By Dickson Mercer
May 15, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
Name a local road race and Wilson Komen has probably won it. In 2005 and 2006, not long after the Eldoret, Kenya native moved to Washington, DC, the now 33-year-old runner more or less ruled the local roads. After winning the Capitol Hill Classic, though, Komen admitted that today’s race was his first taste of victory in quite some time.
“I just wanted to get a race in and see how I could do,” Komen said shortly before the awards ceremony. “I’m happy with it. It’s been awhile since I won a race.”
Komen won the Capitol Hill Classic, a challenging 10K race that starts and finishes at Stanton Park, at 5th and C streets in northeast Washington, DC, on a sunny, slightly humid morning in 32:24. Garrett Ash, 27 from Connecticut took second in 33:29. He then cruised to victory in the 3K, held about two hours after the 10K in 10:14.
This year’s Capitol Hill Classic, which offers a 10K, 3K, and fun run on historic Capitol Hill, had about 3,000 participants who traveled to the event from more than 20 states.
Kumsa Eticha, 27, of Washington, DC took third in 33:49, a day after placing second in the We’ve Got Your Back 5K in Reston, VA.
Local ace Maggie Infeld, 25, of Washington, DC was the top female, running 36:37 to hold off Alexandria, VA’s Lisa Thomas, 35, by 29 seconds. Kristi Markowicz, 41, of Arlington, VA took third in 38:24.
Top finishers received prize money of $200, $150, and $100, respectively. The top male masters finisher was DC resident Rodney Loeppky, running 35:51to place fifth overall. Markowicz was the top female masters finisher in matching her time that earned her second place in the Winter Runner Rankings.
Although Komen is losing track of the exact number, the Georgetown Running Company employee and Reebok-sponsored runner guesses he has run at least 30 marathons. In peak form, he ran 2:18:26, good for 14th place at the 2006 Boston Marathon. That same year, he placed third at the hilly Under Armour Baltimore Marathon in 2:17:06. More recently, Komen, who has dealt with hamstring problems in recent years, took third at the SunTrust National Marathon in 2:31:00.
“I’m going to pick it up now, just see what I can I do,” Komen said.
Sheika Brown, 29, of Frederick, MD finished 391st out of almost 1,000 female finishers in 58:29. She ran the Frederick Half Marathon on May 7 but said she had always wanted to run the Capitol Hill Classic.
Steve Coles, on the other hand, had run the race before. In 2000 the 53-year-old Frederick resident said he took up running as an incentive to quit smoking cigarettes. Eleven years later, Coles said he no longer smokes, and mixes the Capitol Hill Classic in with two marathons and several 10Ks he races every year. The course, he said, passes by the DC native’s former rival high school, Eastern Senior.
The Capitol Hill Classic was founded 32 years ago. Proceeds from the nonprofit race benefit Capitol Hill Cluster, a public school with three campuses: the Peabody Early Childhood Center, Watkins Elementary, and Stuart-Hobson Middle School.
Traditionally the race has started at 8:30 a.m., race director Don Montuori said. Due to events related to National Police Week, this year’s race started an hour earlier so Independence Avenue would not be blocked to traffic after 9:00 a.m. Also, to stay clear of Independence Avenue, the 3K course was rerouted on race day (and measured at 2 miles by the police patrol car).
After directing the race for his sixth year, Montouri, a runner and Capitol Hill resident, said the cost for putting on the Capitol Hill Classic has been on the rise since 2002. Combined fees to Metropolitan Police and the city have quadrupled since then to about $33,000, which used to be roughly equivalent to the amount that the race would raise for Capitol Hill Cluster.
“It’s a question for the PTA next year to decide whether we can afford to have it,” Montouri said.
The course, which takes runners along Massachusetts Avenue, around Lincoln Park and down to East Capitol Street before sending runners back for a loop around the U.S. Capitol, has not changed much since the event was founded, Montouri said. Race volunteer Mike Soderman called it a “runner’s course.” Komen, who ran the last four miles alone, described it as a “little challenging.”
The course record for men is 30:38, set by Gurmessa Kumsa in 2006. The women’s course record is 35:27, run by Heather Hanscom in 2002.
Afterward, an awards ceremony was held in Stanton Park. In front of the statue of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, mats were laid out in the grass and many runners cooled down with a yoga session.
