by Charlie Ban February 12, 2019 at 2:17 pm 0

Paul Thistle at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. Photo: Charlie Ban

The top spot in the 2018 runner rankings probably came down to distance.

On Sept. 16, both Paul Thistle and Jeff Stein topped the podium near the Washington Monument. Thistle won the Navy 5-Miler, running 25:19 to score 1001.2 points in the RunWashington runner rankings system, which figures in race pace versus historical high-water marks for the same race. At the same time, Stein was winning the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, running 1:10:21. The effects of a warm, humid day probably compounded over 13 miles, and although Stein recorded a 35-second margin of victory in his race, he scored only 992.79. In the end, Thistle’s average wound up 1.32 points higher than Stein’s, giving him the edge for the year.

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by Sarah Beth Hensley February 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm 0

Erin and Greg Swiatocha

On a cold night in mid-January, Greg and Erin Swiatocha — like so many new parents — booked a babysitter for their 7-month-old son so they could get out of the house and spend time together.

Some couples may have seized the opportunity to visit a nice restaurant, see a movie or grab a drink.

Not the Swiatochas. The Alexandria couple employed the sitter so they could go on an eight-mile run together. It’s one of their favorite things to do together, after all. It’s a chance for this highly skilled running couple catch up on each other’s days and check in on how the other one is doing.

“Most married couples have those talks when they’re cooking together and out on weekends, but we talk on our runs together,” said Erin, a 3:08 marathoner and 1:25 half marathoner. Greg boasts a half marathon PR of 1:13 and a marathon best of 2:44.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love stories take center stage. And for the running community, those love stories involve couples that share a passion for running PRs, logging dozens of miles and understand grueling training seasons — all while celebrating each other’s victories in the sport.

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by Charlie Ban January 22, 2019 at 3:19 pm 0

The 2016 Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

  • Citing budget constraints, the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon and 5 Miler have been cancelled. George Banker suggests registering discontent with the decision in writing to:
    • Captain Roy Undersander
      Chief of Staff, NDW
      1411 Parsons Ave., SE
      Suite 200
      Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5001
  • Two more locals qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at the Houston Marathon Jan. 20. Poolesville alumnus Chase Weaverling ran 1:03:58 in the half marathon to beat the 1:04:00 standard and Georgetown Running Club member Maura Linde, a Sykesville, Md. native and Century alumna, ran 2:44:37.
  • Georgetown alumnus Amos Bartelsmeyer also appeared on the Citius podcast after running 3:55 for the mile in his first post-collegiate race.
  • Fairfax’s Rochelle Basil will compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark, for her native New Zealand. She ran at George Mason University.

 

by Charlie Ban January 14, 2019 at 12:51 am 0

Can’t stand the treadmill? Me neither. You want to run outside after snowfall? Here’s a look at what (mainly paved) paths are looking like.

With melting and refreezing, particularly in shaded parts of paths, conditions will be a crapshoot. I want to make it very clear RunWashington is not guaranteeing your safety if you do go for a run outside. That said, thanks to some observers who were out on Sunday and Monday and the policies maintained by local governments, we can give you an idea what to expect out there.  .

In Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol is cleared and salted rigorously.

The D.C. Department of Public works cleared the Metropolitan Branch Trail Sunday morning.

Foot traffic around the Mall has likely cleared a lot of the snow.

East Potomac Park, as far south as Buckeye Drive, is likely clear and sees limited traffic. The Hains Point loop south of Buckeye has likely not been cleared.

However, if you’re hoping to do some cross training in a DC DPR pool, you’re out of luck, because they’re closed Monday.

In Virginia

NovaParks has cleared the W&OD Trail.

 

Arlington County clears the Custis Trail, Four Mile Run Trail, Bluemont Junction Trail and Route 110 Trail concurrently with residential streets. Some areas of these trails have frozen again, however.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Snow Patrol Team will be clearing between LBJ Memorial Grove to the 14th Street Bridge from 1 p.m – 6 p.m. Monday.

Arlington County’s rec centers are closed.

In Maryland

Montgomery County plowed its portion of the Capital Crescent Trail

Word is that the Millennium Trail in Rockville is “mostly clear” along Wootton Parkway.

 

Rock Creek Trail north of Peirce Mill around 11 a.m. Sunday. Photo: Charlie Ban

by Charlie Ban January 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm 0

Clarendon Day 5K  Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

With a new year comes a new slate of races for RunWashington’s runner rankings. We’ve shuffled some around, added some, shed a few others.

Each of these races is run on a certified course (but it’s up to you to make sure you don’t run too far). To be ranked for the year, runners must run at least six races, three before July 1 and three after. Why? It’s the most fair (and manageable) way to help put together a list of the runners who have made a commitment to road racing in the Washington, D.C. area.

There are at least 51 events in each half of the year, giving you plenty of opportunities to get in the races you need to be ranked. We’re still confirming a few dates for races. Keep in mind, races may be removed if they encounter course trouble, but we will try to replace them if something is removed.

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by Charlie Ban December 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm 0

Runners loosen up for the Virginia 6A boys championship Nov. 10. Photo: Bruce Buckley

The 2018 cross country season in the D.C. area was marked by a lot of rain. Some races, like the Oatlands and Octoberfest invitationals, were cancelled outright. Others, like the Glory Days Invitational, were altered to preserve as much of the course as possible. Races that went on were often much slower, and forced runners to be more tactical. Times appropriately went out the window. It seemed to pay off, though, in late November when many the Nike Cross Southeast regional was run in a deluge. By that point, the conditions were second nature to most of our local runners, who took advantage and found themselves near the front of the race. Ten boys in the top 25 and three girls in the top 15. Loudoun Valley’s boys then went on to repeat as Nike Cross Nationals champions, the first boys team to do so, and improving on their record-low score in the process.

