Kerri Gallagher (center right) chases down a podium finish in the USATF 1500m. Georgetown alumnae Rachel Schneider (second from left) and Treniere Moser  (immediately to the left of Gallagher) were also in the final. Photo: Michael Scott
Kerri Gallagher (center right) chases down a podium finish in the USATF 1500m. Georgetown alumnae Rachel Schneider (second from left) and Treniere Moser (immediately to the left of Gallagher) were also in the final. Photo: Michael Scott

Around D.C., she’s known as the three-time Army Ten-Miler winner. Nationally, she’s the 1500 meter runner who has thrived at the USA Track and Field championships two of the last three years, finishing third on June 28.

[button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] Watch the race[/button-red]Now, she’s ready to make her national team debut at the IAAF championships this August, after she blew by the qualifying mark July 7 in Italy. She ran 4:03.65 at the Meeting Internazionale di Atletica Leggera in Lignano, recording a more-than five-second PR, winning her race and breaking the meet record.

She is on a three-race trip through Europe that started with the express purpose of achieving qualifying time — 4:06.5, but with that accomplished, she can go into races in Belgium with less urgency.

In Lignano, she catapulted herself up the U.S. women’s standings for the year, ending up fifth at the end of the day July 7 from 15th before the race. In the process, she beat Alexa Efraimson, number four on the list and the junior U.S. recordholder at 1500 m, head-to-head. She also went from the 53rd fastest 1500 runner worldwide this year to 22nd.

“I thought 4:06 was very reasonable and knew I could do it.  I didn’t expect much faster than 4:05, to be honest,” she wrote in an email the day after the race.

The race played out to her plan for running a fast time, following a rabbit through a 65 second first lap and 2:10 800 meter split. She led the third lap in 65 and held off Efraimson and Violah Lagat in the last half lap.

A varied approach to her racing this year — in which she has faced all sorts of conditions and tactics — gave her every reason to think she could squeeze another 13 meters into that time by the Aug. 9 deadline. Her last two seasons have seen her bring more deliberation and purpose to her races, learn a few hard lessons and continue her steady improvement.

“I tried to go out and run the Olympic trials standard every race,” she said of her 2013 season, which ended with a fifth place finish at the USATF meet. “I’ve since learned that it was a silly way to approach it, but it was a very necessary lesson that I needed to learn firsthand. From that year, I have a better idea how each race fits into the bigger picture.”

A hot May in the D.C. area may well have helped Gallagher, an Arlington resident and assistant coach at American University who is sponsored by Oiselle. The 90+ degree temperature primed her for racing in the Oregon heat wave, when the 98-degree high on June 26 set a record in Eugene while she raced her preliminary heat. Temperatures in Lignano were in the mid 80s around 9:30 Tuesday evening.

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Watch the USATF 1500 m[/button-red] At the USATF meet in Eugene, “It had cooled down to the mid 80s with no sun by the final, but some people aren’t used to training in the heat as much, so their recovery might have been tougher,” she said. “I can handle the heat better than humidity, so I was fine.”

That confidence wouldn’t be shaken by a slow start to the final that saw her trail in last place for more than half of the race. A slow pace early would equalize the advantage the eight women with sub-4:05 times this season — the deepest final in history — would have.

“I just tried to stay out of trouble,” she said.  “When you’re that close together and the pace is going slow, it was comfortable for how fast a lot of women have run, so there’s a lot of risk and tension.”

She knew from experience, stumbling on the inside rail in a Canadian meet and just missing a collision that took down sub-4 1500m runner Shannon Rowbury and Heather Wilson at the Oxy Invitational in California.

And sure enough, Gabe Grunwald fell off the track at 900 meters.

When Gallagher swung outside and took the lead briefly from 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson, commentators first neglected to mention her move, then called her “Kelly” Gallagher, clearly taken aback by her move.

“I was stride for stride with Jenny, just trying to keep up there,” she said. “When Shannon went by me, I knew I had to hang on and I felt like if someone else passed me, I might not have enough left to fight back. I’m just trying to swing my arms and keep driving. You’d seen so many blanket finishes at this meet, photo finishes … the teams decided by tenths of a second.”

Georgetown alumna Treniere Moser was on her heels, but as Simpson and Rowbury pulled away from the pack firmly into the top two spots, Gallagher did the same to third for a .27 edge over Lauren Johnson, with another Georgetown alumna, Rachel Schneider, finishing fifth, .01 second behind Johnson’s sprawling dive to the finish line. Simpson’s Diamond League victory last year gives her a bye to the IAAF meet, and allows four American women to compete.