It would be a shame to lose this longest-running 10K race in the District of Columbia. This one has grown very nicely, and has become more than just a neighborhood event, attracting runners from all over the region as well as 27 different states. As typical of races today, this one included a wide range of ages from toddler to octogenarians; the sexes tip back and forth for majority participation, with women today holding the edge.
Awards Listing Age Group Awards Based on Net Times MALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 Wilson Komen 33 Washington DC 32:24 2 Garrett Ash 27 Manchester CT 33:29 3 Kumsa Ethicha 27 Washington DC 33:49 FEMALE Place Name Ag City Time ===== ======================= == ===================== ======= 1 Maggie Infeld 25 Washington DC 36:37 2 Lisa Thomas 35 Alexandria VA 37:06 3 Kristi Markowicz 41 Arlington VA 38:24 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 1 - 9 1 Ava Cavanaugh 8 Washington DC 51:30 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 10 - 14 1 Jackson Todd 12 Washington DC 48:47 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 10 - 14 1 Taylor Knibb 13 Washington DC 47:08 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 19 1 Thomas Smyth 18 Washington DC 40:03 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 19 1 Margaret Haley 18 Usaf Academy CO 45:02 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 20 - 24 1 Alexander Wepsala 23 Washington DC 39:01 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 20 - 24 1 Anna Novick 22 Hayama Machi 39:19 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 25 - 29 1 Matt Shechtman 26 Atlanta GA 36:11 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 25 - 29 1 Susan Hendrick 25 Washington DC 38:45 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 34 1 Daniel Yi 30 Alexandria VA 36:39 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 34 1 Laura Ramos 32 Silver Spring MD 40:59 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 35 - 39 1 Andrew Lipscomb 36 Alexandria VA 36:43
Photo below: Arrington Peterson (#2205) and Mary Robison (#2439), both 12, hold hands to finish the 2-mile race in 16:35.
By Brenda Barrera
March 26, 2011
For Washington Running Report
Long lines of racers get underway.
Under clear skies, chilly race temperatures in the 30s, and the backdrop of the RFK Stadium, more than 13,000 runners finished this year’s SunTrust National Marathon, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half Marathon, and United Way National Team Relay in the Nation’s Capital, setting an all-time record number of participants.
SunTrust National Marathon
While it may not have been a surprise to local fans that Michael “Mr. National Marathon” Wardian earned his fifth SunTrust National Marathon title in six years, this running icon never takes anything for granted. Coming off a disappointing third place finish at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon last week, the Arlington runner had a look of determination as he lined up at the start.
“I was not happy with my last race so I took off my watches for this one,” said Wardian who usually wears more than one watch when he races. His strategy of “attacking each mile” paid off with a 2:23:01 victory, but his main goal is to run a 2:19:00 qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials.
How is this win compared to his other four at this event? “This was really special,” said Wardian as he held his two boys, Pierce and Grant, in each arm after completing the 26.2-mile race.
Canadian Greg Wieczorek, 29, finished five minutes later in 2:28:08. Compared to racing in the far north Wieczorek quipped, “This is beach weather!” He stayed at the finish to greet his wife, Maura, 29, who notched a seven minute PR with her 3:06:05 finish. Another familiar runner from the local scene is Wilson Komen. He finished third in 2:31:00, despite missing the marathon split-off and ran with the half marathoners before realizing his mistake and turning back to get on the right course.
In the women’s competition, Russian Nadezhda Tuptova, 35, who is training in Gainesville, FL, won in 2:50:53. Virginia Beach’s Renee High, 29, (photo) took second place in 2:53:05 and Beth Woodward, 35, from Orrville, OH rounded out the top three in 3:01:26.
Chris McDonald, 51, from South Riding, VA was the lone wheelchair competitor. He completed the marathon in 3:08:17.
For Yvette Ju (Rockville, MD) today’s race was extra special. She celebrated her birthday with 2,866 other marathoners, finishing in 4:29:42. It was also Casey Simpson’s (Columbia, MD) birthday and she ran a 1:55:42 half marathon to celebrate her big day. Other half marathon birthday runners included Douglas Edgecomb (Washington, DC) who finished in 1:52:24 and Sam Hadley (Arlington, VA) who ran 2:39:31. Ryan Leirvik (Arlington, VA) also completed the half marathon and wanted to let everyone know it was his big day. He wore a t-shirt that had this on it: “My name is Ryan and today is my birthday!”
