Check out just shy of 5,000 photos from mile 5.5 of Saturday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Half Marathon here. If you use them, please credit Charlie Ban and @RunWashington.
As RunWashington’s email goes out on March 9, 2022, the race is underway at the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. In 2017, then-Rockville, Md. resident John Kelly won the race held in the park across the road from where he grew up. Here’s a look back at that race. Kelly is competing again this year, he now lives in England.
As fog rolled rapidly though the Cumberland Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, it created a strobe-like effect as dawn was breaking. From a fire tower, Rockville’s John Kelly could be seen, then not seen, then seen again… climbing a long hillside cleared for power lines.
Conrad Laskowski and Ed Aramayo watched Kelly pick up something orange, shake it around and put it on his head.
“It was a wool hat,” Laskowski said.
Even five days later, the excitement perked up Kelly’s otherwise calm even-keeled demeanor.
“I spotted that orange hat I’m like, ‘Score! this is awesome!” he said. “It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen.”
That hat, along with the plastic grocery bag he had fashioned into a poncho, helped Kelly, 32, mitigate the cold and rain and repurpose them to help propel him forward, with just a few miles to go in what was likely 130 miles over 59 hours and 31 minutes, over some of the most rugged terrain in distance running.
In 2017, he became the 15th person to complete the Barkley Marathons over 30 years, the first from the Washington, D.C. area.
- The lottery for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile is open through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 16.
- Former Northwood coach and security assistant Giovanni Reumante was arrested and charged with two counts of a sex offense for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor student. Anyone with information about the case or who knows of other potential victims are encouraged to contact the Montgomery County Police Department Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.
- Prince George’s County will use its Sports and Learning complex as a COVID-19 vaccination site, taking it off the table for holding indoor track races this winter, which will prompt a change to outdoor winter meets in many cases.
- The 2023 and 2024 U.S. Cross Country Championships will be held at Pole Green Park in Hanover County, Va., the first time the race has been held in Virginia. The Montgomery County, Md. Agricultural Farm Park played host to the race in 2009. In 2023, runners will compete for a spot on the U.S. team for the Pan American Games and the 2024 race will select the U.S. team for the World Championships. Each of the races will feature six national championship events, including: the U20 Women’s 6K Championship Race (under 20 years of age), U20 Men’s 8K Championship Race (under 20 years of age), Senior Women’s 10K Championship Race (open runners 20-39 years of age), Senior Men’s 10K Championship Race (open runners 20-39 years of age), Master’s Women’s 8K Championship Race (runners 40+ years of age) and Master’s Men’s 8K Championship Race (runners 40+ years of age). The events will also include the U.S. Armed Forces National Championships, as well as a citizen’s race that will be open to the community.
- Oakton and American alumna Keira D’Amato won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships and was a guest on the More than Running Podcast.
- Heritage alumna Weini Kelati was a guest on the C Tolle Run podcast.
- Pacers Running Stores owner Chris Farley talked about his sub-three-hour* marathon streak on Pace the Nation.
After an odd mixture of make-up cross country seasons in the spring – somewhat recognizable in Virginia, an empty-tasting few weeks in Maryland, and nothing in Washington, D.C. – the sport resumed its normal fall schedule in 2021. Local teams took home state titles in Maryland (Poolesville boys and Walter Johnson girls), Virginia (Oakton boys and Loudoun Valley girls) and, of course, D.C. (St. John’s). Owen McArdle, Thaïs Rolly and Ava Gordon all made the national Eastbay Cross Country Championships.
The RunWashington coaches panel recently met and decided the post-season honorees: the All-RunWashington team, which includes the top 10 boys and girls in our coverage area, and seven more runners each in D.C., Maryland and Virginia runners. Our coverage area includes Washington, D.C.; Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties (and all independent cities therein); and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.