Locally, we saw the first public individual and team champions in D.C. state meet history, a first state title for Loudoun Valley’s girls, W.T. Woodson’s boys, West Springfield’s girls and Woodrow Wilson’s girls. Young runners had breakout seasons all over the place, while the veterans continued to demonstrate a mastery of the sport. Loudoun Valley’s boys won their fourth straight state title and Tuscarora’s girls won their fourth in five years.

RunWashington convened members of its coaches panel to look at local runners’ seasons and name them to the All-RunWashington Postseason Team, which comprises the top 10 boys and top 10 girls in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The Maryland, D.C. and Virginia teams comprise the next seven boys and seven girls. The coaches who selected the postseason teams are: Chad Young, Bethesda-Chevy Chase; Chris Pellegrini, West Springfield; Mike Mangan, Lake Braddock; John Ausema, Gonzaga; Kevin Hughes, Georgetown Visitation; Jim Ehrenhaft, National Cathedral School and St. Albans; Giovanni Reumante, Northwood and Scott Silverstein, Winston Churchill.

Coaches considered overall season progress but gave more weight to postseason performances.

See the D.C., Maryland and Virginia teams here and have a look at all of RunWashington’s cross country coverage here.

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by Andrew Gates December 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm 0

Pacers Race Director Lisa Reeves, in her element, leading the Four Courts Four Miler in seasonal attire. Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

The D.C. area is home to one of the most vibrant running communities in the world, with multiple races happening every week. But it’s easy for runners to miss the inner workings when they’re focused on getting to the finish line.

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by Charlie Ban December 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm 0

Jacob Windle, Mateo Baretto, Kellen Hasle, Connor Wells and Jacob Hunter celebrate Loudoun Valley’s second straight Nike Cross Nationals victory. Photo: Steve Klotz/Youth Runner

There was panic in the Jungle.

People felt it at home in Purcellville, at the Commonwealth Games, in a University of Virginia dorm and beamed it back to the Gleendover Golf Course in Portland, Ore.

From all indications, Loudoun Valley was all over the standings as they raced Nike Cross Nationals. Second. Third. But definitely not first. A long way from being the first boys team to defend a national title.

“After the second mile, we heard we were in third, and it wasn’t even close,” Coach Marc Hunter said. “We were probably 30 or 40 points back, and you’re not going to make that up in a mile.”

Something had to be wrong.

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by Charlie Ban November 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm 0

Eldad Mulugeta and Obsaa Feda fill out their paperwork for Nike Cross Nationals. Photo: Giovanni Reumante 

D.C.-area runners dominated the Nike Cross Southeast meet, putting four runners in the top eight and 15 in the top 50. Loudoun Valley easily qualified for the national meet that “Purcellville” won last year, with Sam Affolder and Jacob Hunter finishing second and third in 15:14. Right behind Hunter, Eldad Mulugeta finished fourth in 15:15 and his Northwood teammate Obsaa Feda finished eighth in 15:20. The course at WakeMed Park in Raleigh, N.C. was extremely muddy after days of rain, with more rain throughout the races.

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Other top-50 finishers included Bishop O’Connell senior Max Greczyn in 11th in 15:29, four more Loudoun Valley runners in senior Connor Wells in 16th (15:37), junior Kellen Hasle in 17th (15:38), junior Carlos Shultz in 22nd (15:42) and senior Jacob Windle in 24th (15:44) with Washington Latin junior Luke Tewalt finishing 23rd in 15:42. West Springfield junior Sam Pritchard was 40th in 15:57, Loudoun Valley juniors Mateo Barreto and Kevin Carlson finished 45th and 46th in 15:59 (Barreto ran unattached) and West Springfield junior Chris Weeks was 48th in 16:01.

Two Loudoun Valley girls came close to qualifying as individuals – sophomore Ricky Fetterolf in eighth (18:05) and junior Elise Abbe in ninth (18:19). Rock Ridge freshman Ava Gordon finished 15th in 18:31, West Springfield junior Amy Herrema was 30th in 18:56, Washington Latin sophomore Zoe Edleman was 32nd in 18:59.

Loudoun Valley’s boys scored 52 points to beat Florida’s Bolles with 117. They’ll race Saturday, Dec. 1. Northwood was the top local Maryland team in 13th with 327 (trailing 12th place West Springfield  by six points), and Gonzaga was the top D.C. team in 24th, with 569 points. The Loudoun Valley girls were sixth, scoring 217 points.
At the Foot Locker South regional on a drier McAlpine Park course in Charlotte, N.C., George Marshall senior Natalie Bardach led local finishers in 18th place in 17:52, with Annandale sophomore Julia Ghiselli 27th in 18:14. Broad Run junior Ellie Desmond, 31st in 18:17, Woodbridge senior Laura Webb, 47th in 18:35, and John Champe junior Bethany Graham, 50th in 18:37 rounded out the top 50. Herndon junior Colin McCauley’s 81st place finish in 16:18 led Northern Virginia finishers, though DCXC Invitational senior race winner Daniel O’Brien, a junior at the Virginia Episcopal School, qualified for the national meet, finishing third in 15:07.

Maryland and D.C. runners competed at Van Courtlandt Park in New York City for the Foot Locker Northeast meet. Poolesville senior Nandini Satsangi led local Maryland finishers in 49th place in 19:40 and Sophia Hanway, a sophomore at D.C.’s National Cathedral School, finished 65th in 19:55. Bullis junior Nicholas Karayanis led local Maryland finishers in 40th place, running 16:29, and St. Albans sophomore Damien Hackett was D.C.’s top finisher in a tie for 53rd place, running 16:41.

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