Schneider, who is also racing in Europe, ended up pacing the race in which Johnson hit the standard, deferring her chance at the national team for the year.

2014 Crystal City Twiligher 5K produced by Pacers Events. Saturday, July 26, 2014. Crystal City, Arlington, VA. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography
Kerri Gallagher warms up for the 2014 Crystal City Twiligher with her roommate, Amy Laskowske. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

That Gallagher came into the USATF final with just the 15th fastest U.S. 1500 time this year was a symptom of the races she had been in, rather than a reason to cast doubt on her chances.

And she saw a lot of different kinds of races this year — being outmatched indoors, planning to kick, fighting chilly rain, running alone in the front, and attempting to recover from nearly falling over other athletes. Each fortified her skill in a different phase of the race.

“In Canada, I was through 1200 meters faster than I ever have before, and then I fell,” she said. “I can run this time.”

In addition to the cumulative strength gains she has made over the last four years, her mental approach has settled on one suited for her newfound endurance and thanks to advice from her coach, Matt Centrowitz.

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] 1500 m rankings [/button-red]

“He’s been telling me for years that I’m not a kicker anymore, so I should stop thinking about a 100-meter kick or a 200-meter kick. It’s more like a 600-meter drive,” she said. “Every year I get a little stronger, more confident with that mindset.”

Centrowitz said the longer distance training in the fall has been a big part of that.

“She’s gone from barely breaking 60 to winning the Army Ten-Miler in 54 minutes,” he said. “That pays off not just in the 1500 meters, but when you’ve got heats and have to be ready to run more than one race.”

Consistently good health has also played a part in this season’s successes. A stress fracture hobbled her in 2014, a year, perhaps not coincidentally, in which she did not make the USATF 1500 meter final.

“She’s been healthy for 18 months, and when you have that momentum, its easy to keep things going and improve,” Centrowitz said.

She’s also more comfortable taking chances, and it paid off at the Penn Relays. After two lackluster races in which she went out conservatively, Centrowitz encouraged her to be more aggressive, and it paid off, with her first win in at that meet’s Olympic development mile.

Though Centrowitz raced internationally during his career as an Olympian at 1500 and 5000 meters in the late 70s and early 80s, he doesn’t see much that he can offer her as she goes to Europe for the first time in her life on an important business trip.

“It’s even different from last year when Matthew (his son, a two-time world championship medalist at 1500 meters) was in the Diamond League, but I’m not worried about her, even with time zones and people pushing her around,” he said. “She’s obviously very bright and she can handle herself. She’s a New Yorker.”

Kerri Gallagher at the 2014 Army Ten-Miler. Photo: Charlie Ban
Kerri Gallagher at the 2014 Army Ten-Miler. Photo: Charlie Ban

Gallagher grew up in Queens before running at Fordham University in the Bronx. After a tepid race at the 2011 NCAA championships, she figured her serious racing career was over. Ninety minute-long track practices made way for commutes that long each way to a job in financial services in Manhattan.

After a few weeks, she talked to her Bishop Kearny high school track coach, John Lovett, and mentioned the track-sized gap in her life. Centrowitz, a friend of Lovett’s, found a place for her on the Pacers-New Balance training group and it was goodbye Big Apple, hello nation’s capital.

“I recruited Kerri when she was looking at colleges and really wanted her to come to American,” he said in 2013. “I understood when she chose Fordham, she wanted to be close to home, but I still followed her progress and maturation on and off the track. I knew I wanted to work with her and I finally got my chance.”

Gallagher’s introduction to summertime in Washington in 2011 was not easy and breezy. The heat, humidity and the miles were staggering, but she found herself adjusting to her new home pretty well. Living with Centrowitz’s daughter, Lauren, helped, Centrowitz said, because she helped Gallagher adjust mentally and emotionally.

“She’s been living at home or in the dorms all her life, there was going to be an adjustment,” he said. “She comes from a close-knit family, so I was a little worried about her being homesick. I wasn’t worried about her fitness.”

Gallagher acquitted herself of the Washington area’s running amenities quickly, though she now affiliates herself with the New York Athletic Club.

“D.C. has a lot of things going for it that New York can’t match,” she said. “A lot of New Yorkers wouldn’t admit it, but it’s working out pretty well for me.”

