The year in running 2021

While the Marine Corps Marathon’s cancellation (again) led the local running news in 2021, that didn’t deter local runners from setting new goals and continuing to pursue the sport they loved.

In the meantime, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler demonstrated, with a successful U.S. 10-mile championship, that outdoor races could work locally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in September, most fall races were held as usual, with some rescheduled spring races joining them. Throughout the year, runners did their solo races. New runners discovered the joy of lacing up their shoes. People tried new challenges. They chased times.

They healed their bodies. They worked to make the sport more welcoming. They tried out cool new places to run. High school cross country runners resumed their fall seasons (and Virginians had a bonus spring season). Little by little, events figured out how to bring people back to the starting line. 

You can start making plans for 2022 by checking out RunWashington’s race calendar here or entering your race information for the calendar here.

Since everyone seems to be remarking about how this year felt like five, here’s some of what happened in the local running scene:

  • DDOT began several improvement projects in Rock Creek Park, including:
    • A pedestrian bridge to the south of the zoo tunnel
    • Reconstruction of the “zoo loop” that had eroded into the creek several years ago
    • Repair of the retaining wall along Piney Branch Parkway
    • Rebuilding sections of the Rock Creek and Western Ridge paved paths
  • Potomac River Running closed its D.C. store but opened a new one in South Riding.
  • Virginia held an indoor track season, with local champions in several distance events: 
    • 6A
      • 3200 Gillian Bushee Herndon 11:07.52
      • 4×8 West Springfield 9:48.11
      • 1600 Zach Morse Oakton 4:16.73
      • 3200 Bryce Lentz Colgan 9:23.25
      • 4×8 West Springfield 8:09.89
    • 5A 
      • Girls 4×8 Freedom  9:46.88
    • 3A
      • Boys 3200 Charlie Blundell Independence 9:27.99
  • Marine Corps Marathon record holder Jeff Scruffins died at 58 in March.
  • In early April, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced vaccinations were on pace to allow outdoor races to resume at 50 percent capacity.  
  • A $10 million grant from the state of Maryland will go to extending the Powerline Trail in Montgomery County by 7.6 miles, work that will begin in 2022 and eventually connect South Germantown Park to Cabin John Regional Park.

D.C. runner Waldon Adams among two killed in Hains Point hit-and-run

  • George Washington University hired Georgetown alumna Sam Nadel and District Track Club’s Quamel Prince as assistant coaches. American University hired Tyra Massey as an assistant coach.
  • Former D.C. resident Brittany Peterson wrote, directed and edited a short film about two runners completing ultramarathons in D.C. during the pandemic. Learn more here
  • Loudoun Valley coach Joan Hunter started coaching on the professional level for Tinman Elite.
  • The new dual trail portion of the W&OD Trail opened in Falls Church. The altered section of trail features an 11-foot-wide path for cycling, an 8-foot-wide path for walkers, and a 2-foot-wide colored and textured median between the two paths to separate trail users traveling at different speeds.
  • The Potomac Valley Track Club, fielded many by D.C.-area residents, finished second overall at the USATF Masters Track and Field Championships, scoring a combined 433 points in men’s and women’s events to the So Cal Track Club’s 666.

Leesburg steepling pair moves on at NCAAs

D.C. native Taylor Knibb makes U.S. Olympic triathlon team

Pace the Nation – Jordan Tropf

  • Silver Spring’s Jordan Tropf ran three marathons in three days: Baltimore, Chicago and Boston, with some excitement along the way
  • Heritage alumna Weini Kelati broke the America 10k road racing record at the Boston 10k for Women, running 31:18. Kelati and Loudoun Valley alumnus Drew Hunter won USATF 5k titles at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line in New York.
  • Cross country resumed its fall schedule. 
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RunWashington’s coaches panel reviewed the 2021 season and picked the seven girls and seven boys for the All-RunWashington Virginia team.

Our coverage area includes Washington, D.C.; Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties (and all independent cities therein).

You can see the regional teams here:

You can see this season’s cross country coverage here and view photos from those races here.

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RunWashington’s coaches panel reviewed the 2021 season and picked the seven girls and seven boys for the All-RunWashington D.C. team.

You can see the regional teams here:

You can see this season’s cross country coverage here and view photos from those races here.

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RunWashington’s coaches panel reviewed the 2021 season and picked the seven girls and seven boys for the All-RunWashington Maryland team. Our coverage area includes Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

You can see the regional teams here:

You can see this season’s cross country coverage here and view photos from those races here.

