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March 23, 2014 9AM

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COVER PHOTO : PAUL THISTLE on Pennsylvania Avenue for the Jingle All the Way 8k.

PHOTO BY SWIM BIKE RUN PHOTOGRAPHY

LETTERS / CONTRIBUTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF THE BEATEN PATH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MILITARY RUNNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIRGINIA TECH TRACK TEAM REFORMS . . . . . YEAR END RANKINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPCOMING RACES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LEGENDS OF THE BALLPARK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DOWN FROM DAY ONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STILL ON TWO FEET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EAT TO RUN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE ROAMIN’ CATHOLIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE MISSING PIECE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MORE THAN THE MILES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CELEBRATE RUNNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

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Publisher Kathy Dalby RunWashington Media LLC Editor in Chief Charlie Ban charlie@runwashington.com Senior Editor Dickson Mercer dickson@runwashington.com CREATIVE / production AZER CREATIVE www.azercreative.com Sales Director Denise Farley denise@runwashington.com 703-855-8145 Customer Service office@runwashington.com branding ORANGEHAT LLC The entire contents of RunWashington are copyright ©2014 by RunWashington Media, LLC. All rights reserved, and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, results, or other materials are welcome but are not returnable and are preferred via electronic communication to charlie@ runwashington.com. Please inform yourself of applicable copyright and privacy laws before submitting for publication; if we decide to publish your submitted material we conduct no such checks and you alone will ultimately be responsible for any violations of any laws including infringement and copyright. Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, advertiser, or sponsors. Back issues are available for $5.00 for each copy to cover postage and handling. RunWashington is published six times yearly by RunWashington Media LLC, 4544 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Complimentary copies are mailed to subscribers, area businesses and events. Be advised that running is a strenuous sport and you should seek the guidance of a medical professional before beginning an exercise regimen.

/runwashington @runwashington

PHOTO BY SWIM BIKE RUN PHOTOGRAPHY

What was the first place you ran in the Washington, D.C. area? It can be hard to remember, but I recall mine. On May 7, 2001, I was visiting Centreville, Va. With no idea where to run, my girlfriend’s mom sent me down to the end of the street, “There’s a trail there,” she said. I didn’t believe her, having seen only subdivisions as I navigated western Fairfax County. But a few minutes later I was meandering through Cub Run Park, about to find that seemingly every D.C. suburb had some kind of path. I didn’t get lost, run in the shadow of the Capitol or up through the zoo (page 39), but it was memorable enough that every time I run through a suburban recreational path, I compare it to Cub Run Park. I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the runner rankings on our website. Though we update them weekly, so runners can see how their races impacted their standings a few days later, we’ll print the final year’s standings for posterity in this issue (page 23). We had quite a year for local running and I think that our new system — one that compares competitiveness rather than outright speed — will suit our racing community well. If you just want to run for speed, run on a time trial on the track. Road racing, with course strategy and a mix of age group runners, is a different animal, and I think our ranking system — which yielded an equal number of men and women in the top 10 — tackles it pretty well. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find some delicious recipes from local dieticians and epicureans (page 47). Hopefully they’ll help you fuel for, and treat yourself after, your training runs. The only thing I ate before my last marathon was a handful of Sour Patch Kids, so I can certainly learn a thing or two about running nutrition. As we go to print, Chris Murrer (page 59) is coming back from Jordan, where he spent most of a week running through the desert. Is that better or worse than the Polar Vortex, which is apparently headed our way again? And, for Easter, we have a story about a running priest (page 52). See you out there, — Charlie MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 3


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Caitlin,

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-Charlie The January/February issue of the RunWashington Magazine contains many interesting and worthwhile articles but the one that caught my attention was the cover story Military Running. Not only has John Mullen made an amazing recovery but his determination to do everything he used to do is nothing short of remarkable. What a truly courageous man he is! And much credit must go to Rachel Beckmannm, who wrote the story. Can one imagine how difficult it must be to learn to run on those curved flexible blades? Is there a person alive who is not utterly moved when she describes John, “As a man who selflessly served his country, overcame the loss of both legs and continues to pursue everything in life with a fervor and passion unmatched by most.” Stories like Military Running help make your publication well worth reading. Keep up the good work! Dixon Hemphill Fairfax Station, Va.

Rachael Burke (More than Miles) ran her first marathon as a personal challenge and immediately wondered if she could run farther. So she became an ultra-marathoner and discovered her niche. Her goal is to keep exploring new challenges and make running an adventure. Rachael learned how to “run long” with the Yokota Striders in Tokyo before moving to Alexandria, Va. Most days, you’ll see her near the W&OD or the Cross County trails. She teaches college composition and rhetoric and is working toward her Ph.D. Melissa Dorn (The Roamin’ Catholic), who recently started Lissa Ryan Photography, has been a Washingtonian since coming to Georgetown University for undergrad. She runs a variety of races in the area, and finished the 2011 Chicago Marathon. Learn more at http:// www.lissaryanphotography.com/. Jacqueline Klimas (Eat to Run, Run to Eat) now reports on the U.S. Congress for the Washington Times. She previously wrote for Navy Times. Jake Klim (Off the Beaten Path) has written a book, Attack on Orleans, a non-fiction historical account documenting the only time the American mainland was struck by enemy fire during the First World War. Katie Lingan (Down from Day One) has been taking photos for seven years. She specializes in portraiture simply because she loves interacting with other people and has a passion for capturing the stories of family, friends, and even strangers. She is currently studying at George Mason University where she plans to receive her BFA in Photography in the Spring of 2015. Dustin Renwick (Legends of the Ballpark) and Maggie Lloyd teamed up to win the Stupid Cupid (singles) team competition at the Love the Run You’re With 5k, running as “Team RunningWritingRithmetic.” Dustin Whitlow (Legends of the Ballpark) runs for the newly-formed Potomac River Running / DC Elite team and is training for the Gettysburg North-South Marathon. He also cycles for National Capitol Velo Club and completed his first season of road racing with them last year. Outside of running and cycling heenjoy photography, especially sports and concerts, as well as eating a lot of Mexican food, pizza, and sushi, and trying out new IPAs.

Dixon, Thank you! When a pair of friends introduced me to John at a dinner party last summer, his excitement about the prospect of getting his “running legs” peeked through his stoic demeanor. -Charlie Please send feedback to charlie@runwashington.com, so we know how we’re doing!

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RunWashington regrets the following errors in its January/February 2014 issue:

Page 3: The photo was taken by Rebekah Hanover Pettit Page 32: Mick Slonaker resides in Columba, Md., not Cumberland


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BY JAKE KLIM The first time I ever visited Lake Frank I went there to hike, not to run. I had looked at the lake on Google Maps and concluded that the green space around the lake wasn’t that large; surely too small to get in a decent run. However, half way through my hike, I cursed the fact I had left my running shoes at home. Located in Derwood just east of Rockville in Montgomery County, Lake Bernard Frank, as it is officially known, is a hidden gem complete with rolling trails, friendly goats, and caged birds of prey. There are two access points to the trails surrounding the 54-acre reservoir – one off of Avery Road and the other at the Meadowside Nature Center. In addition, a connector trail was recently completed, which joins Lake Frank to the Rock Creek Trail just north of the Route 27/ Norbeck Road overpass. I typically park at the Avery Road entrance and run counter-clockwise around the lake. The Lakeside Trail, the loop that circles the lake, is between 3 and 4 miles, but there are numerous side trails and connectors that crisscross it, which are definitely worth exploring. I’ve run upwards of 9 miles here with very little repetition. You begin by descending a very steep hill and follow the asphalt bike path across the top of a large earthen dam. The path then meanders through the first of two old parking lots, which are slowly being reclaimed by nature. Years ago, some person of authority erected a chain across Trailway Drive so cars are no longer allowed access, but visitors can still enter the trails here on bikes and on foot from a nearby neighborhood. The bike path/road you’ve been running on for the past 1.25 miles turns to dirt at the far end of the second parking lot. From here on out you’ll be on real trails for the remainder of the run. The going is fairly easy, but the occasional rock or root has been known to take down a runner from time to time (myself included). On your right you’ll pass a few of the side trails mentioned in the beginning of this 6 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

article. Some are better than others, but all are worth exploring. They are all loops or outand-backs that will eventually connect you back to the Lakeside Trail so there is no worry about getting lost. By now, the lake on your left has morphed into a creek. Depending on how much rain we’ve had, it’s possible at two locations to frog hop your way across it on rocks and pick up the trail on the other side. But, the trail here is nice, so I like to follow the creek until I reach Muncaster Mill Road then use the road to cross the creek and continue back on the other side – this will also add a half mile or so to your total. To your right you’ll see numerous trails, which switchback up to the Meadowside Nature Center. I like hills, so I head this way and take a moment to look at he various birds of prey housed in an outdoor aviary behind the nature center – owls, vultures, hawks and even a bald eagle. From here, you can either run back towards the lake, and your parked car, but since you’ve made it this far, I’d recommend running down towards the study pond, at the bottom of the hill below the nature center, and explore the packed down paths that roll up and over these meadows. Although some of these trails are out-and-backs, they make for great running and the hills always get my heart pumping. The gnarliest hill starts at the covered-bridge and runs past a couple of caged goats, which always seem overly eager to see me run past – (I think they think that I have food). Note that you still have about a mile and half or so back to your parked car, so when you’ve run enough hills and are ready to call it a day, head back towards the lake and hook a right, continuing to keep the lake on your left. The Lakeside Trail from here on out is rarely flat, but by now your legs are warmed up and the roller coaster-like hills are surprisingly fun to traverse. Once you’ve arrived back at the earthen dam, you need to take a hard right and climb the Everest-like hill back to your car, which you ran down at the start of your run.


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www.MarineMarathon.com

organized by

SUN MAY 18 4

Timed, USATF-certified course ÂŤ Age-group awards Benefits the Capitol Hill Cluster School (a DC Public School)

Registration opens January 15th, 2014

www.capitohillclassic.com


by Rachel B eckmann

Sean Barrett racing the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo by MarthonFoto

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He runs with an intensity of a batter beating out a throw to first. Every time. Sean Barrett shows me I had it easy. He was tossed into the Pacific Ocean of sports as a child.  Growing up in San Diego, he faced some of the stiffest competition in baseball, running, soccer, and basketball.    “My favorite was definitely baseball, and I still think there is nothing more fun than batting practice,” Barrett said, rattling off obscure baseball stats I’m convinced only a devoted baseball fanatic could possibly know.   While gifted at all of the sports he pursued, Barrett focused on baseball and running through high school, lettering three times in baseball and four times in cross country and track. Running was where he made his name with state accolades and triple-event performances at the state championships. He also distinguished himself in his studies, and, after graduating from St. Augustine High School in 2003, went to Harvard University, where he majored in economics with a secondary field in government and Spanish.  He ran cross country and track and lettered four times in both sports. He left Harvard with the eighth all-time best performance in the 5k and ninth-best in the 10k on a list of records dating back to 1874.   He could have selected any path in life.  The path he chose, however, was different from most of his fellow Ivy Leaguers and inspired by events that occurred when he was still in High School. Unlike most students who spend their college years searching for their calling, he knew when he was in 11th grade. In 2001, Barrett witnessed the atrocities of September 11th. As a senior at Harvard, he said in an interview, describing his motivations for join the U.S. Marine Corps, “I think this is my generation’s greatest calling.  Fighting for the freedom of others is a uniquely American value. Protecting my family, my country, our values and way of life is of the utmost importance to me.”    In 2007, Barrett attended Officer Candidate School and in just seven short years has already had an extraordinary and distinguished Military Career. He has deployed twice, once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.  On his first deployment to Iraq, he was an advisor to a military transition team (MTT), which train local forces in areas of intelligence, communication, logistics, operations, and infantry tactics.  On his second deployment, he was a Signal Intelligence officer and worked for the National Security Agency (NSA). And after, Barrett was one of only two people in the Marine Corps selected for a two-year fellowship in a strategic intelligence program.   Barrett is in his second year of the fellowship, and has worked with the Department of the Treasury (DOT) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).  One would think a full-time job would be more than enough work, but Barrett is also working toward a PhD in the Department of War Studies through King’s College in London. Throughout his active duty military career, Barrett has continued running.  While

at Harvard, he was first introduced to the All-Marine running team through a training partner whose roommate was a runner for the Marines. After returning from Iraq, Sean trained for his first marathon. On his debut attempt at 26.2 miles, and while representing the AllMarine marathon team, he placed third overall in a time of 2:24 at the Marine Corps Marathon. Barrett was also selected for the AllMarine Cross country team and represented the Marine Corp at four Armed Forces National Cross Country Championships.  At the National Championships, the top finishers qualify to represent the United States at the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Cross Country Championships.  Twice Sean was among the top finishers that qualified to represent the United States at the international event. Even though Barrett races for the Marine Corp., training is his personal responsibility.  He currently runs for Georgetown Running Club and has set his sights on qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon and winning the Marine Corps Marathon. Unfortunately, he has faced a few setbacks. The rigors of Barrett’s second deployment to Afghanistan left him with an injured pelvis.  Since then, he has struggled with gluteal and hamstring injuries.  Despite the efforts of numerous doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, Sean has had six months of inconsistent training and racing.   “Right now my goal is to feel good on a day to day basis and train consistently,” he said, his frustration evident. It also was clear, however, that the difficulty he has faced over the last six months has in no way deterred him from his goals or quelled his spirit.  He has adapted his short term goals, but his eyes are still focused on the future. “Nothing that happens in a race or in a training run is going to shake him,” said Jerry Alexander, Barrett’s coach with the Georgetown Running Club. “He’s been through so much in terms of his career and his running that no matter what you throw at him, nothing is going to slow him down or affect his positive outlook.” That military running career, including a trip to the CISM meet, helped rally his civilian teammates at times. “When we were debating going to Bend, Ore. for the club cross country championships,” Alexander said, “Sean stood up and said, ‘I flew to Serbia and ran a race in mud up to my knees. I can handle Oregon.’” He is a unique breed.  He is a man of extreme intelligence and physical ability with a strong sense of patriotism.  He has used his physical and intellectual gifts to serve his country as a Marine and to represent the United States at prestigious international military running events.  His resume is long and impressive and will continue to grow. This baseball-loving boy from California is obviously destined for greatness. “He loves to run and he’s going to do whatever he can, whatever it takes, to succeed,” Alexander said. MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 11


TRS_PHI_14_Run_Washington_Mar_ad.pdf

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The Virginia Tech track team reforms in Northern Virginia By Charlie Ban RunWashington PhotoS by Sara Alepin

With his professional life ahead of him, Chris Walizer walked away from track and field. After a solid intercollegiate career at Virginia Tech, he was looking forward to his summer trip to Vietnam, where he’d teach physics and coach soccer, before starting a software development job in Northern Virginia. Grown up stuff. Like that was going to last… Within a year, he was getting used to feeling too well-rested, having less of an appetite and all that free time. While he was in college, he never really saw any regression. What could still be. “For me, it was untapped potential,” he said. “I got faster every year, I never slowed down, so I quit at the peak of my running. That was dumb. I needed to get back into it and see how far I can take this thing.” Before he knew it, the bonds he forged over the roads and trails of southwestern Virginia would reform in the Washington suburbs. It started with his roommate, Eddie Judge. Eddie swapped tempo runs and intervals for long nights at the office doing audits. Since they met in a freshman suite at Tech in 2008, they had lived together and trained together. “I was hearing him talk about running, doing workouts again,” Judge said. “It sounded pretty good, like I wanted to get back into it.” After his busy season was done, Judge joined Walizer and the Pacers-New Balance racing team, coached by Dustin Sweeny, ready to hit the track with a vengeance. Little by little, they were getting the band back together. Their Tech roommate, Kieran Lee, was heading down from Frederick, Md., most weekends, so it only made sense for him to join. Lee had kept in shape over the post-graduate year, helping pace another teammate, Ryan Witt, in races throughout Europe. Witt, a Winchester native, joined the team in late January. “I have 40-some cousins in Europe; we only paid to stay one or two nights,” Lee said. “I’d contact meet directors, tell them I had a sub-4 miler and I’d be there as a pacer. I was his agent and manager.” They had a little team among the alreadygrown Pacers-New Balance squad. “As the team started growing last fall, these guys have really been the core,” Sweeney said. “They know the type of runners they expect to be and that familiarity, those friendships, motivate them, because they have been there when they other guys were running their best. Their familiarity helps this be a close-knit team. Instead of a group of fast runners, we have a real team.” MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 13


Virginia Tech alumni Kieran Lee, Eddie Judge and Matt Kroetch.

