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 James Moreland
June 4, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
Here it was a cacophony. It was a city of runners and walkers. The weather was glorious. “Isn’t it great to know that every year more participants of the Susan B. Komen Global Race for the Cure are wearing the [Proud Pink] of the survivor?” Everyone is touched by someone in their lives as proof of the tens of thousands of participants, nearly 7,000 who ran in the 5K event. For several hours the river of humanity streamed up and down main street Washington, DC to celebrate life, remembrance, hope, and the search for the cure.
At times the music was deafening for those closest to it but they were announcing their presence to the world. There were many testimonials and videos on the big screen. Most telling was the Komen plan to insist on even more access to have earlier screening and prevention. To let the health industry and Congress know that some awareness was not enough and that a cure for everyone would be relentlessly sought after.
The event took up nearly half of the mall from Third to Seventh Street with the music beginning at dawn. The 5K running began at 8:00 AM and hundreds of runners were still getting lined up. It would take many minutes for everyone to cross the ChronoTrack mats but they would insure runners of an accurate net time. Many of the runners were really not here to race today. Still, they were used to lining up for a race. Very few were racing for the best clock time; they were having the best time participating.
Many of the runners did not understand the need for age, which is to clarify their competition. First you can be the overall winner, than you can be the best in your age group. Nearly all the large races have five year age groups. For this event many people left off their age or responded, “fifties,” or “old.” Some just gave us the month and day and left us to ponder. For this event the two main categories are survivor and everyone else. This was their day to be proud and to celebrate and earn our applause.
Close to forty thousands others composed of friends and family started their parade-like celebration at 8:15 a block away. All would unite in the next two hours at the finish line.
Wilson Komen (left), one of the elite runners in the region, is back and added to his winning streak his second overall win in the last two weeks in a very nice 15:35. Four twenty-something runners battled down the final straightaway on Independence for the next spot. The top masters division runner was Henry Wigglesworth, 53, who recently moved back to Washington after have been away for a couple decades. His time was a national–class 17:05.
Top ranked Michelle Miller bolted out early for the honor of being the top woman in the race, finishing in 17:35. With more than twice as many women in the race as men, her time was just a stride behind the 11th fastest man, Tom Beekhuysen, who was the second masters division finisher.
The next six women all finished faster than 19:00. The sixth place finisher, Katie Sutton, 31, of Kirkwood, MO was the first survivor. Her time of 18:44 proved she still has plenty of life in her.
Hundred of volunteers donated their time to make this event a success.
Top ten men
Pl Div/Tot Num Name Age Hometown Gun T Net T Pace == ======== ==== =================== === ================ ===== ===== === 1 1/387 7942 Wilson Komen 33 Washington DC 15:35 15:34 5:01 2 1/449 4955 Jason Myers 25 Alexandria VA 16:09 16:08 5:12 3 2/449 7988 Andrew Sovonick 25 Gaithersburg MD 16:12 16:12 5:13 4 3/449 7084 Matthew Logan 25 Washington DC 16:15 16:15 5:14 5 4/449 7527 Chris Pruitt 28 Arlington VA 16:19 16:19 5:16 6 5/449 6625 Jossi Fritz-Mauer 26 Ardmore PA 16:32 16:32 5:20 7 6/449 1982 Brian McCabe 25 Washington DC 16:40 16:40 5:22 8 1/182 1848 John Black 23 Arlington VA 16:53 16:52 5:26 9 1/114 7142 Henry Wigglesworth 53 Washington DC 17:05 17:05 5:31 10 2/387 11145 Daniel Yi 31 Alexandria VA 17:17 17:16 5:34
Photo below: Henry Wigglesworth, 53, make it look easy, finishing ninth overall.
Top Ten Women
Pl Div/Tot Num Name Age Hometown Gun T Net T Pace == ======== ==== =================== === ================ ===== ===== ===== 1 1/814 6837 Michelle Miller 30 Damascus MD 17:36 17:35 5:40 2 2/814 7151 Meghan Ridgley 32 Vienna VA 18:15 18:15 5:53 3 3/814 11449 Catherine Seaton 32 Raleigh NC 18:27 18:26 5:56 4 1/533 7800 Janet Whittaker 37 Washington DC 18:31 18:30 5:58 5 1/1086 2709 Kaitlin Sheedy 28 Arlington VA 18:41 18:37 6:00 6 4/814 42648 Katie Sutton 31 Kirkwood MO 18:44 18:44 6:02 7 5/814 4021 Martha Nelson 30 Chevy Chase MD 18:59 18:59 6:07 8 2/1086 7443 Terri Firedline 29 Fairfax VA 19:40 19:24 6:15 9 2/533 3917 Chrissy Graham 37 Olney MD 19:31 19:29 6:17 10 1/100 5210 Paige Callahan 18 Annapolis MD 19:56 19:48 6:23
Photo below: first female masters division finisher Sandrine Falgon, 40, hurries after Kelly Devine just off the 20:00 mark.