36    8:54/M  
 2     Bendy Viragh      Washington  DC   77  239     33:35     33:42    10:50/M



Kensington 8K

By James Moreland
Kensington, MD
September 24, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

Julie Sapper finishes fourth overall.

Walking down Fawcett Avenue in old town Kensington towards the start of the race, two young kids were talking about the race. One said, “There must be a thousand runners here today,” “No way,” replied the older one. She was wrong and the little boy was right. The event has three parts and three different starts off the circular Carroll Place. At 7:45 a.m. close to five hundred 2 mile walkers and runners headed south around the circle. At 8:30 a.m., the main event 8K bolted from the south side of the Noyes Library toward Connecticut Avenue. They would cross the finish line for the first time at just less than a half mile. Three minutes after they got under way, the 1K fun run charged after them from the north side of the library.

Nearly everyone was in a good mood on the cool but humid morning for the first racing weekend of the fall. There were a couple of the hundreds of young runners that got overwhelmed by the pressure but all the fun runners collected a beaded necklace at the finish. Dry your eyes and keep on running. The rain rumored to be done around ten, missed the event entirely.

Many of the runners had run the Run! Geek! Run! 8K last week in West Potomac Park. All of them found the 4th mile hill on East Bexhill that climbed parallel to the Mormon Temple Hill shut out any possibly of matching last week’s time. The race in its 18th year also had many returning runners. Perhaps the most often seen face is women’s winner Cindy Conant, 50, of Kensington, MD. She admitted to knowing the course very well. After all she had run the race every year since at least 2002. She moved up to fifth in 2004 and after that never finished lower than second overall, winning in 2006 as well. This year when she won it all again was her fastest time of any of those years as she dipped under 32 to finish in 31:59. That was 17thrunner overall.

Edi Turco had run the Geek race, finishing solidly in fifth place in 26:55. Today in his 25th race since Memorial Day he battled Gareth Alberto and Steven Moore through most of the flat first three miles. By the time he charged past the starting line at 4.5 miles he knew he had the win. The final 100 meters up Armory Drive he weaved back and forth waving to the crowd. Alberto had a closer battle and charged through in 27:56 just ahead of Moore’s 28:04. Keith Freeburn has not been racing a long time so he did not know that he was supposed to slow down on a hilly course and nearly matched his Geek time with a very solid 28:53.

After Conant finished there was a bit of a wait by the next three women rushed in like a fast conga line, behind each other but weaving up and back in an effort to change places. Trish Stone, 36, held the runner-up spot and ahead of Sandra Bonilla, 35, by three seconds 32:47 to 32:50. Fourth place Julie Sapper, 39, of Rockville was tops in her division.

While eight of the top nine women were from Kensington or Rockville, many runners came from as far away as Richmond (70-74 age group winner Mary Kate Berglund confessed that she has family in Kensington) and Fayetteville, PA, home of 79-year-old Bob Archibald. The oldest finisher in the race was Eileen Hobsongarcia, 81, who was joined by a contingency also from San Pedro, CA.

There race awards go three deep in ten year age groups but first there was a top master. Jean Christophe Arcaz had been at the race for the last six years. Often he finished just close enough to touch the shoulder of Ted Poulos just ahead of him. Always both of them finished faster than 29:00. This year Arcaz, now 50, gutted out the final yards to hold off Dan‘imal’ Murphy (left) 29:43 to 29:58 to win fifth overall and the top master award. Last year he had been fifth in 28:54 with Poulos tops in 28:51 and Murphy winning second age group in 29:26.

The top women master after Conant’s overall victory was Kris Barner, 46 of Rockville in 36:44. After that there were some amazing age group times. The grandmaster women were all just 50, led by Sushila Nanda. Nanda has 14 age group victories since Memorial Day. For the men Roland Rust, 59, is taking his last few races in the fifties very serious, putting all the younger grandmasters away with a marvelous 31:09. Alice Franks put away the 60-69 women by more than a mile in 40:43. She gave us a pretty smile and said humbly something like, ‘The times aren’t very fast but after all we are just running for fun.’

Fourth place Keith Freeburn proudly noted that his mother Susan finished third in her division. Skip Grant, 76 of Washington, DC  ran an amazing 40:53 to top his division.

Before, during, and after the races Poison Ivy was the band playing music in the adjoining park.

