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by Charlie Ban August 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

Grace Cleland chases down Chris Rini at the end of the Crime Solvers 5k. Photo: Cheryl Young

Grace Cleland chases down Chris Rini at the end of the Crime Solvers 5k. Photo: Cheryl Young

Sunday morning, the only crime was that more people weren’t out racing on one of the most pleasant days of the summer. With temperatures in the 60s on an August weekend that is accustomed to heat and humidity, the nearly 200 runners who showed up to the inaugural Fairfax County Crime Solvers 5k at Fairfax Corner.

The race supported Fairfax County Crime Solvers, an independent nonprofit that pays for rewards leading to the arrest of criminals in Fairfax County.  Board member Jody Donaldson knew Cheryl Young of the Capital Area Runners team, which was interested in conducting a race. The team had 38 runners race and more than 15 volunteer.

[button-red url=”https://runsignup.com/race/results/?raceId=3638″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red] [button-red url=”http://youngrunner.smugmug.com/Race-Photo-Galleries/Crime-Solvers-5k-2013″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Photos [/button-red]

The great weather and fast opening mile by early leader, Falls Church’s Chris Mills (4:38), helped propel Pat Fernandez to a 15:30 win, by 15 seconds, over Mills. Arlington’s Bennett Stackhouse finished third in 16:46. All three are CAR runners. Fernandez, of Alexandria, pulled away halfway through the race and held his lead over the mostly-uphill third mile.

“It’s a lot better to race this course today than in your typical August Virginia weather,” he said. “We went out a little fast but held it together alright.”

Women’s winner Susanna Sullivan’s only challenge was avoiding a fellow runner listening to music who weaved all over the course. Sullivan, of Falls Church, sped to an easy 17:30 victory, with a 42-second margin over Elizabeth Knize of Midlothian and third place Katie Sheedy of Washington (18:56). Sullivan and Sheedy run for CAR.

Though the dozens of CAR runners already knew one another, the race was also an opportunity for people to make new friends. Ann Hennigan of Oakton started out the race faster than she thinks she should have, and Phyllis Calloway of Leesburg eventually caught up with her. The pair ran most of the race together, encouraging each other throughout.

“We didn’t know each other, but we helped each other,” Hennigan said.

Calloway’s strategy worked for the rolling hilly course.

“I like to walk up the hills and run down,” she said.

Hennigan agreed. “I I can fall down the hill faster than I can walk down, so that worked for me,” she said.

Phyllis Hennigan got into running after hears of invitations from her husband, Joe.

“He still has fun running.” Phyllis said. “I’m a walker/runner, but it’s been good for my health.”

Runners didn’t have to be pressing for the win to appreciate the cool weather. Robert Gaines of Clarksville , Md. was happy to find a mild race where he could work on his goal of averaging 10 minute miles.

“There was a lot of guidance on the course, and even though it was hilly, it wasn’t too rough,” he said.

Fairfax County Crime Solvers 5k * Aug. 4, Fairfax Corner, Va.

 

by Charlie Ban January 3, 2013 at 12:31 am 0

Reston's Alex Benway prepares to break the tape at the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year's Eve.                                                 Photo by Brian Knight

Reston’s Alex Benway prepares to break the tape at the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve. Photo by Brian Knight

Whether or not they noticed the symbolism on the starting line, more than a thousand runners sprinted into the darkness at the Fairfax Four Miler, a scant six hours before the new year began.

[button-red url=”http://results.bazumedia.com/event/results/event/event-626″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results[/button-red]The circumnavigated the George Mason University campus and headed back to the finish line in old town Fairfax. The latest-scheduled of the many New Year’s Eve races, it gave runner a chance to take a stab and a rarely-run distance and a chance for a PR before they went about celebrating the new year however they chose.

About 20 minutes after he left sight, Alex Benway, of Reston, careened down the hill to break the tape in 20:46, ahead ofEdmund Burke’s 21:10 .

Benway ran without a watch and spent two miles catching up with Burke, of Burtonsville, Md.

Again, was it symbolism, the spry 22-year-old passing a man who could legally drink champagne the day he was born? Perhaps not, but it gave the recent Clarkson University graduate the kind of race he needed, firm pavement after spending 10k picking his feet out of mud three weeks prior at the USATF Club Cross Country Championship in Lexington, Ky.

“I was comfortable out there,” he said. “I didn’t catch any splits, but I tried not to get in trouble going out too hard. I didn’t expect (Burke) to go out so fast, so I just spent two miles working my way up there and by mile three I felt pretty good.”

Benway, nicknamed “Viking” for his Nordic skiing pastime, was recently named rookie of the year for the Georgetown Running Club.

On the women’s side, Anna Corrigan, a graduate student at the University of California, outlasted course record holderMindy Sullivan of Woodbridge, 22:36 to 22:47.

Corrigan never really got an idea of her positioning during the race.

“It was so dark, I couldn’t figure out who was a guy and who was a girl,” she said. “I just kept running.”

A 10k specialist while an undergrad at the University of Virginia, Corrigan was pleased to run four miles, rather than 5k. She and her friends chose the race earlier in the day. A Burke native, she ran at Lake Braddock High School, which recently won a state cross country title.

Katie Sheedy, of Washington, D.C. came back to the race after trying it out in 2011, and brought a few friends along before they convened for a potluck.

“It was well lit, but looking out for potholes is a challenge I’m not used to,” she said. “I’m usually a morning runner, so this is a novelty for me.”

She ran faster than last year, despite not fully committing to racing at the time.

“It was just a great way to finish of 2012 and get ready to start 2013,” she said.

Her friend Joe Coyne, of Washington, managed to edge Jennifer Leehey, bringing his record against her this year to 1-7, or 1-8.

“Usually when she beats me, it’s by more like 15 minutes,” he said. “But I got her tonight!”

The runners in the crowd had a variety of new year’s resolutions related to their running.

Kristina Mickey, of Fairfax, Va., hopes to be able to maintain 8:00 pace for 5k.

“We’ll see how that training mixes with my Crossfit,” she said.

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