Trails within a few minutes’ trot from American’s campus in Tenleytown and Roosevelt Island near her home in Rossyln beat driving to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

She got her introduction to running from her mother, Patricia. Neither she nor her father John ran, but they saw some dissatisfaction from her when she was on the JV basketball team, keeping the bench nice and safe for when her teammates came off the floor.

“I don’t know where she came up with the idea, but I’m glad she did,” Gallagher said.

Now running is a family pastime, with five of her nine siblings serious about running. Mary ran for Saint Francis College in New York, Conor and Liam run at Malloy College in New York and Jackie and Tess run at Bishop Kearny.

Despite not thinking much of running around in circles, as she regarded track, she was a hit in the middle distances, and became seriously interested in running in 11th grade. Lovett told her she can run in college, somehow. Fordham was interested, and she found her place on the 4×800 meter relay, safely ensconced in the team.

“I was the fourth leg of the 4×8,” she said. “They needed me to race, but I wasn’t a difference maker.”

As in high school, her enthusiasm jumped during her junior year, when she started focusing on the 1500 meters. Her times had been dropping steadily, 5:03 as a freshman, hitting 4:48, 4:36, 4:20 each successive year.

She ran cross country, too, but barely approached the girls she would race to the finish line on the track.

She loves the 1500 because it’s half speed and half strength.

“It’s unique, other races don’t have that,” she said. “It’s where strength and speed meet. A fast person can reach and run the 1500, a strong person can gut one out. I’ve had the same 200 meter times since high school, but the difference has been my strength in the last year(s).”

[button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] Kerri on “Pace the Nation” [/button-red]Her track runner’s offseason got more serious in Washington. Centrowitz had her run in races much longer than her college cross country jaunts, and her victory and steadily-dropping time at the Army Ten-Miler is becoming a fall tradition after three years. Her first winning effort averaged faster than her college 5k PR, and her time for her off-distance specialty has gone down to 54:50 from her debut time of 59:47.

What she needed, Centrowitz said in 2013, was to learn to change her outlook to benefit her training.

“If you want to be a top runner, you have to be self-centered,” he said. “That’s a challenge for her because she’s such a generous person, she tends to put herself behind the needs of others. There’s a way to work around that, but she still has to be able to put herself first.”

In 2015, he said that she had mastered that, thanks to some mentoring by former training partners, including his daughter Lauren and former American standout Erin Koch.

“When they graduated out of the program, she stepped up and showed what she could do, she learned how to assert herself in workouts and races,” he said.

Now she gets some company in workouts from Jesse Carlin, an 800 meter specialist training under Centrowitz. Julie Culley, a 2012 Olympian in the 5000 meters, has also joined workouts, when healthy.

Gallagher leans as much on Centrowitz’s mastery of the ancillary aspects of competitive running as the mechanics.

“Knowing he has been there before with things like your managing expectations has been really important,” she said.

As she prepares for races in Belgium July 11 and 18, she has a cadre of American athletes with whom to spend her time while in Europe.

“As it turns out, a lot of American runners do the same races here so I’ve been able to link up with some people I know through racing and have met some new as well,” she wrote. “While I came out here on my own, I’m not on my own which is great.  There are also a few agents and coaches at the races that give splits and help make sure we know what we are supposed to do and when on race day.”

On July 17, Gallagher got to be a part of a historic race in Monaco, in which Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba ran 3:50.07 to break the world record and Rowbury ran 3:56.29 for the American record. Gallagher finished 11th in 4:06.07.

Photo: Jimmy Daly
Kerri Gallagher, at the office. Photo: Jimmy Daly




The Crystal City Twilighter 5k‘s seventh running was a who’s who of the regional running scene.

Area running clubs emptied their stables. The course was new – faster, with fewer turns. And conditions, while not good for racing, exactly, were about as good as they get for late July in downtown Arlington. No 98 degrees (2011) or downpours (2013).

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] 5k Results [/button-red]All told, 28 men broke 16 minutes, with Chris Kwiatkowski, RunWashington’s top-ranked runner in 2013, breaking the tape in 14:37. Kwiatkowski, 25, also led his Pacers/New Balance team to victory in the co-ed club team competition, a squad that included women’s winner Kerri Gallagher, who came through in 17:22. (In the women’s race, by the way, the top 23 broke 20 minutes, with 11 going under 19.)

“It’s a great atmosphere,” Kwiatkowski, who ran close-to-even 4:40 miles, said. “This was my first time doing this. I have been a part of this for four years – coming to watch, helping out – but never to race. So it was an excellent day to come out and compete and have some fun.”