Panelists included Gonzaga’s John Ausema, Georgetown Visitation’s Kevin Hughes, St. Albans and National Cathedral’s Jim Ehrenhaft, West Springfield’s Chris Pellegrini and Winston Churchill’s Scott Silverstein. This could not have been done without their input, along with input from countless other coaches, photographs lent by Ed Lull, Craig Amoss and Susie Shaffer and the databases maintained by Milesplit and Athletic.net and all of the race timers who chart the sport’s results.
You can see the regional teams here:
The D.C. area will offer plenty of opportunities to join the biggest road racing day of the year. In 2019, these races combined for 22,863 finishers:
- Alexandria Turkey Trot – 9 a.m.
- Arlington Turkey Trot – 8 a.m. – sold out
- Ashburn Farm 5k/10k – 8:15 a.m.
- Can the Bird Turkey Trot – 8 a.m.
- Bethesda Turkey Chase – virtual
- Laurel Turkey Trot – 8 a.m.
- Fairfax Turkey Trot 5k – 9 a.m.
- Fairfax Turkey Trot Four Miles – 9 a.m.
- Prince William Turkey Trot – 8:30 a.m.
- SOME Trot For Hunger – 9 a.m.
- Turkey Day 5k – 8 a.m. – registration closed
- Turkey Burnoff – 8:30 a.m. Saturday
Oakton didn’t exactly defy any laws of physics, but typically, losing five of your top seven from a state championship team means you should expect a rebuilding year. But like the hummingbird that probably shouldn’t be able to fly, nobody every told the Cougars that.
With a steady stream of six finishers between 18th and 37th, Oakton scored 83 points to Yorktown’s 88 to win the Virginia 6A championship at Great Meadow, seeing their results get better as the races got bigger. After losing the Concorde District by two points to South Lakes, they posted a 10-point win over the Seahawks at the Northern Region.
“After districts, we saw how close we were,” said senior Elham Huq, who finished 27th in 16:53 and one of two returning runners. “It was just seconds… it’s marginal. That’s when we realized our potential.”
The two-point loss at the 2019 D.C. cross country championships gnawed at the St. John’s boys team. They had closed the gap on Gonzaga from the WCAC Championships a week prior, but they still had cause for optimism. Most of the runners were underclassmen, and they could start looking ahead to the next fall.
Then the next cross country season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all but one of those boys graduated or didn’t return two seasons later. It would be up to senior Nicolas Grabarz to exact his revenge.
Two local college teams and a variety of other local runners won individual honors at college conference cross country meets last weekend.
Georgetown won its second straight Big East title in Indiana George Washington University’s women won their first Atlantic 10 Cross Country title Saturday in Ohio. Georgetown’s Maggie Donahue won the Big East individual championship, George Mason’s Annabelle Eastman won the Atlantic 10 individual championship and John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman, won the Southern Conference individual championship.
Josh Fry, a Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference individual tile, running for Colorado College and Logan Funk, a George Mason/Meridian alumna now at Christopher Newport, was the Coast-to-Coast Conference champion. Gonzaga alumnus Cullen Capuano, a sophmore at Washington University in St. Louis won the University Athletic Association’s rookie of the year.
GW had all four scoring runners – Margaret Coogan (2), Peri Pavicic (6), Kathryn Nohilly (10), Olivia Syftestad (15) and Julia Dempsy (17) – finish in the top 20 to score 50 points to host Dayton’s 75. Eastman, second in the spring’s conference meet, ran 17:24, ahead of Coogan’s 17:31 and led the Mason women to a fifth place finish. George Mason’s Jack Ikenberry finished second in 24:43 to Richmond’s Peter Borger’s 24:35 to lead Mason to a third place finish. James Glockenmeier (fifth place) led the GW men to a seventh place finish.
Donahue won the Big East title 20:47-20:49 over Villanova’s Lydia Olivere, the first of four Georgetown scorers – Sami Corman (6), West Springfield alumna Kiera Bothwell (10) and Baylee Jones (13) in the top 15, with Katie Dammer finishing 35th. Jack Salisbury (6) led the way for the Hoyas, who swept places 10-13, but lost 35-52 to host Butler.