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Then they found another old friend for the team. While watching a high school cross country meet in the fall, Chris bumped into James Madison high school coach Matt Kroetch, or someone who looked like his Hokie teammate. Plus a couple dozen pounds. “Even as far back as college, I wasn’t as dedicated as these guys,” Kroetch said. “I wouldn’t take care of anything outside of running. My eating was bad. My sleeping was bad. My running on my own was nonexistent.” An appendectomy during grad school put an end to his running for a while, and started him on the road to weight gain. That yo-yoed a bit when he returned to his alma mater, Oakton, to teach and rival James Madison to coach track and cross country. He started to see some inspiration from his athletes. “Watching them train and seeing myself constantly gain weight was sort of depressing,” he said. “Training them to be their best meant encouraging them to make good choices, and I saw how mine kept me from running as fast as I could. They goaded me to start training again, so I could run workouts with them.” His half-serious dreams of being a clydesdale road race champion began to fade when he dipped under 200 pounds. Then his Hokie buddies convinced him to give it a serious shot. He echoed their insistence that there was more he had to leave on the track. “When you’re younger, everyone has dreams or aspirations of doing something incredible with their sport,” he said. “Somewhere I stopped dreaming, but seeing those guys at Monroe Parker and knowing they were training again got me fired up to do it, see what’s left in the tank.” He cut the sweets, the soft drinks, the takeout. Started eating home-cooked meals. It wasn’t easy. “After a few weeks, I wasn’t feeling great,” Kroetch said. “I was eating good food, sleeping a lot, drinking water, but I had these headaches. They went away when I had a Pixie Stick. So I’m probably a little addicted to sugar.” So cold turkey wasn’t this approach. Still, in five months, he’s dropped 30 pounds, and is on his way to fitness. “They’ve all gotten back into shape pretty well and they’re ready to move on beyond their college fitness and chase some PRs again,” Sweeney said. It’s not quite the same as when they led the way for most of the Hokie track team to occupy half the houses on Green Street, behind Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, but they’re recapturing the magic. Kroetch won the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve to head into 2014 with MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 15


Pacers-New Balance coach Dustin Sweeney chats with Kieran Lee.

16 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


momentum. In mid-February, Walizer, Judge and Witt headed up to New York City to run the distance medley relay at the Millrose Games, combining with Stan Peyton to run 10:06.3 for third place. Judge led off with a 3:09.52 for 1200 meters, Stan broke 50 (49.76) for 400, Witt ran 1:55.47 for the 800 and Walizer closed in 4:11.29 in the 1600, passing two other teams on the way home. “It was an important step for the team, getting expertise at that level,” Sweeney said. “Finishing third was even more important than the time they ran. Next year we’ll come back and be ready to challenge to win.”

The Dustin Distance Project His beard is so big because it’s full of secrets. Training secrets that he’s picked up over the years. But Pacers-New Balance coach Dustin Sweeney wasn’t always the disheveled sage of distance running he is today. As a clean-shaven freshman at Clarke County High School near Winchester, he first got his hands on Hal Higdon’s How to Train. Enrapt by stories of hundred-mile weeks and Olympic medals he began training himself, experimenting with high mileage, workouts and periodization. All under the supervision of a high school coach he credited with building great teams and great cultures and giving him the leeway to experiment. “I just started to devour information on running, training, physiology,” he said. “It really became my craft and my focus. I learned what worked and didn’t work.” While a student at nearby Shenandoah University, he returned to his alma mater to coach track. “I was coaching guys I used to run with, I had just turned 19,” he said. “Things picked up after I started to coach year-round.” He started an indoor track program, guided the outdoor program to its first state title before he was 22, and turned out several college runners. He moved on to work with middle distance runners at James Madison University and cross country runners at George Washington University before coaching for Pacers-New Balance “I really learned a lot during that time,” he said. “Running is one thing, but when you have a group to coach, you really get to learn how to handle different personalities and that almost becomes more important than just the physiology.” MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 17


2014

Spring Shoe Guide With spring running finally arriving, lacing up to take advantage of thawing temperatures opens up opportunities for longer distances, big races, and an end to winter’s treadmill routine. With these perks of the season in mind, shoe companies have put forth new-look designs and revisions of their best models. Our rundown of the best Spring 2014 shoes features newcomers and new versions of cornerstone models. Below are our picks for the crop of the season — a variety of minimalist, stability, and cushioned models that will help runners of all stripes make the most of their running this spring.

Nike

Zoom Structure 17

Category: Stability Weight: Men’S 11 oz. | WoMen’S 9 oz. PriCe: $115 WWW.nikerunning.CoM

The latest Zoom Structure 17 provides subtle improvements over last year’s model, boasting Flywire technology in the arch which adapts to foot movement and provides a snug, supportive fit. A moderate stability shoe, the Structure 17 offers a smooth ride with a wedged midsole, adaptive crash pad for smooth foot transition, and a bright, reflective upper—a new aesthetic in many Nike models aimed at promoting low-light visibility. The Zoom Structure 17 provides slight alterations to its previous model throughout, casting an overall likable and familiar running experience.

Hoka One One conqueSt

Category: Stability Weight: Men’S 11.8 oz. | WoMen’S 9.6 oz. PriCe: $170 WWW.hokaoneone.CoM

The Conquest is a hyper-cushioned shoe, eschewing the minimalist trend completely through a 29 millimeter heel stack height and ample cushioning throughout the midsole and forefoot. Boasting a rockered design, the Conquest is designed to keep feet secure and comfortable on uneven and technical surfaces. The Conquest’s upper is lightweight and breathable, keeping the shoe’s weight down despite the ample underfoot cushioning. This shoe is set to make waves this Spring, boosting Hoka One One’s profile in a market not accustomed to mega-cushioned running shoes.

brian o’Connor

Mizuno wave paradox

Category: SuPPort Weight: Men’S 10.6 oz. | WoMen’S 9.6 oz. PriCe: $135 WWW.MizunouSa.CoM

The Mizuno Wave Paradox is an overpronator’s dream, featuring heavy-duty stability in a slim, lightweight frame. The Wave Paradox is 30% lighter than its predecessor, the AP+. As an “extra support” model, the Wave Paradox provides all the creature comforts stability runners expect from the brand, but does so within a lightweight frame with a comfortable upper. SPRING 2014

VALUE SPRING 2014

Brooks Asics

Saucony

Category: Stability Weight: Men’S 11.8 oz. | WoMen’S 8.9 oz. PriCe: $160 WWW.aSiCS.CoM

Category: Stability Weight: Men’S 10 oz. | WoMen’S 8.6 oz. PriCe: $120 WWW.SauCony.CoM

The Asics GEL-Kayano 20 maintains the support and cushioning that has made it a favorite trainer as it reaches its 20th anniversary. The most notable update is a new strategically positioned thin overlay on the upper from the midsole to forefront which enhances stability, feel and overall fit. The women’s version now includes a gender-specific higher midsole height and greater cushioning. The GEL-Kayano 20 continues to offer the stability and cushioning in a high mileage trainer while still delivering a comfortable ride.

The Guide 7 marks the latest iteration of Saucony’s award-winning guidance shoe. Boasting slight modifications from its previous incarnation, the Guide 7 now features PowerGrid upper—a first for the model—which boasts stronger and more resilient foam. Additionally, the latest Guide includes a redesigned midfoot shank, a broader forefoot platform, and more flexibility via deeper forefoot grooves. The Guide 7 weighs the same as its forbearer, leading to a shoe which is all about small improvements over radical redesigns.

Gel-Kayano 20

ESMG-Spring14-ShoeGuide_8.375x10.875.indd All Pages

Guide 7

pureflow 3

SPRING 2014

Category: CuShioning Weight: Men’S 8.7 oz. | WoMen’S 7.3 oz. PriCe: $100 WWW.brookSrunning.CoM

The PureFlow 3 sports a fresh new look and the first full update of both the upper and sole unit since its first launch. The shoe is still the softest model in the collection, and remains true to the philosophies that make it a PureProject Shoe. This newest itineration has increased the IDEAL heel bevel providing a 360 degree point of contact. Repositioning of the Toeflex to include the first two toes, not just the big one, promises increased power through toe-off along with greater independence. Finally the Nav Band has changed materials from fabric to silicon, and has been integrated into the midsole on the medial side. These changes hope to bring about a more consistent conformable fit to the mid foot of the shoe.


SPRING 2014

New Balance

VALUE SPRING 2014

890v4

Under Armour Speedform

Category: neutral Weight: Men’S 8.5 oz. | WoMen’S 6.8 oz. PriCe: $110 SPRING 2014 WWW.neWbalanCe.CoM

Category: lightWeight Weight: Men’S 6 oz. | WoMen’S 5.2 oz. PriCe: $99 WWW.underarMour.CoM

The 890v4 is the heralded new version of the standard New Balance staple, providing a seamless upper, redesigned EVA and blown-rubber outsole, and an overall foot feel that mirrors the comfort and performance of its predecessors—all in a model which is an ounce lighter than ever. The REVlite midsole and no-sew upper create a performance-minded shoe with a slim profile and cushioning in all the right places.

The Speedform is a new shoe from Under Armour, a resurgent brand in the running shoe world. The shoe boasts a snug and contoured fit throughout the heel cup and midfoot while still providing ample toe room. With a 6mm drop and a moderately-cushioned platform throughout the midsole, this lightweight shoe is sure to make a splash this Spring for a brand looking to re-enter the market in a big way.

adidas

Pearl Izumi

Supernova Glide BooSt

Category: neutral Weight: Men’S 10.4 oz. | WoMen’S 8.8 oz. PriCe: $130 WWW.adidaS.CoM

Branching off the success of the Energy Boost, the Supernova Glide Boost is set to be the next shoe to make use of adidas’ new-look sole foam. This marks the first use of the innovative EVA compound foam within a midrange, neutral-profile shoe for the company. The result is a shoe with just enough spring in a lightweight package that is sure to entertain the neutral-shoe enthusiast.

Newton diStance elite

Category: lightWeight Weight: Men’S 7.2 oz. | WoMen’S 6.2 oz. PriCe: $155 WWW.neWtonrunning.CoM

The Newton Distance Elite is the company’s first lightweight shoe, pairing Newton’s characteristic forefoot lugs with a lighter, slimmer shoe. The lugs, along with the shoes’ midsole and upper, are slimmer than in other models. This provides a more gradual entry into the company’s unique design for runners looking to dip a toe in the water, or a lighter frame for those already familiar with Newton’s designs. Testers loved the lighter shoe and the smaller lugs, finding them to provide just the right amount of spring without getting in the way.

Skechers SPRING 2014

Gorun Speed 2

Category: lightWeight Weight: Men’S 6.8 oz | WoMen’S 5.8 oz. PriCe: $110 WWW.SkeCherSPerforManCe.CoM

em road n1

Category: lightWeight Weight: Men’S 8 oz. | WoMen’S 7 oz. PriCe: $120 SPRING 2014 WWW.PearlizuMi.CoM

VALUE

The Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N1 continues to please wear-testers with its low-profile design, responsive ride, and fluidity at footstrike. The E:Motion technology allows this model to be used by a variety of runners. Everyone from the elite athlete looking for a daily trainer to the Clydesdale SPRING 2014 runner needing marathon cushioning, this model can fit the bill across the board. While not as light as many shoes in today’s performance category, the PI Road N1 makes up for its more substantial weight by providing a simplistic outsole, extremely comfortable upper, and an inherent suppleness not found in many competitors.

The Skechers GOrun Speed 2 is an update to last year’s breakout racing shoe, packing many of the same features and foot-feel of the original. This year’s model, however, is lighter and feels slightly less cushioned in the forefoot with a more pronounced rockered heel. Sporting a lightweight upper and unique pod-based outsole, the GOrun Speed 2 is a solid reboot of a dependable racing shoe.

fluid 3 fulcrum

Category: neutral Weight: Men’S 9.6 oz. | WoMen’S 8.4 oz. PriCe: $125 WWW.karhu.CoM

The Karhu Fluid 3 Fulcrum is an efficient everyday shoe for neutral runners looking for a lightweight, responsive shoe with a touch of cushion. The sole unit features a slight lever in the midsole, encouraging a faster heel-to-toe transition for more efficient running. During testing, the Fluid 3 performed well in a variety of conditions and workouts, everything from long trail runs to track sessions and tempo runs on the road.

ABOUT

Karhu

THE AUTHOR Brian O’Connor is the managing editor of runningshoesguru.com (a leading running shoe review website) and an avid runner. When not looking for new trails and uncharted paths in the New York City area, he is responsible for coordinating the website’s reviews and content along with a staff of seasoned runners and writers.

1/29/14 5:57 PM


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A pack of highly-ranked runners, including Chris Kwiatkowski, Paul Thistle, Kieran O’Connor, Sean Barrett, John Zimmerman and John Schroeder start the Clarendon Day 10k. RunWashington Photo by Brian W. Knight/ Swim Bike Run Photography

By Dickso n Me r ce r a nd C ha r lie Ba n No one raced like Claire Hallissey. Not even close. Looking down RunWashington’s top-100 list in our year-end runner rankings for 2013, only six people ran more than six races that were chosen for our rankings. The average total, 4.8, was only slightly higher than the minimum of 3 needed to be ranked for the year. Hallissey ran 20. Not only that, the British Olympian and Arlington resident also earned the distinction of being the fastest runner in 2014 by earning a score of 1016.8. It begs the question: Why would an Olympic-caliber runner enter 20 local races, her results ranging from a sub-56-minute run at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to two outright wins at the Lost Dog 5k series and a 16:45 win (16 seconds faster than the baseline pace) during a downpour at the Crystal City Twilighter 5k? As it happens, last year, “was all about reducing my intensity and simply enjoying getting out and running,” Hallissey said. After representing Britain in the marathon in the London Olympics, Hallissey said she wanted to take a break from highly focused training, race for fun. She also started working full-time, which limited how much time she could put into training as intensely as she did two years ago, when she ran 2:27 for the marathon two years ago and made the Olympic team. “I’m looking to step my training up a bit in 2014 now that I have plenty of recovery time,” she said.