Kwiatkowski was followed by Pacers-New Balance teammates Landon Peacock (14:47), Leoule Degfae (14:50), and Frank Devar (14:51). Kevin McNab, in 14:55, was the fifth and final runner under 15 minutes, leading Georgetown Running Club to second in the team standings. GRC was followed by DC Road Runners Club, Northern Virginia Running Club, and Capital Area Runners.

Last year, Claire Hallissey led Gallagher through a too-quick first mile. Gallagher faded to third, she recalled.

This year she had a very different strategy. “The plan,” Gallagher’s roommate and training partner, Amy Laskowske, said, “was that she could help me through the first mile. And then I kept telling her to go, and she wouldn’t go.”

At the three-mile mark, Gallagher finally gave in, while Laskowske still finished just three seconds back. Lindsay O’Brien, of Georgetown Running Club, was third in 17:56.

“It was really good to kind of go in with a better plan and be a little more conservative,” Gallagher said.

Kwiatkowski and Gallagher each earned $200 for their efforts. The top three teams each received $250.

In the masters division, Patrick Kuhlmann, 43, won in 16:12. Shannon Smith, 48, was top female master in 21:20.

“I’m the old guy,” the unassuming Kuhlmann, said, as a way of identifying himself at the award’s stage. He took the same honor last weekend at the Rockville Twilight.


If you think racing in the summer can be tough, try two in one day. That’s what Mike Cannon, 56, of Fairfax Station, did as part of his quest to run more than 100 races in 2014.

Asked how his race went, Cannon said, “I ran a 5k up in Baltimore this morning so I didn’t have the legs for it.”

Andrew Gray and Alan Bornbusch, two Arlington runners and members of one of Pacers’ Tuesday night running groups, enjoyed the race, they said, though perhaps for slightly different reasons.

Bornbusch, 53, said his 22:39 finish served him well in training for his first half marathon this fall.

“It’s a nice little piece of speed work,” he said.

For Gray, 31, who came in just a few seconds shy of breaking 20 minutes, the race was more like a piece of cake, even if a head cold made it difficult.

“It’s a good way to spend my birthday,” he said. “That way I can make room for brunch tomorrow.”


He finally had it.

After years of trying, Arlington’s Matt Deters broke 16 minutes by a clump of hairs – 15:58. He confirmed his time at a laptop at the registration table.

“When I was in high school, if you ran under 16 you were a god,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, after a torn Achilles and knee surgery.”

He was close on the fourth of July, running 16:06 at the Firecracker 5k in Reston.

At Crystal City, he split 4:49 and 10:03 before hanging on as the heat, and the hurt, turned up.


Look out for Thomas Edison High School’s cross country team.

The Edison Club won its second-straight title in the high school team competition. Gonzaga, Annandale, Wilson, and J.E.B. Stuart also fielded clubs.

The Walt Whitman Club won in the high school girls division, followed by Annandale, Lake Braddock, Wilson, and Georgetown Visitation.

Brandon Rockers, a rising senior at Edison who was third for his club in 17:47, said running the Crystal City Twilighter has become a team tradition. “The race has always been before a running camp” members of the team attend, Rockers said.

In the high school results, Aviad Gebrehiwot, 17, of Annandale High School, was top male in 16:44. Sonya Butseva, 16, and teammate Kate Murphy, 14, both running for Lake Braddock Club, were the top females, both finishing in 20:49.

Look out, as well, in the 11 to 14 age group.

Madalyn Wright, 11, was 3rd in the female division behind Murphy and Angelica Gaughran, also 14. Her time was 22:57.

Wright was wearing a tutu, and said she has now run about half-a-dozen races between 5k and 10k.

“I love running,” said Madalyn, whose mother, Myra Wright, ran in high school and is a longtime runner.

Madalyn was 6 when she ran her first race. “I kept saying,” Myra Wright recalled, as they ran together that first time, “the tortoise wins: slow and steady finishes the race. And she kept saying, ‘Mom, I want to go faster.’ So at two and a half I said, ‘Madalyn, ‘Go!’ and she just took off.’

That’s how it has been ever since, said Wright, who had a finishing time of 24:16 on her watch.

“I tell you, it motivates me to run faster when you know your little girl is up there.”

Runners traverse the rain soaked streets during the Crystal City Twilighter 5k.                                                 Photo: Lee Diehr.
Runners traverse the rain soaked streets during the Crystal City Twilighter 5k. Photo: Lee Diehr.