Howard had two second place finshes at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, led by Joslyn Crosby (3) and Gavin Williams (4). Howard also had top locals finishing 11th: Walt Whitman’s Breanna McDonald and Bowie’s Tafari Stephenson. Catholic’s men finished third John O’Rourke’s runner-up finish and their women finished sixth, led by Paige Wilderotter. Maryland’s women finished 14th at the Big 10 Championships, with Lake Braddock alumna Sarah Daniels leading the way for local finishers in 95th place.
American finished eighth on the men’s side and 10th on the women’s at the Patriot League Championships, led by Russell Sullivan (39th) and Emily Neuner (67th). Bowie State’s men finished second at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships, led by Shane Massey in fifth, and ninth in the women’s race, led by Central’s Heaven Jenkins in 40th place. UDC’s women finished fifth at the East Coast Conference Championships, paced by Kamille Dixon’s 12th place finish.
Both Marymount teams finished fifth at the Atlantic East Conference Championships, led by Jules Lemmon in sixth and Hayfield alumnus Matthew Zirkle in 30th.
Outside of the D.C. area, Richard Montgomery alumnus Rohann Asfaw, running for Virginia, finished 13th at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and George Marshall alumna Heather Holt, running for N.C. State, finished 17th.
Patriot’s Rachel McArthur finished fifth at the Pacific 12 Championships, running for Colorado.
At the Ivy League Championships, Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumna Zoe Nuechterlein, running for Yale, was sixth and Yorktown alumnus Albert Velikonja was 28th for Dartmouth.
William and Mary runners led local finishers at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, with runner-up Sam Pritchard from West Springfield and Loudoun Valley alumna Kyra Holland (14).
Northwood had two UMBD runners lead locals at the America East Championshos – Fantaw finishing 39th Madison Armonda in 40th.
Woodson’s Tyler French was 49th at the Patriot League Championship for Lehigh
East Carolina had two runners leading local finishers at the American Athletic Conference Championships – Patriot alumna Linsay Yentz (27th) and Herndon alumnus Colin McCauley (35th).
James Madison’s Rachel Shoemaker, running for Rice, was 27th at the Conference USA Championships.
Loudoun Valley alumnus Jeremiah Mussman was 38th for Liberty at the Atlantic Sun Championships. Forest Park alumnus Zach Diller was 68th at the Southern Conference Championship, running for VMI.
Saint Sebastian Academy alumna Anne Akagi finished 12th at the Big South Championships for Charleston Southern and Loudoun Valley alumnus Ben Goulet was 62nd for Longwood.
George Mason alumnus Ryan Henderson, running for Christopher Newport, was second at the Coast-to-Coast Championships. Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus Adam Nakasaka was seventh at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Gonzaga alumuns Gavin McElhennon was 10th at the Centennial Conference Championships, running for Johns Hopkins.
I’m sure I missed somone. I’m sorry.
In a moment, Ava Gordon knew something was wrong.
While training over the summer, she took a breath and realized things weren’t quite right, which lead to a positive COVID-19 test and a few weeks off of running while she recovered.
In another moment, she knew things would be alright. That was while she was trailing Herndon’s Gillian Bushee in the second half of the Third Battle Invitational. She felt raindrops, and knew her fortunes were turning.
“I just love running in the rain, and I started feeling really good,” Gordon said. “I figured out I had COVID because I could only run about 10:00 pace.”
- A total of 346 local runners finished the Boston Marathon.
- Reston’s Susanna Sullivan finished as the fourth American at the Boston Marathon, running 2:33:22.
- D.C.’s Nathan Bickell, an Annapolis native, was the fastest local runner in 2:29:54.
- Silver Spring’s Jordan Tropf, who won the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon, finished his third marathon in three days, running 2:27:22 at the Baltimore Marathon, 2:31:54 at the Chicago Marathon and 2:32:13 in Boston, after driving to Detroit from Chicago after his first flight to Boston was canceled.
- Bethesda’s Ben Beach extended his Boston Marathon record for consecutive finishes at 54.