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half Marathon
As with the marathon, it was a local finisher who broke the tape first followed by a Canadian. Gurmessa Mergerssa, 31, from Washington, DC (photo) finished just ten seconds ahead of Canadian Adam Hortian, 1:07:16 to 1:07:26. Mergerssa also won the Scope It Out 5K in 14:55 last weekend. Defending champion Mark Fruin, 25, from Bloomington, IN did not run nearly as fast as he did last year and had to settle for third place in 1:08:15.
Christine Ramsey described 2010 as an “off” year. If this race is any indication, 2011 looks to be an “on” year. The 28-year-old from Baltimore won in 1:17:01. Tezeta Dengersa, 30, from Butsonville, MD finished second in 1:17:15. Local ace Maggie Infeld, 24, from Washington, DC was all smiles after today’s race with her 1:18:28 finish.
To see Rachael Holt and Christina Glasener, 16, (photo below) together you might think they were related since they look alike and both finished in 1:42. Holt was beaming as she introduced Glasener, “I’m so proud of her!” But they aren’t related. Holt mentors Glasener in the popular Teens RunDC program, which empowers at-risk youth to envision and work toward achieving their personal goals through mentoring and a distance running program.
Many of the participants in today’s events support various charities like T.J. Senker, 34, from Baltimore who was running in support of Back On My Feet Baltimore, a nonprofit organization that works with the homeless to build confidence, strength, and self-esteem through running. “Volunteering with this group is really rewarding and inspiring,” he said after finishing the half marathon.
In addition to these two events were the Kids RunDC Monumental Mile and the United Way National Team Relay consisting of three participants with two runners completing 5 miles and the final runner finishing the last 3.1 miles. The Excella-Team from Arlington won in 1:26:34 (6:37 pace). In all, 274 teams competed this year.
For additional coverage, be sure to check out the May/June issue ofWashington Running Report: The Runner’s Source for DC, MD & VA.
Marathon Top Five Men Overall Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 2:23:01 Michael Wardian 36 1 Arlington VA 2 2:28:08 Greg Wieczorek 29 8 Halifax NS CAN 3 2:31:00 Wilson Komen 33 5 Washington DC 4 2:31:31 Dustin Whitlow 24 6 Arlington VA 5 2:33:42 Joe Kelly 25 3692 Arlington VA Record 2:21:17.6 by Patrick Moulton in 2009 Top Three Men Masters Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 2:49:10 Steven Peterson 45 2365 Fairfax Station VA 2 2:50:53 Thomas Jensen 47 1558 Oakton VA 3 2:51:16 Sean Reilly 42 4283 Toms River NJ Top Five Women Overall Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 2:50:53 Nadezhda Tuptova 35 20 Gainesville FL 2 2:53:05 Renee High 29 28 Virginia Beach VA 3 3:01:26 Beth Woodward 35 17 Orrville OH 4 3:03:12 Lisa Reichmann 36 16 Gaithersburg MD 5 3:03:39 Amanda West 34 3198 New York NY Record 2:48:38.1 by Jeannette Seckinger in 2009 Top Three Women Masters Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 3:07:57 Karine Falgon 40 62 3100 Montlucon FRA 2 3:10:44 Cheri Fine 46 1069 Atlanta GA 3 3:11:05 Claudette Augert 47 299 Edmonton AB CAN Half Marathon Top Five Men Overall Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 1:07:16 Gurmessa Mergessa 31 5218 Washington DC 2 1:07:26 Adam Hortian 26 5221 Waterloo ON CAN 3 1:08:15 Mark Fruin 25 5233 Bloomington IN 4 1:08:25 Charlie Hurt 27 5223 Richmond VA 5 1:08:36 Craig Schmidt 27 5257 Sheboygan WI Record 1:05:02 by Mark Fruin in 2010 Top Five Women Overall Place Guntime Name Age Bib# City State ===== ======= ======================= === ===== =========================== 1 1:17:01 Christine Ramsey 28 5226 Baltimore MD 2 1:17:15 Tezeta Dengersa 30 5219 Burtonsville MD 3 1:18:28 Maggie Infeld 24 5212 Washington DC 4 1:20:07 Laura Onderko 24 5214 Philadelphia PA 5 1:20:51 Emily McGregor 24 5209 Philadelphia PA Record 1:15:35.9 by Hirut Mandefro in 2009
By Brenda Barrera with contribution from Dickson Mercer
March 13, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
(Photos by Lea Gallardo and Kathy Freedman)
It is an Irish blessing familiar to many, “May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face . . .”
