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by Jenny Paul November 19, 2018 at 11:25 am 0

Henley Gabeau, who championed women’s running as a founder of the first women’s running club in the Washington, D.C. area and the first executive director of the Road Runners Club of America, died Nov. 7 of colon cancer.  She was 74.

Gabeau was a dominant presence in the D.C. and national road running communities for more than 25 years, from the founding of the women’s only club, RunHers, in 1976, to her retirement as RRCA executive director in 2001.  During that time, she lobbied for equal access to the sport and was part of the movement that led to the inclusion of women’s distance events in the Olympics – the marathon (added in 1984), the 10,000 meters (1988), and the 5,000 meters (1996).

She stood out as a leader and role model at a time when women’s participation in the sport wasn’t so commonplace, said Jeff Darman, the race director of the local ACLI Capital Challenge race.

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by Charlie Ban November 11, 2018 at 10:23 am 0

West Sprinfield’s Hope Stephens and Katie Orchard run in the 6A race. Photos: Bruce Buckley

Three Virginia teams won their first state championships Saturday at Great Meadow, while two regulars kept their annual appointments on the podium.

Tuscarora girls and defending national champion Loudoun Valley boys repeated as team champions in 5A and 4A, respectively, but Loudoun Valley and West Springfield’s girls an W.T. Woodson’s boys (6A) were both new to hoisting a trophy. LV’s Sam Affolder repeated and his teammate Ricky Fetterolf won her first individual title. Three Northern Virginia runners finished in second: Broad Run’s Ellie Desmond in 5A, and West Springfield’s Chase Kappeler and Woodson’s Jack Leech in 6A.

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by Charlie Ban November 4, 2018 at 8:22 am 0

The girls’ lead pack shows no sign of breaking shortly after the first mile mark. From left: Katie Hirsche, Claire Wigglesworth, Zoe Edelman, Ave Nicely and Sophia Hanway. Photo: Charlie Ban

In the last five years, D.C. state championships have had the most drama in the middle, where teams’ fourth and fifth runners battle on the margins while Taylor Knibb or Page Lester run away with the individual title. Spectators got better shows this year, The race this year stayed interesting much, much longer, with Woodrow Wilson sophomore Ava Nicely kicked past Washington Latin sophomore Zoe Edelman in the last tenth of a mile to win the individual title, 19:41-19:43.

Nicely and fourth-place finisher Claire Wigglesworth (20:03) led the way for Wilson upset of defending champion St. John’s, 44-49. It made Wilson the first public school to win a title since the DCSAA championship race started in 2013.

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by Charlie Ban October 28, 2018 at 8:15 pm 0

Jeff Stein (left) chats with Samson Mutua in the 17th mile of the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Charlie Ban

Jeff Stein spent the afternoon following last year’s Marine Corps Marathon recovering in the hospital after heat stroke finishing in eighth place. He fared considerably better this year, breaking the tape in 2:22:49 for his first marathon victory.

True to his buildup this year, it was a race that, for him, seemed decided only at the end.

“When I was in the last mile, I heard the announcer say the leader had someone right on his tail,” Stein said. “I got pretty worried because I knew Patrick (Hearn) was a strong second-half runner, and I was wasn’t sure how much my legs could take. I was fleeing him for the last few miles.”

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by Charlie Ban October 23, 2018 at 1:57 pm 0

The 2013 Marine Corps Marathon kicks off in Rosslyn. Photo: Jimmy Daly

The 2013 Marine Corps Marathon kicks off in Rosslyn. Photo: Jimmy Daly

Marine Corps Marathon

Oct. 28, 2018

Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C.
7:45 Handcycle start
7:55 Runners start

Race website
Course map
Runner tracking

The 43rd Marine Corps Marathon will bring tens of thousands of runners and spectators to D.C., Arlington and the National Harbor.  Whether they’re gunning for the win, hoping for a personal record or just trying to cross the finish line, they’ll be making memories along the way.

Roughly 25,000 runners will line up for the marathon (starting near the Pentagon) and the 10k (starting on the National Mall). The marathon course will weave through Arlington County before crossing the Key Bridge into Georgetown, taking a trip up and down Rock Creek Parkway, around Hains Point and the National Mall before crossing back into Arlington, where runners will finish by climbing the hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn. The 10k follows the last 6.2 miles of the marathon route.

You can track runners here.  Read on to learn about the best way to watch the race, why you shouldn’t run using someone else’s bib, who has run every Marine Corps Marathon and find out about the time the race was a day away from cancellation.