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

The clouds were apparently waiting for the gun to go off at the Crystal City Twilighter 5k Saturday night, because as soon as the runners started, so did the rain.

Increasing to a downpour within the first few minutes of the race, the deluge kept the race decidedly cooler than in years past, when the mercury pushed 100 a few years ago.

Ben Blankenship, no stranger to a drizzle in Eugene, Ore. where he runs for the Oregon Track Club, used a stop in Washington on his way home from the summer track circuit in Europe to score a one-second win over Demissi Gulti in 15:10.

“It affects the times a little bit, but you’re coming out here to run the best you can, it’s on the roads and you’re mainly just stacking up to the people next to you,” he said. “I wasn’t too concerned with the pace of what we were doing. I was just hanging out with the front group.”

Paul Thistle followed in 15:20. Also of note, Edison High School’s (Va.) Louis Coulson finished sixth in 15:37.

In the women’s race, Arlington’s Claire Hallissey ran 16:45 for a comfortable margin over Waynishet Abebe (17:08) and Kerri Gallagher (17:27).


Kerri Gallagher holding in fifth place as the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meter run comes down to the last 100 meters. Photo by: Mike Scott
Kerri Gallagher holding in fifth place as the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meter run
comes down to the last 100 meters. Photo by: Mike Scott

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red][button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] Watch the Race [/button-red][button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] More Info [/button-red]

Kerri Gallagher wanted to stay relaxed during her race, and as it turned out, that wasn’t too hard.

The finals of the 1500 meter run at the USA Track and Field Championships went out at a crawl- 84 seconds for 400 meters and 2:40 for 800. Having run a personal record 4:12.58 two days earlier to qualify for the final, this felt more like an aggressive warmup to Gallagher, who lives in Chevy Chase, Md.

On a hot day in Des Moines, Iowa at Drake Stadium, the Pacers/New Balance runner didn’t feel the temperature in the mid-90s was getting to her. She had raced on plenty of hot tracks as an undergrad at Fordham University, but never this kind of hot field, which included 2011 Diamond League champion Morgan Uceny, among others. Seven finalists had run more than four seconds faster this year than Gallagher had during her career.

“Nobody wanted to take the lead,” Gallagher said afterward. “I’ve been in tactical races before and knew it would play to my strengths.”

She would stay out of trouble and be ready to react, and she did just that, in the back of the pack. That is, until the bell lap approached. With a little more than 400 meters to go, she swung wide outside — in last place at that point — to move around and be ready for the long kick.

“Coach (Matt Centrowitz) told me I should make a gradual move, but the circumstance wasn’t really right,” she said. “I had to put myself in a position to compete, so that plan went out the window.”

At the right time, too, because the whole 12-woman field was moving when the bell run.

“She was better than a New York City cab,” Centrowitz remarked.

With 200 meters to go, the top five were pretty well shaken out- high school phenom Mary Cain trying to hold off 2004 Georgetown alumna Treniere Moser, with NCAA Championships runner-up Cory McGee in third and former world championships bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury in fourth, with Gallagher close behind. The only change over the last half of the lap was Moser edging out Cain for the win and her fourth U.S Outdoor title in 4:28.62. Two second back, Gallagher held her position to take fifth in 4:30.56.

“Coming into the meet, coach said I could probably finish between second and tenth, given how good the field was,” Gallagher said. “I would have been happy with top six, but just making the final was amazing.”

She hit the national qualifying mark with a 4:12:97 in Los Angeles at the Oxy High Performance Meet in May, then notched an 800 meter PR of 2:06.4 in New Jersey.

The door’s still open on the rest of the season for Gallagher. She serves as an assistant track coach at American University.

Caroline Paulsen and Ryan Porter maintain solid paces at the Jingle All the Way 8k despite some unorthodox running outfits.                                  Photos by Brian Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography
Caroline Paulsen and Ryan Porter maintain solid paces at the Jingle All the Way 8k despite some
unorthodox running outfits. Photos by Brian Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

Just because Chris Kwiatkowski was running 4:50 pace for the Jingle All the Way 8k, it didn’t mean he didn’t take time to look around.

[button-red url=”″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]While he was  pulling away from Jeff Brannigan and Dereje Girma to win in 24:00, he glanced around at the Capitol and Pennsylvania Avenue, which he said made the race go by a little faster.

“In college, you run a lot of the same courses year in and year out, you see them so often that they get longer and longer,” he said. “Since moving here, I’ve run three races in the city and each one has an incredible setting. I really enjoy those settings and they make the race go by quicker.”