1 Claire Hallissey 2 Chris Kwiatkowski 3 Nahom Mesfin 4 Kerri Gallagher 5 Josef Tessema 6 Kristin (Anderson) Swisher 7 Paul Thistle 8 Christopher Mills 9 Susanna Sullivan 10 Waynishet Abebe

30 24 24 24 24 30 26 23 23 27

1016.8 1014.1 1013.33 1013 1010 1009.67 1009.33 1008 1007.53 1005.33

20 4 5 4 8 4 6 9 6 7

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 23


A Changing Scene

2 3 5 7 8 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 33

Chris Kwiatkowski Nahom Mesfin Josef Tessema Paul Thistle Christopher Mills Demissia Gulti Kieran O’Connor Birhanu Mekonnen Lucas Meyer Mark Leininger Jordan McDougal Michael Franklin Sean Barrett Matthew Barresi Gurmessa Megerssa Mark Allen Paul Balmer Chalie Bitew Patrick Fernandez Samuel Luff David Burnham Christopher Pruitt Robert Reynolds Wilson Komen Jake Klim

24 24 24 26 23 30 26 28 30 22 26 22 28 30 34 23 24 25 26 26 29 31 23 35 33

1014.1 1013.33 1010 1009.33 1008 1005 1004.67 1003.67 1001.73 1001.47 999.33 999.31 999 998 997 997 996 995.67 995.33 995.23 995 994.67 994.33 994 994

4 5 8 6 9 7 4 8 3 3 4 3 6 7 4 4 8 4 4 5 4 4 3 7 4

1 4 6 9 10 16 23 31 34 38 43 49 51 57 59 61 64 70 71 73 79 84 86 88 92

Claire Hallissey Kerri Gallagher Kristin Anderson Susanna Sullivan Waynishet Abebe Barb Fallon Wallace Kirsten Kasper Tezeta Dengersa Lindsay O’Brien Erin Taylor Christine Ramsey Perry Shoemaker Sallie Ford Elizabeth Young Heather Stephens Shannon Miller Peggy Yetman Maura Carroll Kerry Allen Meghan Ridgley Anna Holt-Gosselin Susan Hendrick Kristen Henehan Laura O’Hara Kristi Markowicz

30 24 30 23 27 40 22 33 28 31 30 42 26 34 23 28 44 24 25 34 25 28 34 33 43

1016.8 1013 1009.67 1007.53 1005.33 1001.33 996.83 994 993.33 991.67 990 988.04 987.65 984.6 984.33 984 982.13 981.54 981.33 980.33 978.6 976.33 975.33 975 974

20 4 4 6 7 12 3 4 6 9 4 7 3 6 3 4 3 5 5 4 11 3 5 5 5

24 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

Turning 40 in November didn’t change Barb Fallon Wallace’s performance outlook. Her goal in most races is still to finish top three overall. Fallon Wallace, ranked 15th overall, joked that she might have to start accepting getting out-kicked in races by 20-somethings from time to time. Or maybe not. On July 4 at the Let Freedom Run 5k in Fairfax, she caught Bethany Sachtleben, a junior at George Mason University, and pushed hard all the way to the finish to win in 17:37 (good, by the way, for 1009 points). Sachtleben, no slouch herself, went on to win the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships in the fall. “The local scene has always been pretty competitive,” said Wallace, who ran 12 ranked races in 2013 and has been racing locally since 1997. “Some years people are hurt or taking a break from racing for personal reasons, but it always seems like a new face pops up to challenge everyone.” New faces like Kirsten Kasper 22, a Georgetown student who redshirted her cross country season, who was 22nd in the rankings, or Lucas Meyer, 30, who moved to the District from Connecticut in the second half of the year and was 13th. Paul Thistle, seventh overall, won the Let Freedom Run 5k and Jingle all the Way 8k; Michael Franklin earned victories at the Navy 5-Miler and Run for the Parks 10k. Then there was Chris Kwiatkowski, the top-ranked male in 2013, with 1014.1 points. A Bellingham, Wash., native, Kwiatkowski was the state two-mile champion his senior year at Bellingham High School, then competed on NCAA championship cross country teams for the University of Oregon. As a senior, he qualified for the NCAA national track and field championships outdoors in the 5000 meters. His running life, he said, has been a series of transitions: from high school to college, and now, from college to the post-collegiate scene. “I’ve loved it,” Kwiatkowski, 25, said of his first full year of road racing. “I think you learn the small things that go into making these champion runners successful. The big part is you learn to train on your own.” At Oregon, Kwiatkowski roomed for five years with Matthew Centrowitz, an Annapolis native and professional miler. They became best friends, and Kwiatkowski said he also got to know Centrowitz’s father, Matt Centrowitz, a former running star himself and now head coach at American University. Kwiatkowski moved to Washington, D.C., took an assistant coaching job at American University, joined the Pacers-New Balance team, and, under the eye of Matt Centrowitz, hit the roads. He led off with a 10th place, sub-50-minute run at Cherry Blossom. Then, in October, Kwiatkowski made a huge leap at the Army Ten-Miler, where he tucked into a lead pack including 2:11 marathoners and cut his personal down to 48:17, good for fourth overall. The high level of competition locally, Kwiatkowski said, can serve as a “springboard” for major road races and national championships. Falls Church’s Susanna Sullivan, for example, who raced six times locally and was eighth in the rankings, was the top American at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in 1:16:18. Nahom Mesfin, fourth in the rankings, is an Olympic steeplechaser. Springfield’s Josef Tessema, 5th in the rankings and currently training in Ethiopia, said by e-mail that, while his eye-opening 28:46 showing at the Pike’s Peek 10k was his best race in 2013 (he won five times out of the eight he raced), the aspiring professional runner’s focus is on cross country and the track. Kwiatkowski, meanwhile, made his debut on the national stage in Alexandria, at November’s .US National Road Racing Championships. Again, he tucked in with the lead pack - flowing with the surges common in pro racing - and held on for a solid 12th place finish, covering 12k at 4:47 pace. (His Pacers-New Balance teammate, Kerri Gallagher, 4th in the rankings, who in 2013 shattered the Army Ten Miler course record, finished 14th.) As Kwiatkowski sets his sights on higher goals, like qualifying for the national championships for the 5,000 and 10,000 on the track, his coach emphasizes both hard work and patience. “For a guy like me, the development runner, that’s what I am, it’s not going to be overnight,” Kwiatkowski said.


Runner Rankings 101 In 2013, RunWashington launched a new system for Runner Rankings. It’s updated weekly on our website, where you also can find the list of the races - based on their certified courses, reputation for sound management, and competitiveness - we include in our rankings. We included races between 5k and half marathon. What you need to know:

• If you ran more than three ranked races in 2013, you have a ranking. In 2014, you will have to run three ranked races between January and June and three between July and December. • Your top three races are considered; the rest are tossed out. • Each race is assigned a baseline pace, based on historical results, for men and women. If you run that baseline pace, you get 1,000 points. If you run faster than the baseline pace, you get more; if you run slower, you get less. • In 2013, 9451 runners ran at least three ranked races. • The runner who exceeded a race’s baseline pace by the widest margin—Molly Huddle, whose 37:50 for the .US National Road Racing Championships over 12k earned her 1040 points. The time was a American record and a world’s best for the distance. Eight seconds behind her, Shalane Flanagan earned 1039 points. What we like about it:

• Battle of the sexes: By establishing baseline paces for men and women in each race, the rankings reflect a runner’s overall level of competitiveness more than raw speed. In the overall top 10 for the year-end rankings, there are five men and five women. Among grandmasters, the class of the field is Cindy Conant, 52, who ran 11 ranked races and cracked the overall top 100. • But you can still easily compare yourself to your peers, or rivals, whatever you call them. The rankings allow you to search within each 10-year age division and break it down among males and females. • You can even compare yourself against other runners and see how you matched up when racing head-to-head. For example, if you compare Christopher Mills, who ranked seventh, with fifth-place Joseph Tessema, you will see they had three close races against each other, starting with the New Year’s Day 5k, which Tessema won in 14:43. All rankings are based on information in our system as of Feb. 22. If you suspect an error or omission, please contact rankings@ runwashington.com For more information and complete rankings, go to runwashington.com/runner-rankings.

91 105 113 142 170 172 179 218 279 320

Ryan Hart Thomas Selishev Alex Roederer Adam Staveski Ben Simmons Johnny Pace Tommy Reese Andy Stepka Joseph Spriggs Donovan Foley

18 17 16 19 18 17 17 18 18 15

974 967.67 965.87 959.33 952.33 952.07 951 944.33 934.67 928.33

3 8 3 5 6 3 3 3 5 10

253 288 311 575 986 1008 1142 1359 1670 1743

Sierra Brooks Nicole Maksimovic Michaela Peterson Abby Church Julia D’Amico Morgan LaRow Katherine Ellis Alexis Tupman Casey Manya Julie Kercher

16 16 14 10 19 14 14 13 15 14

940 933.33 930 902 875 874 867.99 858.67 847.33 844

3 3 3 3 3 4 5 3 3 3

The young bucks Yorktown’s Ryan Hart led the youngest men’s age group with the races he could fit in around high school track and cross country seasons, as did most of the runners in this cohort. His 16:05 at the Firecracker 5k and 16:11 at the Crystal City Twilighter set a pace Thomas Selishev couldn’t match, despite running well at a variety of races ranging from the Stop the Silence 5k to the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon. RunWashington All-Maryland honoree and Walt Whitman junior Alex Roederer crossed the river to Virginia for the Prostate Cancer 4 Miler in June. American University freshman Adam Staveski might not be competing with his school team, but picked right up in the fall, capitalizing on the rescheduled Run! Geek! Run! 8k. Ben Simmons raced up until the end of the year, running his third-best race at the Fairfax Four Miler. Sierra Brooks fit her three races in during the fall, running the Goblin Gallop, Virginia Run Turkey Trot and Fairfax Four Miler. Nicole Maksimovic ran long for a 16-year-old, racing the Reston 10 Miler, Nike Women’s Half Marathon and Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon. Michaela Peterson ran her best when it was muggy — the 4th of July in Reston at the Firecracker 5k. Ten-year-old Abby Church was tied for the secondyoungest ranked runner among girls, but her race at the Firecracker 5k put her firmly in fourth place for the age group. Julia D’Amico’s 10k on Clarendon Day served as her high mark for the year. MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 25


2014 RANKED RACES I have selected 100 different events that will be ranked in 2014. There are, however 120 different races that could go into the equation. Several events feature multiple races, such as the Leesburg 20k/5k. Two events are four-race series over identical courses. For those series, the Crystal Run 5k in April and Lost Dog 5k in August — results from the races in the series will be pooled and if a runner races in more than one, the best time will be ranked. I selected the races based on competitiveness, presence of a certified race course, an interest in keeping an equal number of events in the first and second halves of the year, and an attempt at geographic diversity. Though most of races were chosen for their proximity to Washington, D.C., some, such as the Frederick and Baltimore half marathons, were selected because they draw a significant number of local runners. Some races that were ranked last year didn’t make it. Some races that weren’t ranked this year will make it in 2015. If a race is forced to deviate from its USATF-certified course, or weather conditions force cancellation of the race, or conversion to a “fun run,” it will be replaced with a race from our bullpen. RANKING CHANGES:

The baseline pace by which performances are measured is now a composite of three measures, evaluated by our panel of experts: Competitiveness: GEORGE BANKER, one of the region’s foremost running historians examined races’ histories to determine reliably competitive winning times. Course difficulty: BOB THURSTON, a venerated course certifier, evaluates the courses for degree of difficulty. Race conditions: ALEX LIGGIT, a meteorologist who maintains the Running Weatherman website, evaluates weather conditions on race day to determine if they negatively impact running performance. In the end, a toasty and hilly Riley’s Rumble Half Marathon in early August will likely end up more difficult than the comparably flat Runners Half Marathon in March. We hope that these methods will help reflect the conditions in which you will be racing, varied as they can be in the D.C. area. -Charlie Ban, Editor in Chief

47 26 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

Jan 1 New Years Day 5k Jan 18 JFK 20k Feb 2 First Down 5k Feb 9 Love the Run 5k Feb 8 Langley 8k Feb 16 GW Birthday 10k Feb 23 RRCA Club Challenge 10M Mar 2 Reston 10 M Mar 9 St. Patrick’s Day 8k Mar 9 Fort Hunt 10k Mar 15 Rock n Roll USA HM/5k Mar 15 Four Courts 4M Mar 15 Lucky Leprechaun 5k Mar 23 Run Rogue 5k Mar 23 Scope it Out 5k Mar 29 Van Metre 5M Mar 30 Runners’ HM Mar 30 Race for Respect 5k Apr 4/11/18/25 Crystal City Friday 5k Apr 6 Wolftrap ES 5k Apr 6 Cherry Blossom 10M/ 5k Apr 13 GW Parkway Classic 10M/5k Apr 26 Miles for Melanoma 5k Apr 26 Jaguar 5k Apr 26 Vienna ES 5k Apr 27 Pikes Peek 10k Apr 27 Rockstar 8k Apr 27 Nike Women’s HM May 3 Azalea Classic 5k May 3 Run for the Children 8k May 4 Ashburn Village Fiesta 5k/10k May 4 Public Serice 5k May 4 Frederick HM May 10 Semper Fi 5k May 10 Police Week 5k May 10 Race for the Cure 5k May 10 Metropolitan Branch Trail 5k May 10 St. John the Jogger 5k May 11 Angel Kisses 5k May 11 Mothers Day 4M May 17 Germantown 5M May 18 Capitol Hill Classic 10k May 25 Alexandria HM May 26 Jeremy’s Run 10k Jun 10 Women’s Distance Festival/Run After the Women 5k Jun 14 Lawyers Have Heart 5k/10k Jun 14 Run for the Roses 5k Jun 15 Dash for Dad 4M Jun 21 Twilight Festival 4M Jun 21 Hugh Jascourt 4M Jun 29 Feedom 4M Jul 4 Firecracker 5k Jul 19 Rockville Twilighter 8k Jul 26 Crystal City 5k Aug 1,8,15,22 Lost Dog 5k Aug 2 Crime Solvers 5k Aug 3 Riley’s Rumble HM Aug 17 Leesburg 20k/5k Aug 24 Annapolis 10 M Aug 24 South Lakes 10k Aug 31 Larry Noel 15k Aug 30 Kentlands 5k Sep 6 Arlington 9/11 5k Sep 13 Navy Federal 5k Sep 14 Run for the Schools 5k Sep 14 Parks Half Sep 14 Navy HM/5M Sep 20 Kensington 8k Sep 20 Susco 8k Sep 20 Poolesville day 5k Sep 21 Home Run 5k/10k Sep 27 Clarendon Day 5k/10k Sep 27 Mind Your Health 5k Sep 28 Perfect 10 M/10k Oct 5 Wilson Bridge HM Oct 5 Boo! Run for Life 10k Oct 12 Army 10 M Oct 12 Somerset 8k Oct 18 Baltimore HM Oct 25 AIDS Walk 5k Oct 26 MCM 10k Oct 26 Goblin Gallop 5k Nov 2 Tuckahoe ES PTA 5k Nov 2 Rockville 5k/10k Nov 2 Run for the Parks 10k Nov 9 Veterans Day 5k Nov 9 Veterans 10k Nov 16 USATF 12k/ 5k Nov 16 King of the Road 5k Nov 23 Vienna Turkey Trot 5k/10k Nov 27 Arlington Turkey Trot 5k Nov 27 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5M Nov 27 SOME Trot for Hunger 5k Nov 27 Bethesda Turkey Chase 10k Nov 27 Virginia Run Turkey Trot 5k Dec 7 Bread Run 10k Dec 7 Jingle All the Way 8k Dec 7 Run with Santa 5k Dec 14 GAR Williams HM Dec 31 Fairfax 4M

Gaithersburg, Md. Carderock, Md. Washington, D.C. Arlington, Va. McLean, Va. Alexandria, Va. Columbia, Md. Reston, Va. Washington, D.C. Alexandria, Va. Washington, D.C. Arlington, Va. Reston, Va. Fairfax, Va. Washington, D.C. Ashburn, Va. Reston, Va. Washington, D.C. Arlington, Va. Vienna, Va. Washington, D.C. Alexandria, Va Washington, D.C. Falls Church, Va. Vienna, Va. Rockville, Md. Burke, Va. Washington, D.C. College Park, Md. Fairfax, Va. Ashburn, Va. Washington, D.C. Frederick, Md. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Silver Spring, Md. Chantilly, Va. Reston, Va. Washington, D.C. Alexandria, Va. Olney, Md. Arlington, Va. Washington, D.C. Wheaton, Md. Arlington, Va. Ashburn, Va. Washington, D.C. Arlington, Va. Reston, Va. Rockville, Md. Arlington, Va. Arlington, Va. Fairfax, Va. Boyds, Md. Leesburg, Va. Annapolis, Md. Reston, Va. Beltsville, Md. Gaithersburg, Md. Arlington, Va. Vienna, Va. Falls Church, Va. Rockville, Md. Washington, D.C. Kensington, Md. Reston, Va. Poolesville, Md. Rockville, Md. Arlington, Va. Alexandria, Va. Reston, Va. Mount Vernon, Va. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Chevy Chase, Md. Baltimore, Md. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Fairfax, Va. Arlington, Va. Rockville, Md. Washington, D.C. Reston, Va. Washington, D.C. Alexandria, Va. Rockville, Md. Vienna, Va. Arlington, Va. Alexandria, Va. Washington, D.C. Bethesda, Md. Centreville, Va. Carderock, MD Washington, D.C. Reston, Va. Carderock, MD Fairfax, Va.