When Laurence Simms from the Embassy of Ireland welcomed runners to the starting line with this traditional blessing, it had new meaning for race organizers, Capital Running Company. They were blessed with the highest turnout in the 23-year history of the St. Patrick’s Day 8K as more than 5,500 finishers kicked off the spring racing season with this favorite downtown Washington, DC event.
After winning this race two years ago and finishing fourth last year, local star Demesse Tefera (photo) captured his second St. Patrick’s Day 8K title today in 24:22, holding off Oklahoma’s Mark Thompson who took second in 24:28.
The Washington, DC resident by way of Ethiopia said he split from the lead pack after passing the opening mile in 4:50. He felt like the pace was too slow, he said, gapped the lead pack and ran solo the rest of the way. And though his time was well off his 8K personal best of 23:07, Tefera described today’s effort as “good training” for March 26’s National Half Marathon where he hopes to break 1:05:00 in the half marathon.
Jordan McDougal of Culpeper, VA took third in 24:44, five seconds ahead of course record holder Gurmessa Megerssa.
In the women’s competition, the top two finishers from Washington, DC took off from the rest of field battling for top honors. Tezata Dengarsa, 30, (left) bested the defending champion, Maggie Infeld, 24, by half a minute, 28:03 to 28:32. Behind them it was an even closer battle for the next two spots between Muliye Gurmu, 27, from Bronx, NY and Katie O’Regan, 26, from Lebanon, PA.
“She (Gurmu) was on my shoulder for most of the race and then just surged ahead,” said O’Regan, a Cornell standout, now racing for the PA-based Keystone Track Club.
Douglas Woods, 41, of Gaithersburg, MD took top place in the 40-44 age group with his 29:33 finish; a nice 5:55 pace. On the cusp of sixty, Chuck Moeser (below) returned to the racing scene after a long hiatus finishing in 30:18. Afterward, he shared that he thoroughly enjoyed his time exploring skydiving and rock climbing, but now he is looking forward to some road racing.
Jack McMahon earned the title of the oldest competitor. At 80 years old, the Silver Spring, MD runner crossed the line in 45:29, besting his time from last year by 28 seconds. Just goes to show, you truly can get faster as you get older.
Leesburg’s Peggy Yetman, 42, easily won the women’s 40-44 age division with her 31:20 finish. Alisa Harvey, 45, from Manassas finished eighth overall in 30:12. Next up for the Washington Running Report columnist is a track meet in Richmond in a few weeks. Washington, DC’s Jacqueline O’Neil, 79, the oldest women’s competitor, was asked if she felt the luck of the Irish today. She admitted that she’s IBM (Irish By Marriage), but attributed her good health and longevity to supplementing her low running mileage with walking.
New to this year’s event was the Team Competition and 42 Coed Teams competed with creative names like, “The Furious Leprechauns” and “Sham-Rockers.” The TRS Racing Team of Jordan McDougal, Joseph Delclos, Alisa Harvey, and Ellins Thomas, were the overall champions in 28:57. No one could miss the 60+ members of the FBI National Academy Team. Per their captain, Mark Jackson, it was a great way to conclude a 10-week training program.
For many participants, not only was it the first race of the season but their first foray into road racing. Beth Roselius, from Morgantown, WV (in photo below-right) decided to run with and support her sister, Katherine Kelley, 28, from Reston, VA, a newbie. Dressed in matching blue tops and sporting St. Patrick’s Day 8K tattoos on their cheeks, both said they were thrilled to share the experience. “I wasn’t sure if I could make the distance,” said Kelley, “but she [Beth] kept telling me, ‘You can do it!’”
Be sure to check the May/June issue ofWashington Running Report for additional race coverage.
