Sean and Ryan Leahy love going the miles together. The 25-year-old Alexandria brothers have been running together since high school, but are now upping their mileage out on the trails.
The Leahys both ran at Slippery Rock University, north of Pittsburgh. Sean ran for three years, his main event being the 400-meter hurdles. Ryan ran for only a year and a half, his main events being the 400 and 800.
“After that year and a half, my sister got me into the ultra community in western Pennsylvania,” Ryan said. Intrigued by the longer distances out on the trails, Ryan decided to give it a shot. From there, he put the 400 and 800 behind him.
He ran his first ultra, a 50K, during his sophomore year in college.
“I had no clue what I was getting myself into,” Ryan said. “My sister said, ‘There is this race by my house. It’s a 50K. You should do it.’ I think being naïve helped me out because I had nothing to compare it against. No expectations allowed me to enjoy the experience and get the most of out of it that I could.”
Setting a PR in the 10k seems like it would make most people happy. Especially if they do it at age 34, more than a decade after the conclusion of an All-American running career.
Not Keira D’Amato. She was third at mid-April’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond, and she was pissed. Winner Bethany Sachtleben gapped her by almost a minute.
“I got crushed,” she said the next day. “I ran the best I could and I didn’t even last a mile with them.”
She acknowledged the obvious.
“I’m just a competitive person,” she said. “I know I should be happy, it was a lifetime PR (33:37),” she said. “I’m now in better shape than I ever was in college.”
Giovanni Reumante’s experience as a freshman at Northwood High School was a little different than most. His school had recently reopened after being used for offices for the previous 19 years, but rather than siphoning students from other schools, he and his peers were the only class in the school. The Gladiators could have been called the Trailblazers.
He was one of the first members of the school’s track team in 2005, and the cross country team in 2006.
“It was an interesting year. My freshman year, we only had freshmen,” he said. “We were always the top of the class. We didn’t have upperclassmen until we were the upperclassmen.”
On a humid morning and afternoon, almost 500 D.C.-area runners finished the Boston Marathon. Jordan Tropf, a 27-year-old medical resident from Silver Spring, led local finishers in 61st place, 58th among men, in 2:27:21. McLean’s John Brough, 23, a Bishop O’Connell alumnus, ran 2:29;33 to lead Northern Virginians in 93rd, 87th among men. Steven Mance, 34, was the top man from D.C., finishing 99th overall, 92nd man, in 2:30:21.
Chantilly’s Christine Westcott, the 49-year-old winner of February’s George Washington Birthday Marathon, was the top local woman, running 2:58:48 for 148th woman and 2348th overall. Montgomery Village’s Elizabeth Conlon, 27, who ran at Good Counsel and Georgetown, was the 160th woman across the finish line and 2476th overall, running 2:59:20. Annyck Besso was D.C.’s first woman, 267th place and 3361st overall in 3:04:36.
Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race in 2:07:57 and Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa won the women’s race in 2:23:31.
Bethesda’s Ben Beach ran his record 52nd Boston Marathon. Lindsay Flanagan, formerly of Silver Spring, was the ninth woman across the line in 2:30:07.
As always, please let me know if we’ve left anyone out or used clock times instead of chip times. Residences are as reported to the Boston Athletic Association on race registrations, so some people may have moved in the meantime. After a second check of results, I believe we’re “there” now.
Stanley Kebenei could pick from a few comeback stories on his way to setting the American record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. A year ago, he was sitting at home nursing an Achilles tendon injury that left him in despair. A week ago, he had just run a miserable race for the world cross country championships. But none of that mattered when he crossed the line Sunday in 46:00, breaking Greg Myer’s 1983 record of 46:13, also run at Cherry Blossom.
“It’s a dream come true,” Kebenei said. “You should never lose hope.”
Note: Five days later. race officials announced that due to a misplaced set of cones marking the course, the race distance was 9.96 miles and ineligible for records.
For the last 19 weeks, Stephanie Lasure has been running every street in the City of Alexandria. She is weaving her way through every nook and cranny — down every block in Old Town, around every cul-de-sac in Seminary Hill and up every ascent in Rosemont.
