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by Brenda Barrera March 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm 191 0

By Brenda Barrera with contribution from Dickson Mercer

Washington, DC
March 13, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

(Photos by Lea Gallardo and Kathy Freedman)

It is an Irish blessing familiar to many, “May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face . . .”

When Laurence Simms from the Embassy of Ireland welcomed runners to the starting line with this traditional blessing, it had new meaning for race organizers, Capital Running Company. They were blessed with the highest turnout in the 23-year history of the St. Patrick’s Day 8K as more than 5,500 finishers kicked off the spring racing season with this favorite downtown Washington, DC event.

After winning this race two years ago and finishing fourth last year, local star Demesse Tefera (photo) captured his second St. Patrick’s Day 8K title today in 24:22, holding off Oklahoma’s Mark Thompson who took second in 24:28.

The Washington, DC resident by way of Ethiopia said he split from the lead pack after passing the opening mile in 4:50. He felt like the pace was too slow, he said, gapped the lead pack and ran solo the rest of the way. And though his time was well off his 8K personal best of 23:07, Tefera described today’s effort as “good training” for March 26’s National Half Marathon where he hopes to break 1:05:00 in the half marathon.

Jordan McDougal of Culpeper, VA took third in 24:44, five seconds ahead of course record holder Gurmessa Megerssa.

In the women’s competition, the top two finishers from Washington, DC took off from the rest of field battling for top honors. Tezata Dengarsa, 30, (left) bested the defending champion, Maggie Infeld, 24, by half a minute, 28:03 to 28:32. Behind them it was an even closer battle for the next two spots between Muliye Gurmu, 27, from Bronx, NY and Katie O’Regan, 26, from Lebanon, PA.

“She (Gurmu) was on my shoulder for most of the race and then just surged ahead,” said O’Regan, a Cornell standout, now racing for the PA-based Keystone Track Club.

Douglas Woods, 41, of Gaithersburg, MD took top place in the 40-44 age group with his 29:33 finish; a nice 5:55 pace. On the cusp of sixty, Chuck Moeser (below) returned to the racing scene after a long hiatus finishing in 30:18. Afterward, he shared that he thoroughly enjoyed his time exploring skydiving and rock climbing, but now he is looking forward to some road racing.

Jack McMahon earned the title of the oldest competitor. At 80 years old, the Silver Spring, MD runner crossed the line in 45:29, besting his time from last year by 28 seconds. Just goes to show, you truly can get faster as you get older.

Leesburg’s Peggy Yetman, 42, easily won the women’s 40-44 age division with her 31:20 finish. Alisa Harvey, 45, from Manassas finished eighth overall in 30:12. Next up for the Washington Running Report columnist is a track meet in Richmond in a few weeks. Washington, DC’s Jacqueline O’Neil, 79, the oldest women’s competitor, was asked if she felt the luck of the Irish today. She admitted that she’s IBM (Irish By Marriage), but attributed her good health and longevity to supplementing her low running mileage with walking.

New to this year’s event was the Team Competition and 42 Coed Teams competed with creative names like, “The Furious Leprechauns” and “Sham-Rockers.” The TRS Racing Team of Jordan McDougal, Joseph Delclos, Alisa Harvey, and Ellins Thomas, were the overall champions in 28:57. No one could miss the 60+ members of the FBI National Academy Team. Per their captain, Mark Jackson, it was a great way to conclude a 10-week training program.

For many participants, not only was it the first race of the season but their first foray into road racing. Beth Roselius, from Morgantown, WV (in photo below-right) decided to run with and support her sister, Katherine Kelley, 28, from Reston, VA, a newbie. Dressed in matching blue tops and sporting St. Patrick’s Day 8K tattoos on their cheeks, both said they were thrilled to share the experience. “I wasn’t sure if I could make the distance,” said Kelley, “but she [Beth] kept telling me, ‘You can do it!’”

Be sure to check the May/June issue ofWashington Running Report for additional race coverage.