Susanna Sullivan edged Kristin Swisher and Claire Hallissey at the DC Road Runners Track Championships Mile, but the elder two topped her elsewhere on the roads at ranked races. Photo by Ben Richter

The “young invincibles” Tripp Southerland earned his first road race win since moving to the D.C. area at the Arlington 9/11 5k. Dartmouth alumnus John Schroeder’s high point came with his 15:30 finish at the Great Pumpkin 5k, and carried on to a strong 30th place at the .US Road Racing Championships, where he finished ahead of age group runner-up Jerry Greenlaw, who had a comeback year after a disappointing 2012. Greenlaw earned equally high marks at the Van Metre 5 Miler and Pike’s Peek 10k, where he set a new 30:48 road PR. Graham Tribble didn’t race much, but the former Wahoo made the most of his opportunity at the soaking wet Crystal City Twilighter 5k. Triathlete Phoebe Markle broke out of her post-stress fracture doldrums with her best road race of the year — third place at the Four Courts Four Miler, but proved she performs well on Arlington’s Wilson Boulevard later in the year at the Clarendon Day 10k. She edged Jillian Pollack for the age group title, though Pollack spent most of the second half of the year recovering from injuries of her own, shortly after running her best race at the Twilight Festival Four Miler in Ashburn in July. Elizabeth Laseter, profiled in the January/February/March RunWashington, and Nora O’Malley, profiled in our earlier iteration as the Washington Running Report, both skipped town midway through the year after running the bare minimum of races to qualify, but doing well in each.

35 37 40 42 44 45 48 52 55 56

Tripp Southerland John Schroeder Alexander Benway Jerry Greenlaw Graham Tribble Evan Jurkovich Matt Hassett Matthew Kroetch Chris Walizer Sean O’Leary

29 26 23 25 25 28 23 25 24 22

993.33 992.67 990.23 990 989.47 989.33 988.16 987 985.67 985

7 7 3 6 3 5 5 3 3 3

124 127 131 133 134 144 152 153 162 175

Phoebe Markle Jillian Pollack Elizabeth Laseter Nora O’Malley Anna Bernal Kelly Swain Vanessa Taylor Elyse Shimada Jessica Chin Megan Heidt

29 24 24 24 25 28 27 25 27 29

963 962.67 962.17 961.37 961.19 958.93 955.67 955.33 953.86 951.67

8 7 3 3 4 3 6 5 5 4

36 39 41 46 47 50 53 54 58 60

Justin Snair Carlos Renjifo Aaron Church Dustin Meeker Mesfin Abebe Michael Wardian David Wertz David O’Hara Michael Murray Hugh Toland

31 31 38 31 30 39 38 37 33 33

992.67 991.2 990 988.67 988.33 987.67 986 985.67 984.42 984

7 5 6 3 3 5 5 9 3 10

97 100 101 103 106 110 125 143 147 158

Lisa Thomas Tatiana Sheptock Jocilyn McNally Megan Haberle Jackie Gruendel Olga Romanova Megan Mcnew Jessica McGuire Erin Masterson Lisa Reichmann

37 37 32 34 38 32 34 33 30 39

972.33 971.33 970.5 969.33 967.67 966.3 963 959.14 957.33 954.66

8 5 3 5 4 3 3 7 17 6

The ve t erans It was fitting that Justin Snair, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, notched a win, and highest score of the year, at the Semper Fi 5k in Anacostia Park. Age group runner-up Carlos Renjifo also captured a significant race title — at the Annapolis 10 Miler — where he enjoyed unseasonably cool weather for that race and an almost-one-minute margin of victory. Aaron Church raced a lot in Reston, hitting identical scores in the Reston 10 Miler and Lucky Leprechaun 5k. Baltimore resident Dustin Meeker came to town for a few races, and didn’t seem phased by the new hill on the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon course. Mesfin Abebe made his bones, and earned a few, at the Race for a Cause, where he finished fifth in 24:17 on a slippery day in Arlington. Lisa Thomas had a busy November, racing the Veterans Day 10k, .US Road Racing Championships and Alexandria Turkey Trot in the course of 18 days. Potomac River Running racing team member Tatiana Sheptock was peaking in the fall for her big PR at the Marine Corps Marathon, but along the way finished a strong third place in the 10 mile at the Perfect 10. Jocilyn McNally was a few seconds off the winning pace at her hometown Kensington 8k, but ran well throughout Maryland in Bethesda and Annapolis for third place in the age group. Like Thomas, Megan Haberle also had a busy November, racing the Run for the Parks 10, the Wilson Bridge Half, the Run for Shelter 10 and Alexandria Turkey Trot in 25 days. Mid-distance runner Jackie Gruendel stuck to the 5k, running four ranked races and topping out at the Virginia Run Turkey Trot.

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 27


63 67 69 102 117 126 135 139 149 168

Philippe Rolly Edmund Burke Ray Pugsley John Zimmerman Derik Thomas Noah Zaring Mike Montgomery Alexander Hetherington Kevin Yates Antonio Eppolito

40 44 44 47 48 42 44 46 42 45

982.67 981.67 981.63 970.33 964.67 962.89 961 959.9 956.13 952.67

4 6 3 6 6 6 10 5 3 4

119 182 195 209 230 240 252 270 271 307

Kelly Westlake Cathy Ross Julie Sapper Kellie Redmond Laura Greeson Lisa Chilcote Mary Davison Yuko Whitestone Lane Tingle Daryle Lademan

42 42 41 44 44 42 40 42 47 43

964.33 949.67 947.77 945.67 943.25 942 940.16 937 936.87 930.33

4 10 7 4 4 3 3 6 4 6

The mas t ers Philippe Rolly and Edmund Burke were pretty darn close. Because it falls outside of the distances considered for rankings, Rolly’s 2:27:59 finish at the Chicago Marathon doesn’t figure in. Ray Pugsley earned identical scores for his races at the We’ve Got Your Back 5k and Dulles Day 5k, though his 53:01 at the Army Ten-Miler is comparably a better performance. John Zimmerman, profiled in the November/December 2012 RunWashington, represented Pugsley’s Potomac River Running team well, particularly at the Firecracker 5k and Leesburg 20k. At 48, Derik Thomas kept pace with the younger end of his age group, thanks to a great performance at the St. Patrick’s Day 8k. Howard County Strider Kelly Westlake came down to run a few races and capitalized on her chances, particularly over 10k at Pike’s Peek and Veterans Day. Cathy Ross’s calm but confident demeanor and consistent intensity earned her the runner-up spot in the age group, and though her best race came at the Four Courts Four Miler, strong early summer races— the Cascades Firechase 10k, Twilight Festival 4 Miler and Firecracker 5k, demonstrated her depth. Run Farther and Faster coach Julie Sapper ran faster than most, especially at the Lawyers Have Heart 10k. Appropriately enough, she is a lawyer. T.S. Wootton coach Kellie Redmond was used to watching her runners compete on fall Saturdays, but got her own chance at the Clarendon Day 5k in September, where she ran 19:24. Alexandria’s Laura Greeson excelled at 10 miles, running her best races at George Washington Parkway Classic and Perfect 10. 28 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

Top-ranked runner Claire Hallissey topped 1000 points, running ahead of the baseline pace, in 12 of her 10 ranked races in 2013. runwashington Photo by Brian W. Knight/ Swim Bike Run Photography


Cathy Ross ran well throughout the year, pictured here at the Paul Thurston 4.5 Mile at Burke Lake. Photo by Alan Coykendall

Grandmasters Craig Fishman and Jean-Christ Arcaz ran to a dead heat. Though Fishman’s 17:21 at the PurpleStride 5k was well ahead of anything Arcaz ran, Arcaz’s deeper selected of fast races broke the tie. Mark Neff wasn’t far behind, with his high point coming at the Kentlands 5k, where he ran 17:24. Paul Jacobson made himself at home at 10k, running good times at the Piece of Cake, Pikes Peek and Rockville 10ks. Ted Poulos, whose natural state seems to be “with a racing bib pinned to his shirt,” ran solid races at the Hugh Jascourt Four Miler and the Race to Stop the Silence 5k. Like Fishman, Cindy Conant ran a great time at the PurpleStride 5k18:57, but wasn’t too shabby at the Kensington 8k, either, where she ran 31:43. Cindy was profiled in RunWashington’s January/February 2014 issue. Deedee Loughran split her running time with triathlon training, but still ran enough races, and ran them fast enough, to finish second in her age group for the year. Though outside of the ranked race distance range, she ran 3:09:33 at Marine Corps, helping the Potomac River Running Store’s Arlington team to the top spot in the mixed running store team category. Martha Merz ran times that brought her consistent scores at the Pikes Peek 10k, Navy-Air Force Half and Veterans Day 10k. Linda Foley had an outstanding race at the Angel Kisses 5k, running 20:39 for her best ranked race of the year. Mandana Mortazavi raced a lot — 11 times, and was consistent, though her outliers at the VanMetre 5 Miler and Perfect 10 Miler helped hoist her to fifth place for the age group.

156 157 166 204 237 254 258 309 318 326

Jean-Christ Arcaz Craig Fishman Mark Neff Paul Jacobson Ted Poulos Christopher Rotunno Thomas Offenbacher Jose Obando Jeff Duyn Christopher Ryan

52 53 51 50 52 50 57 51 53 55

955 955 953 946.33 942.42 939.83 939.67 930.25 928.33 927.67

11 6 8 8 11 5 4 6 3 4

99 161 236 312 337 363 385 439 523 563

Cindy Conant Deedee Loughran Martha Merz Linda Foley Mandana Mortazavi Ofelia Perotti Carole Jones Eleanor Kerr Elizabeth Baumgarten Mary Catherine Malin

52 55 51 51 50 57 56 54 57 54

971.67 954 942.67 929.47 926.33 924 921.33 915.67 906.67 903.17

11 7 4 4 11 14 9 4 7 3

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 29


Well-Seasoned Bob Becker rode his 5k performances at the Great Pumpkin 5k, Poolesville Day 5k and Goblin Gallop 5k to a first-place ranking in the 60-69 age group. Behind him, Mick Slonaker’s Annapolis 10 Mile performance helped him edge Alan Pemberton, who focused on the marathon, winning his age group at the Boston and Marine Corps marathons. Slonaker and Pemberton were featured in January/February 2014’s RunWashington. Rod Devar ran three ranked races, but that was all he needed to finish fourth ahead of Timothy Morgan. Devar raced well on the altered Boo! Run for Life 5k course, shorted and moved from Hains Point because of the government shutdown, where he ran 20:05. Morgan liked his races longer, such as the Piece of Cake 10k, where he ran 41:53, and the Germantown 5 Miler, where he ran 33:16. Alice Franks ran 17 ranked races, her best coming at the PurpleStride 5k, where she ran 22:04. Her racing put her more than 500 overall places ahead of Betty Blank, who was second in her age group, thanks to a 22:34 at the Clarendon Day 5k. Laurel Clement ran well (24:38) at the Semper Fi 5k. Mary Kessler had a high point at the Crystal City Twilighter, running 24:17 for 5k. Karen Rainey closed on the top five in her age group thanks in large part to her 52:49 at the Clarendon Day 10k.

70-79 Lou Shapiro owned this age group, with great races over 10k at Pikes’ Peek, Rockville and the Piece of Cake, but his 24:28 at the Lucky Leprechaun 5k was nothing to scoff at. Former Cherry Blossom Elite Coordinator Chan Robbins held his own against men a few years younger, breaking 50 at Pike’s Peek and celebrating Irish Awareness Day twice — at the St. Patrick’s Day 8k and Lucky Leprechaun 5k.John Churchman’s Clarendon Day 10k was a great performance for him, and Malcolm O’Hagan made the most of his Veterans Day 10k. The biting cold at the Love the Run You’re With didn’t bother serial 5k runner Maynard Weyers — he ran his best race there, with a 25:27, two seconds ahead of his time at the SOME Trot for Hunger. Dee Nelson dominated her age group, thanks to her strong record in Maryland at the Piece of Cake 10k, the Pike’s Peek 10k and the Germantown 5 Miler. Ecris Williams apparently loves parks, because her Run for the Parks 10k was by far her best race of the year. If Felicity Hawes had worked in aviation, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw her at the Dulles Day 5k, racing on the runway, where her 29:08 was her best race of the year. Ardest DC Road Runner Tami Graf showed up for the sweltering Larry Noel 15k during Labor Day weekend, but showed what she was really made of at 77 with a 1:02:41 at Pikes Peek. Mandy Whalen, at 22 races, took the most opportunities to be ranked in 2013.