Over 151,000 residents call the City of Alexandria home, nestling themselves into an area that’s only a little over 15 square miles. But as Lasure has slowly checked street after street off her list, she’s logged nearly 240 miles –and she’s not done yet.
Lasure was inspired by a professional ultrarunner she follows on Instagram, a man named Rickey Gates. On Nov. 1, 2018, he set out to run every street in San Francisco, ultimately covering over 1,300 miles in 47 consecutive days. His effort spawned a mini-movement of sorts, complete with its own hashtag — #EverySingleStreet — that now stretches across the globe, spanning from San Francisco to New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, and Brazil. The number of runners tackling new cities seems to grow every week.
When Zach Gallin wants to hang out with some of his closest friends on any given day, he knows to show up at the Bishop John Carroll Statue in Georgetown at 5 pm.
That’s where the Georgetown University Running Club, which has about 80 active members this year, meets to log some miles and have lots of fun along the way.
“It was one of the first things I joined at Georgetown,” said Gallin, a junior who recently became the club’s president. “It became the centerpiece of my life.”
For college students like Gallin who love to run and crave a team-like environment, club running has become a popular alternative to joining the varsity track or cross country team.
In November of 2010–fewer than four months after he conquered the legendary Western States 100 mile endurance run in under 27 hours, and about a month after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer–Mike Broderick passed away peacefully just days shy of his 54th birthday.
Those closest to Mike, knew him as an avid ultra-runner with a sharp wit, a big smile and an abundance of enthusiasm for all things running. For the rest of the running community, he was best known as a coach, a mentor and a teacher. He was a bit of an evangelist, preaching his love of running to everyone who made his acquaintance. Mike, to his running disciples, was well known for his ability to respond in deep scientific detail to very simple yes or no questions.
That legacy has kept a popular training group in his honor – Broderick to Boston, going eight years after his passing.
Less than a week ago, Patrick Reaves was on the starting line – and on the list of “Olympic hopefuls” – for an eight-mile race in Atlanta. This was a special event held to preview the course for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, now less than a year away.
Reaves’s result will tell you that he ran 42:14, 5:09 pace, to finish 33rd, and that he lives in Portland, Ore. What it will not tell you is that the 34-year-old runner was actually racing in his hometown, the city where he ran his first marathon as a 19-year-old club runner at the University of Maryland.
And while his result indicated — and Reaves himself will confirm it — that a fellow Nike athlete, and three-time national cross country champion, Chris Derrick, tagged along doing a tempo, it will not tell you that Reaves is a professional in the more traditional sense. He’s not paid to run; instead, he’s paid to guide Nike’s social impact strategy, a position that connected him to Bowerman Track Club’s elite corporate team when he and his wife, Valerie, moved to Portland in 2014.
Reaves’s result also will not tell you how he earned the opportunity to be on the starting line: how, in December, at the California International Marathon (CIM), his half marathon split of 1:08:47 was a personal best. He then nearly PRed again, covering the back half only six seconds slower.
This is how Reaves chopped approximately six minutes from his personal best to clock 2:17:40 and beat the sub-2:19 men’s qualifying standard for the trials. Now he’s a year away from competing in the event back in his hometown where his marathon journey began.
Kate Murphy’s legs were burning.
It wasn’t because she had just run 4:07.21 to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 1500 meters. Or had just run against a professional field to make it to the semifinals of those trials. Or any of the performances over three years that made her one of the University of Oregon’s top recruits in 2017.
No, this was happening months later. She had just run a routine workout around the Lake Braddock High School track, notching times she could hit in her sleep. The speed was there, but the sensation was enough to shake her. For a while, it came and went. Then, it stayed. Running, which made it worse, didn’t seem worth it.
“I just wanted to quit,” she said. “Not quit the sport, but I needed a break from racing. It was getting too frustrating.”
She hasn’t quit, but she’s spent more than two years running in circles while trying to get back to what felt right. As a college sophomore, she has retired from competing at the University of Oregon, where she never got to put on a uniform, but she’s not exactly moving to Del Boca Vista any time soon.