                              Awards Listing 

MALE 
    1  6436 Demesse Tefara           27 M WASHINGTON DC           24:22 
    2  3907 Mark Thompson            32 M EDMOND OK               24:28 
    3  4480 Jordan McDougal          23 M CULPEPER VA             24:44 
    4    11 Gurmessa Megerssa        31 M WASHINGTON DC           24:49 
    5    12 Demse Mulata             24 M WASHINGTON DC           24:51 
    6     8 Robert Wade              28 M ARLINGTON VA            25:14 
    7  1100 Charlie Hurt             27 M RICHMOND VA             25:26 
    8     3 Adam Condit              27 M ASHBURN VA              25:39 
    9  6461 Allen Carr               27 M WASHINGTON DC           25:58 
   10     7 Dave Miller              27 M ARLINGTON VA            26:17 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 01 - 19
    1  5510 Michael Wegner           14 M Columbia MD           26:52 26:51  5:24 
    2  3852 Joseph Delclos           17 M Warrenton VA          29:44 29:41  5:59 
    3  3916 Ben Naughton             19 M Takoma Park MD        29:47 29:46  6:00 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 20 - 24
    1  6189 Scott Allen              23 M Washington DC         26:24 26:24  5:19 
    2    10 Dustin Whitlow           24 M Arlington VA          26:35 26:34  5:21 
    3  3837 Chris Daniels            24 M Washington DC         30:03 30:02  6:03 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 25 - 29
    1  4184 Jason Fitzgerald         27 M Silver Spring MD      26:26 26:26  5:19 
    2  6270 Dickson Mercer           29 M Washington DC         26:38 26:37  5:22 
    3  5355 Garrett Ash              27 M Manchester CT         27:01 27:01  5:27 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 30 - 34
    1  5246 Nick Gramsky             33 M Vienna VA             27:03 27:02  5:27 
    2  3917 Matt Straughn            34 M Glenn Dale MD         27:09 27:09  5:28 
    3   121 Eddie Valentine          31 M Arlington VA          27:45 27:45  5:35 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 35 - 39
    1  5223 David Wertz              35 M Arlington VA          26:47 26:46  5:23 
    2   395 Ramsey Wilson            38 M Falls Church VA       28:40 28:37  5:46 
    3   562 Michael Sheehy           38 M Washington DC         28:38 28:37  5:46 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 40 - 44
    1  3271 Douglas Woods            41 M Gaithersburg MD       29:23 29:23  5:55 
    2   596 Kevin Bell               42 M Reston VA             29:30 29:27  5:56 
    3  6061 Jack Lovett              41 M Newport News VA       29:31 29:30  5:57 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 45 - 49
    1  6532 Robert Denmark           45 M Arlington VA          29:23 29:19  5:54 
    2  1788 Paul Jacobson            47 M Gaithersburg MD       29:39 29:38  5:58 
    3  2574 Tom Beekhuysen           47 M Herndon VA            30:31 30:30  6:08 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 50 - 54
    1  5393 Henry Wigglesworth       53 M Washington DC         28:23 28:22  5:43 
    2    32 Jean-Christophe Arcaz    50 M Rockville MD          28:36 28:36  5:46 
    3  6498 Albino Castro            51 M Brookeville MD        31:07 31:06  6:16 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 55 - 59
    1    31 Chuck Moeser             59 M Potomac Falls VA      30:18 30:17  6:06 
    2  6294 Peter Darmody            55 M Gaithersburg MD       30:44 30:43  6:11 
    3  6236 Tom Ruckert              58 M Grantsville MD        31:48 31:43  6:23 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 60 - 64
    1  3944 Richard Adams Jr         60 M Herndon VA            33:45 33:43  6:47 
    2  4042 Michael Wesbecher        63 M Oakton VA             34:32 34:22  6:55 
    3  4987 Marc Wolfson             61 M Olney MD              36:18 36:14  7:18 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 65 - 69
    1  5432 Jim Noone                66 M Fairfax VA            34:09 34:05  6:52 
    2  2795 Mike Golash              67 M Washington DC         36:45 36:40  7:23 
    3   159 John Churchman           68 M Arlington VA          39:45 39:36  7:58 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 70 - 74
    1  6591 Malcolm O'Hagan          70 M Chevy Chase MD        41:40 39:20  7:55 
    2    16 Chan Robbins             73 M Arlington VA          41:14 41:12  8:18 
    3  1546 Bill Sollers             71 M Silver Spring MD      46:13 44:01  8:52 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 75 - 79
    1  4732 Skip Grant               75 M Chevy Chase MD        39:51 39:43  8:00 
    2  2237 Alan Rider               75 M Reston VA             44:00 43:58  8:51 
    3  5801 Henry Guyot              76 M Washington DC         44:36 44:26  8:57 

MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 80 - 99
    1  3244 Jack McMahon             80 M Silver Spring MD      45:29 45:20  9:08 

MALE FIRST TIME RACER: NET TIME - NET PACE 1 - 99
    1  4411 Greg Young               22 M Ballston Lake NY      33:50 33:35  6:46

 

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