353 445 529 569 594 625 644 765 766 849

Bob Becker Mick Slonaker Alan Pemberton Rod Devar Timothy Morgan Dan Eddy Richard Adams, Jr. Jim Noone Paul Bousel Jay Jacob Wind

62 64 60 60 62 62 62 69 60 64

924.99 914.73 906.33 902.67 900.93 898.33 896.67 889.17 889 883.75

6 8 4 3 5 6 9 9 12 21

519 1022 1710 2104 2134 2144 2193 2265 2268 2426

Alice Franks Betty Blank Laurel Clement Mary Kessler Karen Rainey Saleema Ross Ann Rosenthal Ellen Cooper Judy McDermott Elizabeth Sadoff

65 60 65 64 63 60 64 63 62 64

907.33 873.1 845.54 833 832 831.67 830.33 828.33 828.33 823.33

17 3 9 4 3 20 5 4 4 10

2534 2944 3013 3142 3553 3973 4405 4541 4804 5090

Lou Shapiro Chan Robbins John Churchman Malcolm O’Hagan Maynard Weyers Bill Sollers Harry Cross Jack Tozier Ken Quincy Martin Faigin

72 76 70 73 77 74 70 70 76 70

820.67 809.33 807.33 804.03 794 783.33 772.67 769.67 763 755.67

11 13 4 4 7 11 3 3 14 4

2157 4573 5492 6859 7828 7960 9302 9389

Dee Nelson Ecris Williams Felicity Hawes Tami Graf Mandy Whalen Katherine Sandler Jamie Wollard Maureen McLoughlin

70 75 70 77 73 71 75 71

831.33 768.98 744.63 705.33 667.67 661 497 447.33

5 8 4 6 22 3 4 3

George Yannakakis Jack McMahon Larry Dickerson Dixon Hemphill

81 83 82 88

755.07 734.67 715.33 310.33

6 9 5 5

Marilyn Karoly

83

51

3

80+

5105 5877 If you’re running at this age, things are going pretty well. And the men 6543 raced, a lot, particularly Jack McMahon, who ran nine ranked races. Age 9443

group leader George Yannakakis had a heck of a race at the Kentlands 5k, with a 27:33. His 1:35:59 at the Annapolis 10 Miler wasn’t too shabby, either. Larry Dickerson was inclined to race right up until the end of the 9449 year — which he did at the Fairfax Four Miler, along with Dixon Hemphill, who, at 89, is our oldest-ranked runner. That didn’t stop him from running five ranked races and directing a sixth — the Goblin Gallop 5k. Marilyn Karoly not only ran three races, two more than anyone else in her age group, but according to US News & World Report she also raised a daughter, Anne, who won her own age group in a 50k. To be on the race course at 83 and pass on such good genes, we should all be so lucky. 30 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


Marilyn Karoly might not have been the fastest runner ranked, but at 85, she finished three races. RunWashington Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 31


SATURDAY, MARCH 8 GEORGETOWN 10 MILER Washington, D.C. SENECA CREEK TRAIL MARATHON & 50K Gaithersburg, Md. SPRING THAW 5K/10K Ashburn, Va. GUNSTON SOCCER CLUB 5K Alexandria, Va.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9 ST. PATRICK’S DAY 8K Washington, D.C. BACKYARD BURN 5/10 MILE Annandale, Va.

SAT, MARCH 15

FOUR COURTS FOUR MILER Arlington, Va. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL USA MARATHON/ HALF MARATHON/5K Washington, D.C. LUCKY LEPRECHAUN 5K Reston, Va. PI 3.14 MILER Alexandria, Va.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19 TIDAL BASIN RUNS Washington, D.C.

SATURDAY, MARCH 22 RUN FOR HAITI 5K Reston, Va. NOTTINGHAM ES PTA 5K Arlington, Va. RUNNING WITH THE SAINTS 5K Manassas, Va. SHAMROCK 5K Manassas, Va.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23

SCOPE IT OUT! 5K Washington, D.C. ROSARYVILLE HALF MARATHON/10K Upper Marlboro, Md. SPRING THAW 5K/10K Fairfax Station, Va. RUN ROGUE 5K Fairfax, Va. BRIGHT BEGINNINGS 5K Washington, D.C.

SUNDAY, MARCH 29 RACE TO REPRESENTATION 5K Washington, D.C. RUNWAY 5K/5 MILER Washington, D.C. VAN METRE 5 MILE Ashburn, Va. RUN FOR WAKEFIELD 5K Arlington, Va. FIT & FINER 5K Manassas, Va. MIGHTY MILE (KIDS RACE) Reston, Va.

RUNWASHINGTON PHOTO BY SWIMBIKERUN PHOTOGRAPHY

32 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


Sunday, March 30 Piece of Cake 10k Gaithersburg, Md. Runners’ Marathon/ Half Marathon Reston, Va. Race for Respect 5k Washington, D.C. Red Shoe 5k Herndon, Va. Run 4 Rights Arlington, Va. W&OD Trail 5k Falls Church, Va. Run for Rights 5k Arlington, Va.

Friday, April 4 Crystal City 5k Arlington, Va.

Saturday, April 5

Spring Thaw 5k/10k Aldie, Va. St. Ambrose School 5k Burke Lake, Va. Ben’s Run 5k Silver Spring, Md. eRace MS 5k Arlington, Va. Brambleton Ribbon Run 5k/10k Ashburn, Va. Hippity Hop Trail Trot 5k Bristow, Va. Chuck Pacholkiw 5k Bowie, Md.

Sunday, April 6

Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile/5k Washington, D.C. Rabbit Run 5k Leesburg, Va. Run for Justice 5k Fairfax, Va. Wolftrap ES 5k Vienna, Va. Backyard Burn 5/10 Mile Fairfax Station, Va. Oakton Family 5k Oakton, Va.

Friday, April 11 Crystal City 5k Arlington, Va.

Saturday, April 12 Spin in the Woods XC Great Falls, Va. BEST Kids 5k Washington, D.C. Easter Classic 5k/10k Vienna, Va. Clarksburg 5k Clarksburg, Md. Marine Corps 17.75k Prince William Forest, Va. XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail 10k/5k Gaithersburg, Md. Intaba 5k Washington , D.C. Nature House 5k Reston, Va. St. Charles 10 Miler/5k St. Charles County, Md. Lions Roar 5k Bethesda, Md. St. Elizabeth’s Sprint 5k Rockville, Md.

Saturday, May 3

Sunday, April 13

George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile/5k Mount Vernon, Va. Loudoun Half Marathon/8k Ashburn, Va. Tiger Trot 5k Potomac, Md. Prison Break Dash 10k/5k/1k Lorton, Va.

Wednesday, April 16 Tidal Basin Runs Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 18 Crystal City 5k Arlington, Va.

Saturday, April 19 Springburst 8k Greenbelt, Md. Hippity Hop Easter Trot 5k Leesburg, Va.

Friday, April 25 Crystal City 5k Arlington, Va.

Saturday, April 26

Band on the Run 5k Reston, Va. Healthy Strides 5k/10k Burke Lake, Va. Champions4 Children 5k Reston, Va. Run Me Home 5k Leesburg, Va. Vienna ES 5k Vienna, Va. Knights on the Run 5k Woodbridge, Va. SSC Wounded Warrior 5k/10k Derwood, Md. Jaguar 5k Falls Church, Va. Joint Base Andrews Half Marathon Joint Base Andrews, Md.

SUNDAY, April 27

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Washington, D.C. Pike’s Peek 10k Rockville, Md. Rockstar 8k Burke, Va. Break a Sweat for a Homeless Pet 5 Mile Lorton, Va. Backyard Burn 5/10 Mile Triangle, Va.

Thursday, May 1 Firebirds Mile Gaithersburg, Md.

Friday, May 2

White Oak Classic 5k Silver Spring, Md.

Azalea Classic 5k College Park, Md. Traffic Stop 5k Tysons Corner, Va. Run for the Children 8k Fairfax, Va. Capital for a Day 5k Brookeville, Md. Palio Di Siena 5k Great Falls, Va. 5 Mile Disco Roll or Run Washington, D.C. Flint Hill PTA 5k Vienna, Va. Cougar Dash 4 Mile Germantown, Md. Bulldog 5k Washington, D.C. Gazette Twilight 5k Frederick, Md. First Flight 5k Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

SATURDAY, May 17

Sunday, May 4

Potomac River Run Marathon Carderock, Md. Frederick Half Marathon Frederick, Md. Annandale Atoms 5k Annandale, Va. Bullis Gives back 5k Potomac, Md. Fiesta 5k/10k Ashburn, Va. Public Service 5k Washington, D.C. Mark’s 5k Bethesda, Md. Rescue 1 Run Bethesda, Md. Safe Routes 5k Takoma Park, Md. Flying Pirate Half Marathon Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Saturday May 10

Semper Fi 5k Washington, D.C. St. John the Jogger 5k Silver Spring, Md. Metropolitan Branch Trail 5k Washington, D.C. Police Week 5k Washington, D.C. Herndon Middle School 5k Herndon, Va. TKO Melanoma 5k Ashburn, Va. One Sparrow 5k Ashburn, Va. Run for the Monkey Bars 5k Reston, Va. Get Smart! 5k Leesburg, Va. Woodacres 5k Bethesda, Md.

Sunday, May 11

Mothers’ Day 4 Miler Reston, Va. Mothers Day 8k Washington, D.C. Mothers Day 5k Springfield, Va. Angle Kisses 5k Chantilly, Va. Run Aware 5k cross country Potomac, Md.

Germantown 5 Miler Germantown, Md. Carter’s Run 5k/10k Ashburn, Va. Adam’s Angels 5k Fairfax, Va. Turtle Trot 5k Arlington, Va Woodson High School 5k Fairfax, Va. Gaza Solidarity 5k Washington, D.C. BKB 5k Washington, D.C. Race to Victory 5k Bristow, Va. Mercy 5k Washington, D.C. Clifton Caboose Twilight 5k Clifton, Va. Heartbeats for Healthy Hearts 5k Manassas, Va.

SUNDAY, May 18

Capitol Hill Classic 10k/3k Washington, D.C. Fountainhead Off-Road Half Marathon/10k Fairfax Station, Va. Girls on the Run 5k Bethesda, Md. Run for the Animals Wheaton, Md. Loudon Lyme 5k Ashburn, Va.

Wednesday, May 21 Tidal Basin Runs Washington, D.C.

Saturday, May 24

Hope without Boundaries 5k Ft. Washington, Md.

Sunday, May 25

Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon/5k Alexandria, Va.

Monday, May 26

Jeremy’s Run 5k/10k Olney, Md. Memorial 4 Mile Rockville, Md. Ringing in Hope 5k/10k Ashburn, Va.

Saturday, May 31 Springfield 15k/5k Springfield, Va.

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 33


DUSTIN RENWICK lights up the outfield as a top-heavy Abraham Lincoln.

BY DUSTIN RENWICK

RUNWASHINGTON Photo by Dustin Whitlow

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 35


t h r o u g h shoulder straps and locked three buckles across my chest, similar to A month before pitchers and catchers reported, the what we all did with our middle true stars of Washington Nationals games showed up school backpacks, except these straps at the stadium. provided necessary support. Most of them, 38 total, arrived before 8 a.m. on The all-important Nats jersey tied the a 20-degree Saturday in January. People in the group costume together and hid the guts and the ranged from early 20s to mid 60s, and we all stood in secrets of the presidents that participants in the the cold, ready to see if we had what it took. open tryouts got to see. But the insider’s view has to Doors closed at 8:25, no exceptions. Don’t talk stay that way once a normal human transforms into a in costume. Don’t give your last name in media living caricature of our nation’s former leaders. interviews. No photography while the costumes “Do you know who Mickey Mouse is?” asked Tom were partially on. Davis, senior manager for entertainment. “It’s important to This wasn’t so much an exercise in building keep that magic of the whole persona. It’s important to be character as it was an exercise in a character. able to become that character. At every Nationals home game, the “If I hired John Doe to be a President, I don’t expect to see commanders in chief dash around the outfield John Doe playing the part of Abe. I expect to see Abe. It really during the fourth inning. Even in down years is every facet. All the presidents have their own personalities. for the team, the Mount Rushmore quartet of Abe is that guy out there that he is a relentless winner. He likes to George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, win races. When you see Abe out there racing, you want to see the Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln Abe that everybody else saw the 10 games before.” bring a high point to the games. After Yet any character traits flow from a basic ability to handle the 2012’s success, William Howard Taft took heavy costume. I regularly train six days a week with runs, swims, his place on the starting line. spin classes and weight lifting, so even with no mascot experience, I To make it this far, candidates was confident I could handle a few strides in the ballpark. had to clear the two-part process of “The biggest thing is getting over the mindset that you need to an application followed by five openbe a long-distance runner or a college track champion,” Davis said. ended questions. Then, after an on-the“That’s not really what you need to do to be a great President.” field tryout, each person sat for a panel After the initial 200-yard scamper around the warning track, I interview. stood near first base sucking wind as if I’d just run stadium steps all First, you had to prove you could morning. I would have needed to regularly tote a five-gallon CamelBak move. above my head on my runs through the city to have any advantage. Everyone at the tryouts had to run a Plus, those straps that kept me in character also transformed routine 40-yard dash and two full circuits of the oxygen intake into an ordeal that required concerted energy. race course, from center field to first base Still, the more important task was to focus on where I was and back. headed — really, where my head was headed. Every movement in Abe, George and Teddy were on deck character demanded a full-body commitment, especially a turn. for the day. Being from Illinois and having “As soon as you take that turn, your head wants to go one grown into a lanky frame, I wanted to embody way, but your feet are trying to go another way, and there’s the the best the Midwest has given this country -wall getting closer,” said Artie, one of the participants trying our 16th president. out for the first time. He played baseball in high school and Just like you and I, the presidents put on briefly in college, and similar to many of the participants, their pants one leg at a time. Abe’s black slacks are he’d quickly internalized the idea of adopting a personality held up with something close to mesh suspenders, that could serve the larger team. but the pants don’t make the politician. The bulk of “I was here for all the post-season games in 2012. each of the costumes rests in the 45-pound head. The electricity was amazing. I couldn’t imagine being Small metal pipes form an exoskeleton to which the on the field with everyone cheering for you, or the head attaches, and weight is distributed down through President you are. I know there’s people in there. the contraption. I wasn’t ignorant to that in the past, but they’re An assistant held the head while I slipped my arms still presidents to me. I’m still calling them by Teddy, Abe, Taft, Tom.” Despite any mental cohesion with a character, the physical reality of limited vision hampered everyone. You can see more from inside a