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by Charlie Ban October 13, 2018 at 10:02 pm 0

Sam Affolder leads Kellen Hasle (left, in yellow) and Jacob Hunter in the first mile of the Third Battle Invitational. Photo: Charlie Ban

Loudoun Valley hasn’t truly flexed its cross country muscle yet.

Not in winning the Great American Cross Country Festival a week ago and not in scoring 18 points to win the Third Battle Invitational, taking six of the top seven spots in the process. The defending Nike Cross Nationals champions haven’t even figured out who their top seven will be, and two runners who raced in Winchester did well enough to only make coach Marc Hunter’s job harder as the Vikings pick their seven runners who will compete in postseason races.

“It’s a good problem to have,” he said. “I’m always amazed at how the boys do. It’s a revolving door for 6-7-8-9, and it’s been a short season, so we’ll have to make some tough decisions. When they run well like this, it makes it harder.”

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by Charlie Ban October 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm 0

Frankline Tonui edges Evans Kirwa for the Army Ten-Miler win. Photos: Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

For the second straight year, high humidity met Army Ten-Miler runners, but this year’s race was mercifully cooler. But last year’s conditions still stung Susan Tanui, so when the defending women’s champion set out, she made it a point to start out conservatively. It paid off, with a 56:33 victory over Julia Roman-Duval’s 57:17.  

Tanui improved by 17 seconds over last year’s time and Roman-Duval improved by two minutes. Tanui, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, is stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado. Roman-Duval lives in Columbia, Md. Emily Da La Bruyere, of D.C. was third in 59:07.

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by Charlie Ban September 30, 2018 at 7:03 pm 0

Cullen Capuano, Daniel O’Brien, Luke Tewalt and Gavin McElhennon finish the first loop of the junior boys’ race at the DCXC Invitational. Photo: Ed Lull

Woodrow Wilson sophomore Vincent Kamami spends a lot of his time before races wrapped up in his nerves. This week, coaches and race directors were right with him.

As rain continued to fall on the D.C. area, the fates of weekend invitationals were once again in doubt. On Friday, Fauquier County, Va.’s Octoberfest Invitational pulled the plug, like Oatlands two weeks before and Maryland’s Track and Trail before that, driven by concerns about how courses would survive the onslaught of spikes and body weight.

But the DCXC Invitational at Northeast D.C.’s Kenilworth Park was a go, and runners would have a chance to face off and get dirty. Coaches, and Kamani, could stop fretting and start planning on actually racing. The flat, usually fast course was not immune to the rain, and long muddy stretches and iffy turns forced many races to become tactical, which as T.S. Wootton senior John Riker remarked after his third place finish, would ultimately be more beneficial in the long term for runners.

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by Charlie Ban September 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm 0

D.C. police charged 23-year-old Anthony Crawford of Northwest D.C. with first degree murder in connection with Wendy Martinez’s death Sept. 18 while she was running in Logan Circle.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham cited a combination of work by police, tips from the public and security camera footage in identifying Crawford, who was arrested the night of Sept. 19 at the Girard Street Park near 14th Street NW.

Martinez, 35, was killed following a stabbing while she was running west on P Street NW in Logan Circle the evening of Sept. 18. Newsham said she stopped at the corner of 11th Street NW at 7:45 p.m., where she was stabbed in what he described as likely a random attack. There was no indication Martinez was the victim of a robbery, but police have not identified a motive.

A 7 p.m. vigil Sept. 20 has been planned at the corner of P and 11th.

Newsham called the stabbing an isolated instance.

“We don’t see crimes like this very much, it was an unlikely thing that happened,” he said at a Sept. 20 news conference. “It’s certainly damaging to all our senses of safety.”

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham described her in a Sept. 19 news conference as “avid runner, known to run for miles across the city on a regular basis.” More than that, she ran the 2015 Palestine Marathon, finishing in 4:20:18 for eighth place.

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by Vanessa Junkin September 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm 0

Sarah and Joe Divel and Laura Schlax pose with their Marine Corps Marathon weekend bibs in 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Joe Divel

Taking up marathon training often means taking time away from the family to get in the miles, the long runs, the workouts. For Joe Divel, it turned into a way to create new bonds with his daughters.

Divel, 59, of Rockville, is in his fourth year with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club First Time Marathoners program and in his second year as a coach.

FTM prepares people to run a marathon — it doesn’t have to be their first — over a six-month period. And it’s more than just running buddies or training plans — Divel referred to the group as a family numerous times.  

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