That wasn’t all he saw. Lining up next to the former University of Oregon Duck, Pacers owner Chris Farley was dressed as Santa Claus, beard and all, and still managed to run 6:13 pace.

“I don’t know how he did it,” Kwiatkowski said. “I would have torn that beard off a mile in.”
His plan was to run hard without straining, and that’s what he got. Dropping Brannigan and Girma in the third mile, he cruised in to a 22-second victory in a light misting, following a lot of cold rain.

“Before any competition I make sure I have a goal and my coach (Matt Centrowitz) agrees that it will take me where I need to go,” he said. “December is an important month for getting strong aerobically and this race gave me a chance to do that.”

Kwiatkowski may run the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Even before switching his efforts to the track.

Kerri Gallagher also kept on a lookout for remarkable costumes while she was running away from Claire Hallissey and Erin Koch to win in 27:21.
Her favorite, among many, was a family dressed as Joseph and Mary, pushing a jogging stroller ostensibly carrying the baby Jesus. That variety spectators something to enjoy, just in case the Christmas costumers were tending to be too “commercial.”

A jogging manger. Photo by Jim Darling/Swim Bike Run
A jogging manger. Photo by Jim Darling/Swim Bike Run

Gallagher also got away from her pursuers after two miles, and she confirmed what she had learned about herself as she raced well above her primarily middle distance events.

“I learned I can put myself out there, take charge and take risks in a race,” she said. This fall, she also won the Army 10 Miler and Clarendon Day 10k (also over Olympian Hallissey) and finished second at the Veterans Day 10k. She’ll also compete in several indoor track races this winter under Centrowitz’s tutledge.

Back in the pack, Sarah Morgan struggled to get out of bed for the race, and had a tougher time rousting her friend Melissa Dorn to join her, given the rain that intimidated them.

“We almost didn’t go,” Morgan said. “It looked pretty awful outside. I don’t even know how I got Melissa to go.”

The pair of old high school rowing chums have run countless races together over the years. They arrived just in time for the rain to stop and the race to start. Though they found the race less crowded than last year, when the race was first moved from Hains Point and cut down to an 8k to meet registration demands, but they saw a dramatic improvement in the quality of costumes.

Among Morgan’s favorites:

  • Santa’s sleigh, led by nine reindeer tied together
  • A man with a tuba, playing Christmas carols
  • Twelve runners, dressed as the gifts from the 12 days of Christmas
Chris Kwiatkowski cruises to victory in the Jingle all the Way 8k Sunday morning.
Chris Kwiatkowski cruises to victory in the Jingle all the Way 8k Sunday morning.

Veterans Day

While racing the Veterans Day 10k last Sunday, runners felt a strange sensation as they rounded Hains Point — still air. It was a rare-enough occurrence that some may have wondered if they would later dine on a breakfast of dodo eggs and unicorn steak.

[button-red url=”” target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]Just two weeks prior, runners dealt with four miles of variable winds as they rounded West Potomac Park, vulnerable to the breezes coming off the Potomac River in the middle of the Marine Corps Marathon. This morning, a pack of Pacers Racing Team members cruised along in the sun, exerting a measured effort that blew away last year’s times.

Chris Kwiatkowski, a recent University of Oregon graduate in town to train under coach Matt Centrowitz, started to pull away after 5k on his way to a 29:47 victory.

In his first post-collegiate year, Kwiatkowski, of Chevy Chase, is trying to adjust to the lack of cross country racing to which he’s become accustomed. The distance certainly isn’t an issue for him, not with a 49:09 sixth place finish at the Army Ten Miler to his credit.

“I guess the closest thing to cross country is long races that force you to get strong,” he said.

Columbia, Md. resident Joey Thompson edged last year’s winner Frank DeVar to the finish line in just under 30 minutes, well ahead of his DeVar’s 30:23 time then.

Kwiatkowski, DeVar, Jeff Brannigan, Matt Barressi and Kerri Gallagher led the Pacers New Balance team over the Georgetown Running Club, consisting of Jerry Greenlaw, Sam Luff, Ryan Witters, Alex Benway and Beth Young.

Canadian middle distance runner Carmen Hussar’s family was in Washington for the weekend, which led her to the race. She’s putting in high mileage between track seasons and the race fit comfortably into her schedule, as she won in 33:45 over Army Ten Miler champion Gallagher.

“I loved the course,” Hussar said. “Running into the sun, the nice weather, and I had a good group to run with.”


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