36 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


a football helmet than you can from one of the presidents’ heads. I peered out from a tiny mesh porthole near Abe’s bow tie. funny the scene would look as the President hit the My forehead wound up with a few surface. minor cuts and bruises because I needed Sometimes, it was a slide. Other times, the former to brace against the costume’s swaying. leader of the free world bounced to a stop. Falling didn’t appeal to me, so before the Just watching someone try to lift from the tryouts, I had thought about how the body of a ground felt arduous. Imagine a few sacks of potatoes president costume would affect my motion. suspended three feet above your head, and picture My legs were fine; what changed was my center your attempt to stand on two feet after looking at a of gravity, that point that we all had to recalibrate in our vertical horizon. awkward teenage years. Even the cool kids had to do this. Regardless of slips or speed, though, the They just managed it faster. transition in and out of characters took place You want to be a cool kid inside Nationals Stadium. behind the center-field wall. A person’s center of gravity means a lot, physically. It Following a time in costume, it’s easy to dictates how we walk and how we run. Identical to their realmore fully appreciate the axiom about a weight world counterparts, “Racing Presidents” depend on an even off the shoulders. Several people, including keel, not haste. Balance and stabilization precede speed, so me, completed a hop-skip with a few arm once you find your center and learn how to move with it, you’re rotations. That signaled an adjustment back winning races. to a familiar sense of self, much closer to the “A small step can sway you,” said Marissa, one of four women ground, because, for a little while, we were who tried out. “A tiny bit to the right really is a big step to the right. larger than life. The littlest thing makes a big difference. You have to be more in When I decided to write about what tune with the weight that you’re carrying.” it was like to be a Running President, the In other words, “Racing Presidents” win from the core, not from Nationals made me choose whether I the legs. would be at the tryouts as a reporter or Previous experience is not a deciding factor in the tryouts and an applicant (or candidate for president, the Nationals hire a variable number of qualified applicants each if you will). I couldn’t help but wonder year. Marissa had a few prior mascot experiences, including her time what I would do if offered the job. as Bruce the Aluminum Can, a character who promoted a recycling After all, being the president is a lot of program in grade schools near her college. Marissa’s work friends responsibility, no matter which era you’re told her about the presidents opportunity. in. “They know about my unbridled enthusiasm for mascots,” she said. “If all else fails, I made it to Nats Stadium. I put on the costume. Applicants to be a Racing President answer I ran for president. That’s a resume thing. Ran for president: one five open-ended questions: day.” I cruised through the 40-yard dash in 8.59 seconds. Short Why do you want to be a strides and quick arm swings meant victory. Like my chosen Washington Nationals Racing President? leader, I won my presidential races too, and in doing so, carried on a tradition. Who is your favorite Racing Abe, missing his signature stovepipe hat, leads the allPresident, why? time season standings with 239 wins, beating George at 178. Artie, Marissa and I all stayed upright for the duration What is your favorite Presidents Race? (whether you saw it live at a game of our campaigns, but not everyone did. The stumbles or on the internet) and tumbles provided the best entertainment on the field. If life is about falls and how you rise after them, Tell us an original Presidents Race skit idea? you don’t want to spend time wobbling around as a professional mascot. Do you have any “Special Skills” that you think could A character’s body would cave from translate into costume (Unicycling, Skateboard, the waist up as the forehead of one of the Horseback riding, etc?) venerated forefathers cruised from the air into the warning track dirt. The collapse typically involved windmill arms, but once the head sank past the tipping point, the only variable left was how

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 37


BEN CLEMONS has a better feel for Lake Accotink after a few years of running there. RUNWASHINGTON PHOTOS BY KATIE LINGAN

BY KATIE BOLTON

39 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


First impressions set the tone, whether you’re meeting someone, trying a new dish or going for a run in a new city. When Adam Sulewski, Regina Anderson, Ben Emmons, and Mary Ford each took their first runs around the Washington, D.C. region, they couldn’t imagine the runners they would be today: familiar with routes crossing three jurisdictions, well-versed in training techniques, running farther and faster than they ever imagined. They didn’t have a map for this path. They were stepping into uncharted courses, believing as all runners believe, that the person I am when I’m running is greater than the one I would be if I were not.

Follow the Sign s Adam Sulewski went for his first run in Rosslyn in 2009. He had moved to the region looking for a job and had some time to run as more than a hobby. “You often saw people running along [the Mt. Vernon Trail], and it was a very beautiful sight,” he said, remembering how he chose the trail for his first run in Virginia. “I ran into a lot of problems because I was unable to find the entrance down from the Key Bridge to the Mt. Vernon Trail,” he says. An added understatement: “It’s not as well-marked as it could be.” Indeed, at the trailhead, drivers from the Custis Parkway and the Key Bridge cross the intersection, with others exiting Lynn Street towards the bridge and the George Washington Parkway. Next to the actual trail entrance, a gravel service road also looks a lot like a trail, while the trail itself winds down misleadingly into a parking lot. Sulewski eventually found his route, running to and from the Memorial Bridge and noticing the offshoots that he began to explore. He joined the D.C. Front Runners, where marathoners were friends and companions, not mythical creatures surviving on Gu. With their support, he trained for and completed three marathons. Though he prefers to run in Rock Creek today, Sulewski still remembers the Mt. Vernon Trail as a place “the entire running community knows really well,” and one that connects runners to the Capital Crescent Trail, the National Mall, Four Mile Run, Arlington, Alexandria, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and more. “It’s a great starting place. You can start experimenting, branching out from there,” he says.

T he Right Mind s et When Regina Anderson moved to D.C. from Pittsburgh in 2011, she missed the hills of the Steel City and let her boyfriend, Clayton, know it. She had moved to be with him and found running less challenging than she was used to. In response, he took her on a run from his home in Adams Morgan up to the National Zoo. “I almost died, actually,” she remembers with some exaggeration. Once she left the downtown basin, DC went from being a counterexample to a competitor with Pittsburgh. “It was a good run. It was fun,” she says of the notoriously steep hills. Today, they live on Capitol Hill, where that eponymous hill is practically the only one around. After two years in D.C., she continues to build a community of running friends like she had in Pittsburgh. Her primary training partner now is her “sporty dog,” Gus, an energetic labrador “hybrid monster” that needs regular exercise. She runs the National Mall, the Congressional Cemetery, and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and joins 40 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


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Meetup groups to connect with other runners. She doesn’t miss the hills so much now that she can be inspired by her running routes. “For some people, it’s the trip of a lifetime to come to DC and have your photo taken (with the monuments) and I get to enjoy that every day,” she says. And Rock Creek Park “is a special treasure” to her. But that first run startled her into appreciating her new city: “I sort of had a chip on my shoulder about D.C. compared to Pittsburgh. That chip is now gone,” she says.

Wrong Turns Ben Emmons has been through changes. Since his first-ever run in the Seattle suburbs, he has lost more than 100 pounds and maintained a running streak into its sixth year (and counting). Then he moved across the country with his family, settling in Springfield, Va., in 2009. The morning that he started his new job, Emmons left for a run around nearby Lake Accotink. The loop should have been easy, just a few miles, but Emmons zigged when he should have zagged and found himself away from the lake and unexpectedly entering an unfamiliar park. “When I asked a couple how to get around the lake and they laughed and said they didn’t know of any lake, I knew I was in trouble,” Emmons remembers. Running to work would have been an exciting payoff had he known his way around; as it was, he called his wife, turned back the way he came, and made another wrong turn, before eventually finding another entrance to Accotink Park.

And the next day? “The pioneer spirit kicked in…. I woke up a bit earlier and set out to conquer the trail.” He found his way around the lake and continues to run that loop to this day. The experience gave him a healthy respect for the nature that surrounds his home. “During my current run streak, I’ve been blessed to run all over the world. Israel, France, Scotland, Canada, Alaska, the Bahamas, Cabo San Lucas and all over the U.S. But to me, the Northern Virginia trail systems are as good as it gets,” Emmons says. He takes his two children running with him, teaching them to love the sport and the world around them. None of the changes he’s made were easy, but Emmons saw spiritual growth in each challenge. Most recently, he started a running group at South County Church, where he is also a pastor. He shares with his runners the Bible verse that motivates him, Romans 12:1--“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” And he leads by example.

First After First After First Mary Ford recalls several firsts in a running career that has crossed many personal milestones: her firstever run from Tenleytown to the National Zoo… and

back up the endless Connecticut Avenue hill; her first run after returning to D.C. from Davis, Calif.; her first run with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training; her first 5k; her first marathon. That first run back in D.C. was one that Ford recalled fondly. She had begun as a secretive runner, training alone and afraid to adopt the title. “I thought I was the slowest person on the planet, literally, and that I wasn’t really a runner,” she admits. But a two-mile run around the Capitol one night in 2007 proved fateful. She was caught up in the romance of the National Mall just long enough to fall for it. Afterwards, “I remember having to gather my courage to go down Capitol Hill because I knew I’d have to come back up it.” “It was really inspirational,” she says of her early runs near the Capitol. “People from all over the world come to the Mall to see these great buildings and great monuments, and here I am just running past it as part of my everyday life. It reminds me to be grateful for where I live and what I have.” Ford continued to run, and tested herself despite persistent fear that she couldn’t hang with the “real” runners. Before her first 5k, she became convinced that “they would be holding the finish line open for me and it would just be a hassle for everyone, and I just shouldn’t go. I shouldn’t do it. So I didn’t go.” That logic spiral will be familiar to most anxious types; Ford’s was ultimately stopped by the post-race barrage of mail about running. Shortly after her un-run 5k, Ford received a postcard from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. It simply said, “Even if you’ve never run a mile, you can run a marathon.” “I can run two, three miles,” Ford reasoned; why not a marathon? The cause resonated with her as well, having seen two grandparents fight blood cancers. But fear doesn’t just disappear for most of us, and new runners joining TNT know about Mary’s early nerves. She had been to an info session and barely made it to a kickoff event--neither anxiety nor impossible parking stopped her in the end--but still, her confidence wavered. The night of their first group run, she watched her teammates from across the National Mall instead of joining them. She came that night because she wanted to run; she came back because, “I saw that there were other, slower people and that they were laughing and having a really good time.” By doing the things that terrified her on a regular basis, and with the support and encouragement of the TNT coaches, Ford has now run six marathons, seven half-marathons, and become a leader in two running communities. As a coach with TNT and as a team leader with the nonprofit Back on My Feet, Ford has encouraged plenty of runners’ firsts too. Last summer, Back on My Feet sent relay teams to the North Face Endurance Challenge in Great Falls, where many city-raised runners experienced their first trail race. And she lived through her worst fear, coming in last when she walked the Ottawa Marathon with her 69-year-old father. “That was probably the best race finish of my entire running and walking career!” she beams.

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Three mon t hs af t er a bru t al hi t and run, Nick N guyen is ready t o run B y Charlie Ban

Nick Nguyen ran roughly .06 miles last Nov. 4. He knows that because his Map My Run app said he had traveled that far, plus three miles to the Washington Hospital Center in an ambulance. He was hit by a car at the corner of 9th Street and H Northwest, a few blocks from his Gallery Place apartment. He has to take everyone’s word for it, because even now, he doesn’t remember what happened that night. Or for most of a month, thanks to memory loss caused by the accident. All of the reflective gear in the world on Nick’s body wouldn’t have stopped the driver, who police say was speeding away from a traffic stop. As of mid-February, to Nick’s knowledge, the driver has not been prosecuted or caught.   “I would have been heading to the Tidal Basin, to run around there,” he said. “I didn’t get very far.” Molly Robertson was waiting alongside Nick, who was a stranger to her, for the traffic light to change. When he darted ahead to cross the street, she was a few steps behind, and saw the whole thing happen. He hit the roof of the car, then landed on the pavement, at which point the car’s tires brushed him as it drove away. “He was thrown up like a rag doll,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t believe he survived it. He was breathing, but unconscious. I had never seen a running accident before, and this was serious.” In addition to Robertson, roughly two dozen people at a nearby bus stop saw it happen, as did an off-duty police officer. The impact broke two parts of his skull — the right temporal bone and the left orbital roof. The temporal bone injury damaged a nerve that may require him to use a hearing aid, and also might be causing vertigo. That November evening, tests at the hospital indicated that Nick was getting worse, and would need brain surgery. At the time, doctors were unaware of who Nick was, because his only identification, his driver’s license in his armband, was 44 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

being handled by the police. His mother Hai and father Minh traveled from their North Hollywood home to be with him, unsure of whether they would have to take him home to care for him. “We didn’t know what he would be like when we got here,” Hai said. “For a long time we were staying awake just hoping he’d get better.” Minh called Nick’s office — the International Medical Corps — to let his coworkers know what happened. “It was all-systems go, everyone sprung into action,” said Maya Bahoshy, one of Nick’s colleagues. “We’re an emergency organization, so we knew how to handle it. We banded together and tried our best to support his parents without overwhelming them.” For nearly three weeks, Nick’s behavior and long-term memory were jumbled. He reportedly tried to escape from the hospital six times. He insisted that his mother was actually his aunt. When his college roommate visited from Ohio, he was positive they were still undergrads. He also was convinced that his boss was Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. “It was obviously scary at the time, but now we can really look back and laugh,” he said. Relief spread through his family, friends and colleagues as he went back to being himself. “We didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Bahoshy said. “We prepared for the worst, but had no idea what to expect from his mental recovery. The last time I saw him there was barely any recognition.” Then he called her, once he was “back.” “It was a shock to get a call from him,” she said. “It seemed like one day he didn’t really know who I was and the next he was the person I remembered.” On Nov. 20, his memory, except for the last three weeks, was back and he was on his way home.


Nick Nguyen stands at the corner of 9th and H NW, where he was hit by a speeding car Nov. 4, 2013. Photo by Sara Alepin

The whole time, Robertson had no idea who Nick was. She called the local hospitals describing what happened, looking to find out if he was okay, but without a name or a direct family connection, she got nowhere. “I was checking the crime logs, hoping to read something about it,” she said. “It seemed like the only reports were about people dying, so at least I didn’t see anything that matched his story.” In January, after finding her phone number in the police report, listed as a witness, Nick gave her a call to thank her for her help. At the time, she didn’t know his name or recognize his voice. For the preceding two months, she only knew him as a fast runner dressed in reflective gear, a cruel irony given that she was dressed in all black the night he was hit. “I was so happy he was okay,” she said. “I’m amazed to hear he is running after that.” Oh, that. His legs, though brushed by the car’s wheels, close enough that to Molly it appeared they had been run over, were relatively undamaged. By mid-February, he had logged four runs on the treadmill, forced to run inside by the cool temperatures, to which his still-healing scalp is sensitive. His mother accompanies him to the gym to watch after him as he eases into an exercise routine. His goal now, April’s Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. He was hit by a car, broke bones and damaged nerves in his head, and within three months is already on the way back to running a ten-mile race. He has some pain in a tendon in his left knee that flares up after a mile and some bruising on one of his toes, but he is working toward running a race, three months after likely having no idea what the race involved. “He’s always been determined, but nobody expected his recovery to be that quick,” Bahoshy said. “He was always trying to get me to run races with him--he’d have a list of them and just go through them all to see if I’d do some. Even the day of

the accident, I was sore all day because I just started running again to do a race with him.” At Cherry Blossom last year, he ran just under 8:30 pace, a minute faster than his usual average. “I don’t know why I was able to run so much faster there,” he said. “I’ll have to adjust my goals this time, given my situation. I’d like to finish under 10 minutes a mile.” He loves the race, it being one of the highlights in the year and a half since he started running after arriving from New Orleans, where he attended Tulane for graduate school. Running from now on will take some adjustments. There will be no more obstacle course races, no more contact sports. “If I’m running outside, I can’t be the first one across the street anymore,” he said. “I can’t trust that drivers are going to follow the law and do the right thing. And I can’t listen to music if I run outside, but that’s okay with me. I’m fine with that.” His assessments of his circumstances often end with that judgment. To be “okay with that” is a blessing, given that many colleagues didn’t think he’d make it. He works in relief coordination, often working through the night to plan action in response to disasters around the world. He could find himself sleeping three hours a night at his peak, a pattern, he says, will have to change. “I won’t be able to work long hours as much, doctors say I need more rest,” he said. “I’m not used to rest.” He will continue with physical and mental rehabilitation to return to a job that’s waiting for him, and in the meantime spend days with his mother, who has remained in Washington after his father returned to California to care for their house. “He’s our only child, and since he left for college when he was 17, he doesn’t come back for a long time. I don’t think he’s been home for more than a week (at a time),” she said. Of DC, she says, it’s nice, but colder than she’s used to. “The drivers are crazy here.” MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 45


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Whether you eat to fuel your runs or hit the trails to be able to indulge in sweets, it’s impossible to separate food and running. “There is definitely a balance between eating enough just to fuel the runs and running enough to warrant eating whatever just because I enjoy it,” said Randy Smith, a runner from Glover Park who averages about 70 miles a week. “There’s days where I’ll feel completely full but still need to eat stuff just to fuel my runs for the next day, but then a lot of days, especially weekends and long run days, I really enjoy doing the long runs because there’s some really unhealthy desserts at the end of it.”