                   Awards Listing (No Duplicate Prizes)
Place Num   Name                Ag City                  Time    
===== ===== =================== == ===================== ======= 
    1   114 Cindy Conant        50 Kensington MD           31:59 
    2   487 Trish Stone         36 Kensington MD           32:47 
    3    61 Sandra Bonilla      35 Kensington MD           32:50 
Place Num   Name                Ag City                  Time    
===== ===== =================== == ===================== ======= 
    1   517 Edi Turco           38 Arlington VA            27:41 
    2    13 Gareth Alberto      32 Annandale VA            27:56 
    3   348 Steven Moore        33 Kensington MD           28:04 

    1    42 Kris Barner         46 Rockville MD            36:44 

MALE AGE GROUP:  40 - 99
    1    24 Jean-Christophe Arc 50 Rockville MD            29:43 

    1   757 Adriana Rosas       11 Silver Spring MD        38:33 
    2   253 London Kazor         2 Kensington MD           44:52 
    3    80 Jordan Bryon        12 Alexandria VA           49:44 
    4   133 Maddie Deye         12 Kensington MD           53:50 

    1   134 Brian Diamond       12 Bethesda MD             43:07 
    2    83 Andrew Burklow      12 Kensington MD           45:35 
    3   476 Kemper Stearns      11 Kensington MD           46:50 

    1   496 Taylor Swift        17 Rockville MD            33:33 
    2    92 Sarah Caggiano      13 Bethesda MD             36:58 
    3   265 Charlotte Kirwan    17 Bethesda MD             38:25 

MALE AGE GROUP:  13 - 19
    1   236 Mark Jacobson       15 Rockville MD            31:32 
    2   266 Lewis Kirwan        13 Bethesda MD             33:29 
    3   100 Kasey Carroll       13 Bethesda MD             34:41 

    1   169 Miranda Forte       26 Gaithersburg MD         35:54 
    2   567 Chelsea Gibson      22 Bethesda MD             37:04 
    3    37 Briana Balsam       27 Gaithersburg MD         38:02 

MALE AGE GROUP:  20 - 29
    1   637 Micheal Fizdale     23 Bowie MD                31:44 
    2   151 Alex Emery          23 Rockville MD            32:11 
    3   331 Chris McGrath       23 Burtonsville MD         32:21 

    1   739 Julie Sapper        39 Rockville MD            32:53 
    2   127 Anne Delp           36 Kensington MD           35:36 
    3   257 Ellen Kennedy       39 Kensington MD           36:40 

MALE AGE GROUP:  30 - 39
    1   173 Keith Freeburn      37 Centreville VA          28:53 
    2   754 Marco Rosas Galicia 36 Silver Spring MD        30:01 
    3   610 Daniel Shanley      37 Chevy Chase MD          31:45 

    1   170 Lisa Fox            41 Bethesda MD             37:25 
    2    11 Ann Adkinson        42 Chevy Chase MD          39:20 
    3   582 Beth Krupinski      44 Kensington MD           40:47 

MALE AGE GROUP:  40 - 49
    1   352 Dan Murphy          47 Bethesda MD             29:57 
    2    22 Matt Anderson       45 Fairfax VA              31:06 
    3    21 Mark Anderson       45 Burtonsville MD         31:11 

    1   359 Sushila Nanda       50 Arlington VA            37:07 
    2   628 Patty Tschideser    50 Chevy Chase MD          39:02 
    3   627 Babby Landon        50 Chevy Chase MD          40:55 

MALE AGE GROUP:  50 - 59
    1   431 Roland Rust         59 Bethesda MD             31:09 
    2   737 Peter Cini          53 Fairfax VA              31:28 
    3   393 David Pinnick       54 Manassas VA             33:14 

    1   171 Alice Franks        63 Rockville MD            40:33 
    2   111 Vallerie Codrington 60 Lanham MD               48:43 
    3   174 Susan Freeburn      60 Kensington MD         1:00:13 

MALE AGE GROUP:  60 - 69
    1   110 Joe Coblentz        61 Silver Spring MD        42:19 
    2    74 Pim Brouwers        63 Silver Spring MD        45:51 
    3   303 Alan Madison        62 Gaithersburg MD         46:35 

    1    49 Mary Kate Berglund  70 Richmond VA             57:19 
    2   765 Jamie Wollard       73 Rockville MD          1:11:53 

MALE AGE GROUP:  70 - 79
    1   619 Skip Grant          76 Chevy Chase MD          40:51 
    2   498 Nils Borje Tallroth 70 Bethesda MD             48:12 
    3    25 Bob Archibald       79 Fayetteville PA         48:51 

    1   223 Eileen Hobsongarcia 81 San Pedro CA          1:30:57 

MALE AGE GROUP:  80 - 99
    1   333 Jack McMahon        80 Silver Spring MD        49:27

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