Awards Listing MALE 1 6436 Demesse Tefara 27 M WASHINGTON DC 24:22 2 3907 Mark Thompson 32 M EDMOND OK 24:28 3 4480 Jordan McDougal 23 M CULPEPER VA 24:44 4 11 Gurmessa Megerssa 31 M WASHINGTON DC 24:49 5 12 Demse Mulata 24 M WASHINGTON DC 24:51 6 8 Robert Wade 28 M ARLINGTON VA 25:14 7 1100 Charlie Hurt 27 M RICHMOND VA 25:26 8 3 Adam Condit 27 M ASHBURN VA 25:39 9 6461 Allen Carr 27 M WASHINGTON DC 25:58 10 7 Dave Miller 27 M ARLINGTON VA 26:17 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 01 - 19 1 5510 Michael Wegner 14 M Columbia MD 26:52 26:51 5:24 2 3852 Joseph Delclos 17 M Warrenton VA 29:44 29:41 5:59 3 3916 Ben Naughton 19 M Takoma Park MD 29:47 29:46 6:00 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 20 - 24 1 6189 Scott Allen 23 M Washington DC 26:24 26:24 5:19 2 10 Dustin Whitlow 24 M Arlington VA 26:35 26:34 5:21 3 3837 Chris Daniels 24 M Washington DC 30:03 30:02 6:03 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 25 - 29 1 4184 Jason Fitzgerald 27 M Silver Spring MD 26:26 26:26 5:19 2 6270 Dickson Mercer 29 M Washington DC 26:38 26:37 5:22 3 5355 Garrett Ash 27 M Manchester CT 27:01 27:01 5:27 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 30 - 34 1 5246 Nick Gramsky 33 M Vienna VA 27:03 27:02 5:27 2 3917 Matt Straughn 34 M Glenn Dale MD 27:09 27:09 5:28 3 121 Eddie Valentine 31 M Arlington VA 27:45 27:45 5:35 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 35 - 39 1 5223 David Wertz 35 M Arlington VA 26:47 26:46 5:23 2 395 Ramsey Wilson 38 M Falls Church VA 28:40 28:37 5:46 3 562 Michael Sheehy 38 M Washington DC 28:38 28:37 5:46 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 40 - 44 1 3271 Douglas Woods 41 M Gaithersburg MD 29:23 29:23 5:55 2 596 Kevin Bell 42 M Reston VA 29:30 29:27 5:56 3 6061 Jack Lovett 41 M Newport News VA 29:31 29:30 5:57 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 45 - 49 1 6532 Robert Denmark 45 M Arlington VA 29:23 29:19 5:54 2 1788 Paul Jacobson 47 M Gaithersburg MD 29:39 29:38 5:58 3 2574 Tom Beekhuysen 47 M Herndon VA 30:31 30:30 6:08 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 50 - 54 1 5393 Henry Wigglesworth 53 M Washington DC 28:23 28:22 5:43 2 32 Jean-Christophe Arcaz 50 M Rockville MD 28:36 28:36 5:46 3 6498 Albino Castro 51 M Brookeville MD 31:07 31:06 6:16 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 55 - 59 1 31 Chuck Moeser 59 M Potomac Falls VA 30:18 30:17 6:06 2 6294 Peter Darmody 55 M Gaithersburg MD 30:44 30:43 6:11 3 6236 Tom Ruckert 58 M Grantsville MD 31:48 31:43 6:23 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 60 - 64 1 3944 Richard Adams Jr 60 M Herndon VA 33:45 33:43 6:47 2 4042 Michael Wesbecher 63 M Oakton VA 34:32 34:22 6:55 3 4987 Marc Wolfson 61 M Olney MD 36:18 36:14 7:18 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 65 - 69 1 5432 Jim Noone 66 M Fairfax VA 34:09 34:05 6:52 2 2795 Mike Golash 67 M Washington DC 36:45 36:40 7:23 3 159 John Churchman 68 M Arlington VA 39:45 39:36 7:58 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 70 - 74 1 6591 Malcolm O'Hagan 70 M Chevy Chase MD 41:40 39:20 7:55 2 16 Chan Robbins 73 M Arlington VA 41:14 41:12 8:18 3 1546 Bill Sollers 71 M Silver Spring MD 46:13 44:01 8:52 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 75 - 79 1 4732 Skip Grant 75 M Chevy Chase MD 39:51 39:43 8:00 2 2237 Alan Rider 75 M Reston VA 44:00 43:58 8:51 3 5801 Henry Guyot 76 M Washington DC 44:36 44:26 8:57 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME - NET PACE 80 - 99 1 3244 Jack McMahon 80 M Silver Spring MD 45:29 45:20 9:08 MALE FIRST TIME RACER: NET TIME - NET PACE 1 - 99 1 4411 Greg Young 22 M Ballston Lake NY 33:50 33:35 6:46