BY JACQUELINE KLIMAS RUNWASHINGTON PHOTOS BY SARA ALEPIN

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 47


Smith usually reaches for a Poptart before his run, then refuels after with Nutella – his weakness – spread on some toast. On weekends, he indulges with homemade brownies after long runs with no guilt. That may not be the diet recommended by nutritionists, but Anne Mauney, a dietician for athletes at the Endurance Athlete Center in Falls Church, said that everybody is different and every runner needs to figure out what works for them through trial and error. Still, she and Liz Greenlaw, the director of medical outreach at Potomac River Running, had some pointers on the best pre- and post-run eats for runners. In addition to being dieticians, both are also long-time distance runners with a couple of marathons under their belts. Before heading out, runners should pick a snack with lots of carbs, but not too much fat, fiber or protein, which could all slow digestion and cause issues on the run. Good choices are toast with a little peanut butter and jelly or a banana, Greenlaw said. If a runner is worried about digestion issues during the run, Greenlaw said they can also turn to a Gu or anything else that dissolves quickly. Mauney also suggested avoiding any foods that are too “sloshy,” like cereal and milk that might be uncomfortable in your stomach when you get moving. After a run, Mauney usually turns to runners’ favorite combination of four grams of carbs for every one gram of protein: chocolate milk.

Randy’s B r ownies Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

Randy Smith enables his sweet tooth with weekend long runs, usually rewarding himself with brownies.

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Nonstick vegetable oil spray 10 tablespoons butter 1-1/4 cups sugar 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs, chilled 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 1 cup mini marshmallows 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions: 1) Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. 1) Using an 8 x 8 x 2-inch metal baking pan, coat pan with nonstick spray.  2) Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring often, cook butter until foam subsides and brown bits begin to form, about 5 minutes.  3) Remove butter from heat and add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes   4) Add eggs to the mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until incorporated into the mixture. Beat vigorously for roughly 1 minute. 5) Stir in marshmallows and chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan. 6) Bake brownies for 23- 25 minutes


Danielle Cloutier-Simmons prepares one of her postrun smoothies.

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“Right after a run, you might not be hungry, it’s a little easier sometimes to get down liquid,” she said. Greenlaw recommended keeping some pre-made smoothies, which should last a couple days, in the fridge. “Having something in liquid form, it’s easy to get nutrients into our bodies absorbing really quickly,” she said. Any combination of fruits and vegetables, also mixing it with protein. You have to make sure you have something for muscle recovery.” Danielle Cloutier-Simons, who lives in Washington, D.C., and is currently training for the Boston Marathon, said she felt a huge difference in her training when she started having smoothies about 30 minutes after a run. “I noticed I was able to recover much quicker. I could go out for a run in the afternoon and feel like I hadn’t even run a track workout in the morning,” she said. “I did feel a difference when I incorporated more vegetables and fruit; I saw a difference in my training.” Cloutier-Simons focuses more on eating good food, including more fruits and vegetables, when she’s training for a race. During off-times, she allows herself a few more guilty pleasures, especially cookies. While she said that she used to run to be able to eat whatever she wanted, she now focuses more on being healthy and running to improve her times. Greenlaw said fruits and vegetables are an especially important part of a runner’s diet when he or she is increasing weekly mileage. “When we’re running more, we increase oxidative stress in our bodies. The more pounding we do on our body, it creates these bad free radicals,” she said. “The way

Run Well With L iz

• Banana with tablespoon of natural peanut butter or other nut butter (I wouldn’t recommend plain nuts or seeds, since they’re a bit more difficult to digest) • 1/2 cup white rice  • 1 container of plain low-fat Greek yogurt • 1/4 - 1/2 plain bagel or plain toast with some raw, organic honey  • Natural 100% fruit juice (if you really can’t stomach anything solid, this is a great option because it provides carbs without fiber) Note: This is the time to avoid fats and fiber (they’re good and necessary, but save it for a recovery snack or meal). The reason for this is because fat takes longer to digest and can drag you down a bit during the run, and fiber can make your stomach upset and have you running off course to the bathroom... Fiber foods to stay away from would include: Veggies, whole grains, and whole fruits high in fiber (e.g. dates, figs) 50 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


to eliminate them is to eat more fruits and vegetables which have antioxidants.” Runners upping their mileage should also make sure to increase their daily calorie intake by a couple hundred calories a day, Greenlaw said, by adding an extra snack or two to their diet rather than increasing the size of their meals. Runners should also focus on eating a lot of leafy green vegetables, which contain lots of vitamins, nutrients and carbohydrates. While carbs are an important part of any diet, both dieticians said not to overdo on the carb loading all the time. “It’s easy to fall into a habit of eating a lot of carbs,” Greenlaw said. “Runners should focus in particular on proteins, like fish and salmon, which contain omega 3 fatty acids that are super important for recovery and fighting inflammation in our bodies.” After the post-workout snack, foam rolling and showering, Mauney said runners should aim to eat a balanced meal. If it’s a weekend morning, Mauney enjoys relaxing with a veggie omelet with some toast and avocado. If you’re an evening runner, Mauney’s blog at www.fannetasticfood.com offers lots of healthy, quick dinner ideas. Some of her favorites are chicken with tomatoes, artichokes and spinach or baked salmon with pesto and squash. Greenlaw advises organizing your meal plate like this: half the plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be a complex carb (one of her favorites is sweet potatoes), and the last quarter should be protein, like chicken, fish or lean beef. She offers some diet-building tips at www.livewellwithliz.com. Whether it’s Nutella, cookies or a tray of brownies, everyone has their guiltiest indulgences. When you should have a salad, but your body is craving a slice of chocolate cake, Mauney advises runners to indulge their cravings rather than opting for a lower-fat option. The key is to not overdo it or let it become a habit. “If you’re going to indulge, you should have the real thing and what you really want,” she said. Mauney believes in paying attention to your body. For example, as she starts running longer distances, Mauney incorporates more red meat into her diet because it’s what she’s craving. She encourages her clients to practice “intuitive eating” rather than counting calories, which means listening to your body for what type and how much fuel it needs. Smith started running three years ago to lose weight and had to stop eating a lot of unhealthy foods. Now, he said he uses his running as less of a diet tool and more as a way to appreciate all the other great things in his life. “Obviously at first it was very fitness based and I had to cut a lot of things out,” he said. “Now, I really run with a focus to enjoy everything else that there is in life.” “But mostly food.”

Danielle’s Summer Berry Smoothie A perfect smoothie for after those hot summer workouts. Ingredients: • 1 small banana (or half of medium banana) • 1.5 cups of frozen blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple (put equal parts into a measuring cup until you have 1.5 cups). • 1 cup vanilla almond milk • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. *Optional: 1 cup of spinach or half an avocado INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Add banana and milk to blender. Mix. If you are adding spinach or avocado, add here. It’s easier on the blender to mix half of the ingredients at a time. 2) Add frozen fruit and protein powder. Mix until smooth. 3) So, the “pre-run” snack is usually the only time I’d recommend people have simple carbohydrates, with a little bit of protein. These types of snacks are easy on the GI tract to digest, and they give a nice boost of energy for your run.

Anne’s Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Bars (vegan) (makes 10-12 bars)

Ingredients: [Dry] • 1 C spelt flour • 1 C old fashioned rolled oats • 1/2 C finely ground flaxseed • 1 tsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. baking soda • 1/4 tsp. sea salt [Wet] • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce • 1/3 C pure maple syrup • 1/4 C smooth almond butter • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. 1) In two separate bowls, mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until mixed. 2) Pour mixture into a pan and pat it down evenly. 3) Pop into the oven and bake for about 25 or so minutes. Fork check to make sure they are done.

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The Rev. Andrew Buechele. RunWashington photo by Melissa Dorn

by Joanna Russo The Rev. Andrew Buechele’s office at Catholic University has a well-nested look. Expectedly, books, papers and little knick-knacks line the shelves and form haphazard piles on the floor. Unexpectedly, two birds sit in cages and intricate pieces of origami dance over the desk and bookshelf. When asked about the origami, he shrugs and says, “At one time, I was in a club, but it folded.” Known to his friends and fellow DC Road Runners, Father Andy last year completed his 24th Marine Corps Marathon. The results are posted outside his office door, for anyone who is interested. At 70 years old and nursing a back injury, he didn’t run his fastest marathon — 3:15 in 1984 — or his easiest. But he did it. “Even though I’m slowing down and it’s not as easy as it once was, I still find meaning in running,” he said. At his peak, in the 1980s, he ran 60 to 70 miles per week. In 2001, though, he suffered injuries during a bike accident, requiring him to see a spine specialist. These days, he runs four times a week, and his longest run leading up to MCM was eight miles. Still, Father Andy, like so many others bitten by the running bug, proves that the pursuit of fitness and passion for running endures. He is a gaunt and soft-spoken man who has a calming presence and easy manner. He had always been an avid biker (growing up in Minnesota without a car meant hauling things home on his bike from downtown). He was a good student, interested in math, science and his faith, which led him to join The Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools. The Piarists are the oldest Catholic educational order, founded by Saint Joseph Calasanctius in 1617, and their primary occupation is teaching (they are known for providing free education to poor children). Widespread in Europe but less common in America, the Piarists also have a home at Catholic University, Father Andy’s alma mater. After college, Father Andy taught high school in Buffalo for five years. He decided he needed physical activity and running seemed like the easiest option; he also earned a masters degree in nuclear physics and a doctorate in material science. It wasn’t until he went to Berkeley, Calif., during graduate school, that he ran his first race, the Strawberry Canyon 52 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

Run, which tested his mettle and introduced to him a whole new aspect of the running scene: racing. “There wasn’t one defining moment that caused me to start running,” he said. “The sport lured me in slowly and surely. I wanted to stay fit and running seemed like the easiest option.” While earning his doctorate, another significant event introduced him to a new path. He worked at St. Catherine’s Parish and met a young girl who wanted to run away from home. When she came to him for guidance, he advised her against it, but she did it, anyway, and wound up at Covenant House, a crisis center for the homeless youth of New York, seeking shelter and aid. Andy eventually requested to be sent to New York City to work at Covenant House, as he wanted to continue his mission of providing education to the youth. There, he tested kids at PS-106 to determine their education level and helped them develop talents and skills to survive in the world through a proper education. He continued training, and got caught up in the hype for the 1982 New York City marathon. After practicing with one 20-miler, he decided to jump into the marathon. In 1983, he completed his first marathon and, later that year, after returning to Catholic University via its Vitreous State Laboratory (VSL) research center, joined the DC Road Runners Curious about Father Andy’s work at Catholic, I ask him about his doctorate and current projects. Material science is an interdisciplinary study spawned by the space race. It is the study of why materials behave how they do and how to make them respond to new environments by combining different fields of science such chemistry and biology. His latest project includes research on ways to recycle nuclear waste. And this is when the timbre of his voice changes and his eyes twinkle a little more: as he brings over a periodic table and starts to talk about isotopes and cooling down cores.   For the record, Father Andy has run in almost every brand, but prefers New Balance and Saucony and swears by Spenco insoles. He has always been a morning runner. His favorite marathon is the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.


MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 53


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ANNA SAVAGE at the Going Green track meet. PHOTO BY DAN REICHMANN

Running’s hard. Racing can be scary. And organizations don’t grow to 5,000 members scaring people away. But running and racing are an opportunity to compete. Last year, the Montgomery County Road Runners club debuted its racing team after three decades without one, allowing the club to fulfill its mission to be, “A place for every pace.” MCRRC racing team member Lisa Reichmann said she wasn’t surprised there wasn’t a racing team prior to 2013. “While I wish it would have been created sooner, I think that the beliefs for MCRRC are more focused on an every-type-of-runner club,” Reichmann said. “That’s why I think people love the training programs and love the club. It has always been a club focused on community and runners of all abilities.” A mother of three, Reichmann said that she was drawn to MCRRC because of the community atmosphere. And after she had kids, it was a great way for the entire family to MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 55


be involved in something. While Reichmann volunteered and coordinated several events for the club, she felt like she was missing out on something. She was one of the fastest members of the club and didn’t have any opportunity to run with athletes who had similar training goals, or to represent the club with which she identified so closely. For Reichmann, there wasn’t a “place for her pace” — not until club member, and now racing team member, Dave Haaga got the ball rolling. “I initially suggested that MCRRC lend some support to some of the stellar young runners in the county trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials…in 2011,” Haaga said. “The board did not wish to favor a particular team or store sponsor and declined that suggestion. They did [support] the more general idea that as part of the club’s a ‘place for every pace’ principle we might do more to support fast-paced runners.” Shortly following his suggestion, the MCRRC Board of Directors created an ad-hoc committee to support competitive runners. Haaga chaired the committee and Nicole Deziel, who eventually became a co-coordinator of the team, served as a liaison. They and other members of the committee helped come up with a number of recommendations. Deziel said that she was frustrated with going to events and not seeing any representation for the club. “I would go to the RRCA Club Challenge every year and other teams had these nice snazzy shirts on, while MCRRC would roll up with mix-matched shirts or you wouldn’t even know if someone was in your club,” Deziel said. “I felt like we weren’t representing ourselves.” The board’s initial hesitation to create the team was consistent with their overarching theme in the club of inclusivity. “The board just wanted to make sure that this was something that was open and available to all our members,” Deziel said, “and that it was fair and transparent.” The club’s board of directors eased into adding a more competitive aspect to by adding cash prizes to the top MCRRC team in one major race selected annually: $200 for the top MCRRC male and female runner in one major club race selected annually, and a change in the prize structures for the championship and cross country series to $500, $400, and $300 cash for the top three open male and female runners. The board also approved the competitive racing team concept. The structure of the team was formed in a similar fashion to the Howard County Striders racing team, attracting all ages with open and masters divisions. “There’s lots of other racing teams around for mostly younger runners,” said MCRRC racing team member Mark Neff, who competes in the Masters division. “But [MCRRC] has master runners who wouldn’t have a chance running on the other teams.” MCRRC racing team co-coordinator Yukon Frank Fung said having both an open and masters division

MCRRC racing team co-coordinator Nicole Deziel at the Candy Cane City 5k. Photo by Dan Reichmann

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Feb. 23 RRCA Club Challenge March 9 St. Patrick’s Day 8k April 6 Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler April 20 Pike’s Peek 10k May 11 Germantown Five Miler July 19 Rockville Twilight Runfest 8k Sept. 14 Parks Half Marathon Oct. 19 Army Ten-Miler Nov. 2 Rockville 10k Nov. 9 Veterans’ Day 10k


on the team is a huge asset to him and other younger members on the team, because of the wisdom the masters can pass on to the rest of the team. “We are well-experienced,” Fung said. “We have a lot to learn from the older generation and they are willing to teach. The other teams who have younger, faster guys, don’t have an older generation to learn from.” In selecting the team, time standards, adjusted for open and masters athletes, helped ensure the team members could cut it competitively and they served as the primary criteria. The racing team committee generally selected applicants with the fastest performances over a wide range of distances, with club activity or volunteer participation records breaking ties. Once members of the racing team were chosen, they began competing in local races — albeit with a few struggles. “In our first race together, we didn’t have team uniforms,” Reichmann said. “Then when we did get all of our team uniforms, it was the Rockville Twilighter, which was cancelled (because the threat of thunderstorms).” As it turned out, uniforms weren’t the only challenges the racing team faced at first. “People are training for different distances,” said Deziel. “We have ultra-marathoners to 5k runners on the team. And having a coached workout was going to be challenging in terms of training together.” But after several months, the team finally showcased their new uniforms and top runners at the Parks Half Marathon and placed first in the team competition. And shortly after, the team won the Marine Corps Marathon’s mixed category. “It was such a great feeling to see everybody in their singlets and afterwards I got so much positive feedback,” Deziel said. “We achieved showcasing our runners and increasing our visibility.” As the new team heads into 2014, members are all set to compete in a full year of races. From the RRCA Ten Mile Challenge to Army Ten-Miler, MCRRC will be showcasing their highly-competitive athletes in an official capacity. Each runner is required to compete in at least five of 10 regional races on the schedule. In addition, Diezel noted that the team wants to attract more young runners and women in the future. “One idea we have is promoting the racing team to children and high school club members,” Diezel said. “For example, we just expanded our high school scholarship program that we offer to runners. So we hope that by providing some support to them, once they come back from college, they’ll come back to us.” Though the racing team is for the top athletes in the club who can meet time standards, Reichmann said that it’s still in keeping with the club’s values. “Even if it’s a faster subset of MCRRC, I feel like it’s still the same ‘no intimidation factor,’” Reichmann said. “It still has that camaraderie and place for every team member but at a much higher level.”

