New Marine Corps Marathon PR Coordinator Jheanel Walters talks about her adjustment to the job and how the MCM race series is adjusting to COVID-19.
With the Virginia outdoor track season canceled, the District Track Club is sponsoring a competition for high school teams to compile their training and performances, and will hold three competitions where time trials will be scored against each other at the end of the month. Learn more here. More detailed instructions are available here.
Arlington’s Mike Wardian ran 262.53 miles to win the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a competition among runners completing 4.1667-mile loops every hour. He ran for 63 hours. More from Outside.
RunWashington contributor Kelyn Soong wrote in the Washington City Paper, where he is the sports editor, about people turning to running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dan Frank hadn’t done the training he normally would have for an ultramarathon, and he didn’t have a route planned. There were some tough points during his run, which lasted nearly a day.
But the Columbia resident and Paint Branch High School math teacher had plenty to keep him going as he ran about 102 miles in a fundraiser for the Community Action Council of Howard County, which includes the Howard County Food Bank.
The idea came about when Frank and his wife were on a walk. Their daughters’ school, Phelps Luck Elementary, usually has a mobile food pantry available one day per month, he said. But now, schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In good times, about 40 families show up every time we have that mobile food pantry, and I can’t imagine what it would be like now, with how many people have lost their jobs and everything,” Frank said.
It’s a cool spring day as Vienna’s Ken Quincy finishes his 10 mile run on the WO&D Trail. There is no one around him on the trail, but that’s how he the 82-year-old likes it. The conditions are somewhat of a miracle, given how many runners and walkers have made use of the trail for exercise and a break from staying at home.
As he submits his time for this year’s virtual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, he proves that age won’t stop him from running. Last year, among many, many races, he finished the Lucky Leprechaun 5k in 31:42
Having lived in Vienna since 1972, Quincy has been a noteworthy presence in the running community for decades. Originally from Colorado, he moved to the area to work for the FDIC after, as Quincy puts it, “[they] made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
He did not start running regularly until his mid-40s after a few unsuccessful attempts at getting introduced to the sport.
Name: Brian Kapur
Self-described age group: 31
Occupation: Operations manager at a dental office and freelance journalist
Why you run: I run for the physical and mental health benefits. It helped me reverse several health problems and lose 65 pounds. In addition, the thrill of pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible.
Georgetown alumnus Jon Green, who coaches Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up Molly Seidel, tells the story of how he got into this situation.
New stay-at-home orders in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. carve out exceptions for outdoor exercise, which includes running. I’m sure I’m not the only person breathing a sigh of relief.
It’s up to runners to be responsible with this. In the grand scheme of things, running in a group isn’t as likely as most social activities to promote transmission of the coronavirus, but considering the ground runners cover, it’s a high profile activity that I worry could easily be seen as nonessential. It’s low-hanging fruit. And frankly, you should be doing everything you can to limit your exposure to other people.
Chicago closed its Lakefront Trail after it got too crowded. D.C. closed part of the Mall when people crammed the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms. The D.C. Parks and Recreation Department just closed all of its facilities. In France, you can’t run more than 1.25 miles (they call it 2 kilometers) from your home. It’s not runners tipping the balance in most of those places, but let’s not change that.
Most of the sidewalks and trails around here aren’t wide enough to accomodate two people running side-by-side with approriate distance between them (and six feet is the minimum distance you should keep from people, anyway). Heck, Beach Drive is barely wide enough for that, given all the people out there on weekends. Run alone for a while.
Motivating high school runners is not always easy, even without a global health crisis going on. But with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, preventing kids from coming to school-sponsored organized practices or attending track meets, keeping high school runners motivated becomes an even greater challenge.
Anthony Belber, head track and field coach at the Georgetown Day School, anticipates that it will be weeks until the team can reunite in person, something he acknowledges is going to be difficult.
“[In not having our regular season], we are being tested at this moment in a way which might be far more substantial than in a championship meet. We are being asked to show just how strong we are,” he said.
This challenge becomes even harder for coaches in Virginia. Last week,On Monday it was announced that there will be no track and field season for the rest of the spring season in the state of Virginia. Maryland and D.C. schools and sports are on an open-ended suspension.
Gina DeGaetano is the head track and field coach at Riverside High School in Leesburg. She knows firsthand the difficulties that this announcement brings, but is trying to stay positive in light of the news.
“The news on Monday was not what any of us expected,” she said. “I hope we get back to track rather sooner than later. I miss it. I think it’s important to note that as much as the athletes miss it, we (the coaches) miss it too.”
Name: Rachel Clark
Self-described age group: 27
Residence: Logan Circle, DC
Occupation: Digital consultant
Volunteer roles in the running world: The occasional volunteer shift at one of DC’s parkruns.
Why you run: It’s been hugely important in maintaining my mental health. It’s one of the times when I do my most productive thinking about problems or opportunities at work or in life. And I love going on a long run and then being able to murder a brunch and call it “recovery.”
Alex Taylor crossed the finish line of the 2018 California International Marathon just a few seconds too late.
Finishing with a gun time of 2:19:12, he missed an Olympic Team Trials marathon qualifying time by 12 seconds.
“I think I was the first one to finish and not qualify,” he said with a laugh.
While it was disappointing at the time, Taylor, a Woodbridge native, now sees that race in a different light.
Last June, he finished Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn. with a gun time of 2:17:08, clinching that OTQ and achieving a goal that was a decade in the making.