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Running Shorts

  • Georgetown’s Maggie Donohue and John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman, earned All-America honors at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships and Stone Ridge alumna Genevieve DiBari, running for Pomona, earned Division III All-America honors. In addition, George C. Marshall alumna Heather Holt was on the Division I-winning N.C. State team. Local results include:
    • In Division I:
      • 30. Maggie Donohue, Georgetown
      • 40 Bethany Graham, Furman – John Champe
      • 44 Sami Corman, Georgetown
      • 54 Rachel McArthur, Colorado – Patriot
      • 92 Annebelle Eastman, George Mason
      • 95 Ashley Holt, N.C. State – George C. Marshall
      • 132 Baylee Jones, Georgetown
      • 158 Chloe Scrimgeour, Georgetown
      • 207 Kiera Bothwell, Georgetown – West Springfield
      • 219 Chloe Gonzalez, Georgetown
      • 225 Katie Dammer, Georgetown
      • 245 Rachel Shoemaker, Rice – James Madison
      • 91 Shea Weilbaker, Georgetown
      • 107 Matt Young, Georgetown
      • 135 Jack Salisbury, Georgetown
      • 140 Luke Tewalt, Wake Forest – Washington Latin
      • 164 Sean Laidlaw, Georgetown
      • 169 Parker Stokes, Georgetown
      • 210 Quinn Nicholson, Georgetown
      • 216 Camden Gilmore, Georgetown

 

    • In Division III:
      • 25 Genevieve DiBari, Pomona – Stone Ridge
      • 202 Logan Funk, Christopher Newport – Merdian
      • 212 Ilana Zeilinger, Bates – Georgetown Day School
      • 249 Sarah James, Lynchburg – Brentsville
      • 266 Elizabeth Cassell, Dickinson – Quince Orchard

 

      • 62 Cullen Capuano,Washington U – Gonzaga
      • 77 Josh Fry, Colorado College, Bethesda-Chevy Chase
      • 96 John O’Rourke, Catholic
      • 111 Sam Llaneza, Lynchburg – Brentsville
      • 188 Gavin McElhennon, Johns Hopkins, Gonzaga
      • 206 Tyler Amos, Johns Hopkins, Chantilly
      • 217 Aidan Nathan, Case Western, Briar Woods
      • 219 Tim Boyce, St. Lawrence – Northwood
      • 232 Aaron Bratt, Haverford –  25:45
      • 259 Oliver Spiva, Amherst – Washington Latin 26:02

 

 

 

 

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Running Shorts

  • A slew of runners with local connections will race in the NCAA Division I and III Cross Country Championships this weekend.
    • Georgetown’s men and women, including West Springfield alumna Keira Bothwell, will race the Division I championships Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, along with George Mason’s Annabelle Eastman. The field will also include:
      • Patriot alumna Rachel McArthur, running for Colorado
      • John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman
      • Washington Latin alumnus Luke Tewalt, running for Wake Forest
      • George Marshall alumna Heather Holt, running for N.C. State
      • James Madison alumna Rachel Shoemaker, running for Rice
    • Catholic will have two individual qualifiers in John O’Rourke and Paige Wilderotter at the Division III race in Louisville. The field will also include:
      • Brentsville alumni Sam Llaneza and Sarah James, both running for Lynchburg
      • Gonzaga alumni Gavin McElhennon (Johns Hopkins) and Cullen Capuano (Washington University)
      • Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus Josh Fry, running for Colorado College
      • Stone Ridge alumna Genevieve DiBari, running for Pomona
      • Northwood alumnus Tim Boyce, running for St. Lawrence
      • Meridian alumna Logan Funk, running for Christopher Newport
      • Chantilly alumnus Tyler Amos, running for Johns Hopkins
      • Washington Latin alumnus Oliver Spiva, running for Amherst
      • Quince Orchard alumna Elizabeth Cassell, running for Dickinson
      • Briar Woods alumnus Aidan Nathan, running for Case Western
      • Georgetown Day School alumna Ilana Zeilinger, running for Bates
  • As winners of the Stone Mill 50 Mile Saturday in Montgomery County, Nicolas Crozier and Kristen Kelman won RRCA Ultrarunning titles for 2021.
  • The lottery for the 2022 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run will be open Jan. 3- Jan. 16.
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Heavy rain in late October forced a postponement for the Montgomery County Championships, and put coaches in a bind. How should they approach a race for bragging rights, when the regional meets, which would hold their fate for the state meet, loomed three days later?

For Gildon Kirk, in his first year coaching cross country at Bethesda-Chevy Chase, he saw it as a learning opportunity for his star sophomore Varri Higgins.

“Last year during the track season, she didn’t have much competition until the post-season, and that showed when she had to race the faster girls in the state,” Kirk said. “We looked at every race as an opportunity to get some more experience and get a feel for how to compete.”

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