Female Male Open Masters Open Masters Allison Lawruk Lisa Chilcote Miles Aitken Lee Firestone Courtney Perna Cindy Conant Alex Booth David Haaga Laura Ramos Kellie Redmond Nicholas Crouzier Paul Jacobson Lisa Reichmann Julie Sapper Keith Flanders Mark Neff Jennifer Sample Jennifer Schwartz Yukun Fung Tom Offenbacher Anna Savage Andrew Howard Frank Perna Rachel Smith Miguel Perez Jordan Snyder Taylor Williamson David Storper Kevin Yates

Frank Fung races to the finish at the Parks Half Marathon. Photo by Steve Zuraf

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 57


Join us this April for the 30th Annual

GEORGE WASHINGTON 10 MILE PARKWAY CLASSIC & 5K

Sunday

APRIL 13, 2014 Bling! Finisher medal It’s our 30th anniversary and we want to celebrate with some hardware. Go ahead, you earned it. Alexandria Boys & Girls Club For more than a decade, the Parkway Classic has been a major supporter of our local chapter.

Train with us! Train with Pacers as your prep for the Parkway. Details at runpacers.com

Free finisher photos! Say cheese! Free photos for all our finishers.

Port City Brewing Beer Garden Join us post race at our Port City Brewing beer garden complete with live music.

Tech Tee Commemorative tech tee for all registrants. You’ll look marvelous in it!

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2/18/14 12:21 PM


By Rachael Bu r ke

Chris Murrer

Photo by Sara Alepin

59 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014


All runners know how to carry their own weight. It is our burden and our gift. But the ultra-runner sometimes carries more. More water, more food—just more. Sometimes this is a requirement, sometimes a choice. Either way, you can learn a lot about a long distance runner by what he carries. Christopher Murrer learned how to carry a heavy load: 25 pounds, packed neatly inside a deceptively small, black and yellow backpack. While he trained, it was filled with rice, a common trick for ultra-runners looking to simulate pack weight. But from Feb. 16 to 22, he replaced the rice with life-sustaining necessities when he left his Washington D.C., home to embark on a six-day, 155-mile trek across the desert as he runs the entirely selfsupported 2014 Sahara Race (Jordan). His route began in Wadi Rum, Jordan, where he journeyed through four distinct Arabian deserts (Wadi Rum, Kharaza, Humaima and Wadi Araba). For the first four days, he covered between 22 and 25 miles per day, making his way to a mandatory nightly check-in camp. Day five involved 56 miles in 24 hours. The final day was a 3.1-mile “victory lap” to the finish line in the ancient city of Petra. “The course has been gorgeous,” Chris wrote on his Sahara Race 2014 Blog. “The landscape is very similar to that of the [Southwest] U.S.” 60 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

The route winds through canyons, salt flats, riverbeds, open desert, mountains, valleys, and the occasional knee-scraping tunnel. Though each stage poses varying difficulties, the 56-mile Stage five is notoriously tough. As Chris wrote, “People who have done several of these races say this ‘Long March’ is the hardest and most technical they’ve ever done.” The “self-support” requirement of the Sahara Race is a unique and challenging feature, particularly because the desert was an untested environment for him. Unlike “crewed” or supported endurance races in which food, clothing changes, bedding, and pacers can be managed by friends, he was entirely responsible for his own needs for the duration of the challenge and carried all of it from start to finish. Water was supplied every six miles and he was given a minimalist tent to sleep in: everything else was his to haul. There was a time in his life when the concept of running so far or being so physically self-supported wasn’t a realistic possibility. While in law school, Chris was active, but his life lacked the passion and rhythm of a true runner. In 2008, after years of neglectful overuse, the arch of his left foot collapsed, leaving him with a flipper-like appendage. “I struggled with my foot for several years,” he said, “I hadn’t taken care of it, but


I didn’t expect it to hurt like it did. There was just this devastating pain.” After his injury, he painfully managed his malfunctioning limb until finally deciding to undergo a comprehensive arch reconstruction surgery. His hopes were high. He said, “I swore to myself that if my foot worked after this, I would make sure I used it to its full potential.” Maybe there is a reason it’s called the “road to recovery.” “Well, this whole [running] thing started out as what I call an ‘exercise binge’ after having surgery on my foot,” he explained. “At first, I could barely run a 5k. The pain was just excruciating. I had to walk it. But it kept getting better, so I signed up for a sprint triathlon. That went ok. I thought, ‘Why not run a marathon?’ Once my foot started getting better, I promised myself I would run as much as I could and be grateful for every minute of it. At least now I could run.” In 2011, Chris completed his first marathon. From there, he began venturing into ultra distance challenges. By 2012, he had conquered the Lake Placid Ironman. His athletic resume now includes six marathons, two Half Ironmans, two Ironmans, 24-hour obstacle races, several Tough Mudders, a swim across the Chesapeake (4.4 miles), and a JFK 50 Miler. But he has never run across a desert. And he has never had to carry so much so far.

“Has that really stopped any of us?” Chris asks, “It’s an adventure. We’re all kind of like that. We’ve all done things outside of our comfort zone. For me, it just happens to be this. If you aren’t a little bit scared of it, you aren’t doing it right.” Maybe that is part of what makes endurance challenges a bit different—fear can be a useful component. Not fear of failure. (“I think I’ll be able to finish,” Chris said, grinning with his fingers crossed.) Not fear of pain. (“I’m sure something’s going to hurt. Something I haven’t thought of,” he said). The difference is in knowing that if you do not use that fear to prepare well, you will come face to face with something you haven’t learned to fear—and that’s dangerous. So you make a plan. You train to keep moving on your own two feet, even if one of those feet has failed you in the past. As Chris said, “Once you convince yourself you can do it—or you should—you have to keep going. I think all of us who run long distances feel this way. In life, there are so many roadblocks— people making decisions for you or telling you that you can’t do something or you have to do something. When I started running long, it was the first time I was the only one making the decision, saying I don’t have to stop. I can go farther as long as I say that I want to.” For Chris, learning how to “self-support” MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 61


Chris Murrer gets used to sand in the long jump pit at Washington-Lee High School. Photo by Sara Alepin

meant returning to the training basics while creating strategies that make his running more effective and efficient. Fully preparing for the Sahara Race also meant examining why he is running in the first place. A typical week for Chris consists of 1417 hours of training, with 8-10 of those hours logged on the weekend. Much of that was spent running on the Potomac Heritage Trail, the C&O Towpath and around the National Mall. “I worry more about time than distance,” he explained. “I don’t completely ignore my distance, but I’m more focused on the time I’m spending on my feet each week.” His mid-week training revolved around hour-long runs and weight-bearing treadmill climbs. “It’s pretty flat around here, so I have to get hills in somehow,” he said. He also cross-trains with resistance cycling and TRX workouts to recover and develop supporting muscle groups. The backbone of Chris’s training, however, was been his back-to-back weekend long runs (roughly five hours each). This increases his endurance and simulates the compound fatigue of a multi-day event. In contrast with a single, longer run (10-12 hours, for example) the potential for injury is drastically decreased with an overnight recovery. Throughout these runs, the black and yellow pack never leaves his back. “Everything I’ve done training-wise has revolved around my backpack,” he explained. “It’s kind of funny — I thought with all the running I was going to do, I was going to lose a lot of weight, but I’ve probably put on five or six pounds. I think its just muscle from carrying the pack. My shoulders and back get really sore sometimes, so I’ve had to learn to deal with that. It kind of reminds me of when I first started

62 | RUNWASHINGTON | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | MARCH APRIL 2014

running. It’s like earth’s gravity has increased. It takes me forever to get somewhere.” If you suggest to Chris that he simply lighten the load, he would love to take your advice. He isn’t a masochist. But much of what he had to carry was a requirement of the Four Deserts racing commission, tools of survival and self-rescue. A few of the items on the required list: a sleeping bag, a survival bivvy bag (a tiny little tent), two headlamps, a flashlight, a signaling mirror, rubbing alcohol, a whistle, a jacket, a long sleeve shirt, a poncho, toilet tissue/wet wipes, a knife, salt-tablets and nationality patches. “Logistically, it’s kind of a pain,” he said with a laugh when discussing the concept of carrying all the essentials, but he understands the need to pack smart. Not everything is included on the list, however, and this presents one of the biggest challenges. For example, there is no mention of preparing for or dealing with sand for six days with no shower access and no convenient first-aid tent nearby to tend to damaged feet. This is where creativity can save a D.C. runner like Chris, when carrying something very small can make a big difference: “We should bring super-glue. A little frontier medicine!” he said. As he learned during the first stage, things you thought you would never need suddenly become a necessity. “The tents are these 50 [foot-long] structures made out of logs and goat hair blankets. They are not waterproof. And it happened to rain for the first two days,” Chris wrote. “Fortunately, RPT required that we bring waterproof sacks to protect our gear. But we spent a lot of time patching holes in the roof to protect our sleeping bags.” One thing Chris knew he needed was


calories. A lot of them. “I’ll pack a vial of olive oil. I don’t really pack Gu,” he said during his training. “(Gels are) not an efficient way to carry calories. I also plan on carrying a lot of dehydrated meals. Beef jerky, pepperoni, Parmesan cheese. Stuff like that. I know it sounds weird, but whatever works. I think my strong stomach is my best feature. I can eat about anything and be ok.” In training, Chris enjoyed the same freedom: “I pretty much eat what I want. I don’t follow any kind of plan. I’m a pretty unstructured guy, so being able to eat what I want when I want works well.” Certainly, adaptability is necessary: His ability to eat then move on his feet is a talent many distance runners would envy. But more than that, Chris—a tax attorney by profession—has had to remain flexible in order to maintain efficiency in his daily life as well. “I build running around my life,” he said, “not life around my running. It’s like, ‘I get to run today!’ I mean, don’t get me wrong, I eat dinner over my sink at midnight sometimes, but you do what you have to.” Sometimes, what you “have to do” is regulate your approach to help the body acclimate to a novel environment. While Chris may be a bit of a free spirit, he knew how to take care of himself on the course, the mark of a wise ultra-runner. Regarding the fourth state, reported, “The course is tough, but I actually feel like my body has adjusted. I have a pretty regimented electrolyte and salt intake … which I think has kept my head clear.” Still, for many, hours of training and midnight dinners over the sink might present a somewhat stereotypical image of the lone, long distance runner. As he admitted,

“Running is inherently solitary.” But his motivation for running the Sahara Race 2014 has meant giving support, finding support, and reframing the idea of running with a purpose. Or, as he describes it in the fifth stage, running this race has always been about “the inspirational aspect of people’s determination.” In 2011, while training for the Pittsburgh Marathon, Chris met Ian Rosenberger, who had volunteered in Haiti after the island nation’s devastating 2010 earthquake. While in Haiti, Ian met Tassy Fils-aime, a young survivor who needed life-saving, but prohibitively expensive surgery. Ian brought Tassy to the United States, fundraising and advocating on his behalf until Tassy received the surgery he required. In an effort to provide continual and comprehensive financial aid that would ultimately allow Haitian families to selfsupport, Team Tassy was born. For Chris and Ian (who both ran the Sahara Race 2014 on behalf of Team Tassy), being able to carry the philosophy of Team Tassy across the desert makes them stronger runners. “It helps when you can point to actual people you are helping,” Chris said, “It resonates more. It feels more compelling. You know these are the people I am helping. They all have the potential—they just need a boost.” In preparing for the Sahara Race 2014, Chris learned he couldn’t carry just himself. Whether it’s the name of a friend, an extra bit of muscle, or another drop of olive oil, he needs more to make it. But maybe the “more” Chris knew he needs most is something he has to go to the desert to find: “Your goal always seems like a mirage. I just need the feeling of being the only thing stopping myself. So I don’t give up.”

MARCH APRIL 2014 | RUNWASHINGTON.COM | RUNWASHINGTON | 63


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BY DICKSON MERCER

SAM LUFF gets a face full of Bend, Ore. at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships. PHOTO BY JOHN SWENSON

The 2013 USATF Club Cross Country Nationals - held on a mud-and-muck 2k circuit in Bend, Ore. - was the brainchild of a world-class mountain and trail runner who once pinned a race bib to his bare chest. Washington, D.C.’s Sam Luff, running for Georgetown Running Club, got through the first four loops, over the hills and hay bales, just fine. On the final lap, though, with about a mile to go, things got weird, when Luff caught his foot on something at the bottom of a steep downhill and went airborne. John Swenson, a photographer from Redmond, Wash., captured the moment in four frames: Luff landing on his right hip with his legs kicking out behind him, his hands breaking his fall then pushing himself up on his feet, grinding on. Flashback: Four years earlier, while competing for Cornell University in the IC4As, Luff fell coming over the barrier of the steeplechase pit, spilled into water … and went on to run a personal best. This time around, GRC’s two-time runner of the year was

fighting his way back from injuries. He was not in peak form, but his team – the best GRC had ever fielded – was relying on him to run a gutsy race and cap its top five. Luff did just that, losing but a second or two on his way to a top-100 finish that helped GRC finish ninth in the men’s standing – just one point ahead of Club Northwest – and crack the top 10 for the first time in the club’s history. This year, the stakes are raised, and Luff will get to race club nationals in Bethlehem, Pa., near his hometown of Emmaus, on the Lehigh University course he raced and trained on throughout high school and college. Flat and neatly groomed, “It is pretty much the antithesis of the Bend course, so I’d expect less falling and much, much faster times,” Luff said. Except, for Luff, falling during a race seems to bring him good luck. Like that time in 2008, when he slipped and fell on the Lehigh course during the annual Paul Short invitational … and set his 8k cross country PR of 24:48.


Couture Races MAR 9, 2014 Washington, DC

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