Arlington Family Returns to Boston Marathon — The Walls family of Arlington will be returning to Boston this week to finish the marathon they didn’t get to complete last year because of the April 15 bombings. John Walls was in the grandstands on Boylston Street, waiting for wife Cindy and daughter Katie to cross the finish line, when the first bomb exploded across the street. John captured video of the ensuing chaos on his smartphone. Cindy and Katie were among the thousands of runners who did not get a chance to finish the race. They’re running again this year. [WTOP]
Dozens of Arlingtonians to Compete in Marathon — A record 112 runners from Arlington are signed up to run the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. The race is the world’s oldest annual marathon and widely considered the world’s most prestigious. [InsideNoVa]
HOT Lanes Proposed for 14th Street Bridge — The District of Columbia is considering a proposal to install High Occupancy Toll lanes on the 14th Street Bridge, the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, and I-295. Arlington County successfully blocked a HOT lanes proposal on the Alexandria and Arlington portion of I-395. [NBC Washington]
Kenmore Teacher Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ — Kenmore Middle School technology teacher Cassidy Nolen has been named Arlington’s 2014 teacher of the year. Glebe Elementary School principal Jamie Borg, meanwhile, was named principal of the year. [InsideNoVa]
‘Business of Weddings’ Forum at GMU — Weddings are big business, and a free forum tomorrow at George Mason University’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive) will explore the economic impact of getting hitched. Attendees are asked to RSVP for the event, which is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday. [Eventbrite]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
An Arlington couple is selling t-shirts they came up with as a way to raise money for those impacted by last month’s Navy Yard shooting.
Chris and Jennifer K. (they prefer not to reveal their full last name) had been trying to find a way to help those affected by the incident at the Navy Yard, where Jennifer works. Jennifer remembered a “Boston Strong” t-shirt she bought following the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year. The couple figured something similar might work for the Navy Yard shooting, because Chris was already planning to run next month’s marathon in Athens, Greece. The “Run for the Navy Yard, 26.2-for-20″ theme honors the 20 victims killed or wounded at the Navy Yard.
“We just thought this would be a great way to raise funds and help keep the victims’ memories alive through wearing the shirts,” said Chris.
Jennifer had been working on the third floor of building 197 when the shooting took place. She had been near an emergency exit and managed to escape to safety. Chris explained that his mother-in-law works just down the hall from Jennifer, but luckily had been on vacation that day. His mother-in-law’s office ended up being used as a shelter where employees barricaded themselves inside.
Chris said the family is incredibly thankful for Jennifer’s safety, and now the focus has turned to helping the families of those who weren’t so lucky.
“We just want to promote the t-shirts right now,” Chris said.
The money raised by the t-shirt sales goes to the Navy Yard Relief Fund. The couple already completed one round of fundraising, during which they sold 95 shirts. They recently launched a second round that runs through October 29. Although the fundraising websites Chris used required him to list a specific amount of money as an end goal, he and Jennifer don’t really have a set amount they’re aiming for. They just want to help out as much as they can.
“It’s just to really raise as much money as we can for the families and people who are really affected by it,” he said. “Any support people can give by buying the shirt or spreading the word is greatly appreciated.”
Anyone who wishes to buy one of the $25 shirts may do so online. The shirts will ship around two weeks after the fundraiser ends on October 29.
DCA Runway to Move — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has hired a contractor to fill in part of the Potomac River and move a runway at Reagan National Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration requires the improvements because the runway does not meet FAA safety standards. The project is scheduled to begin next week and continue through 2015. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Man Finishes Run for Boston Victims — Arlington resident Frank Fumich completed his run from the Pentagon to the Boston Marathon finish line on Saturday. Fumich and a running partner from Florida raised more than $78,000 for the Boston bombing victims during the four day, 450 mile journey. During the final 19 miles, they were joined by a woman who was unable to finish the race when the bombs exploded. She gave her Boston Marathon medal to Fumich. [Washington Post]
Orange Line has Most Metrorail Weekend Work — In a tally of the areas most affected by Metrorail weekend track work from May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, the Orange Line section from East Falls Church to West Falls Church ranks as number one. That portion registered 23 weekends of work. It has been closed 10 times and single tracked 13 times in the one year period due to work linking the Silver Line to the rest of the system. [Greater Greater Washington]
Cpl. Albert Kim has been with ACPD for about 13 years. He’s part of the department’s Tactical Training Unit, which holds the dual purpose of serving as a member of the SWAT team and providing training to other officers.
Kim doesn’t consider himself a marathon runner, he considers himself a triathlete. He was recently selected to compete in the International Triathlon Union championships in London this fall. Occasionally, he participates in marathons because they’re a “lower stress” form of training for him. After having been a spectator at the Boston Marathon last year, this year he decided to run it.
Kim had finished the race before the bombings and was already back in Cambridge, where he was staying, and just about to sit down for dinner at a restaurant. The person he was supposed to dine with is a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where nearly three dozen of the bombing victims were taken for treatment, and immediately was called back to the hospital. Kim said his instinct as a first responder was to do as his dinner partner had done, and head back into the city to assist. But he fought the urge and instead heeded the pleas of local law enforcement officials who asked residents and visitors alike to stay off the streets.
“Being a law enforcement officer, you want to help as much as you can. But at the same time, me not knowing the area, not being familiar with what needs to be done, I would be more of a hindrance,” said Kim. “The best thing I could do was stay out of everyone’s way, not go out, not see what’s going on at the scene, but follow directions. Everyone was being told to stay in place, to not leave their hotel rooms or congregate in groups.”
Like the others in the restaurant, Kim says he stared in disbelief at the scene playing out in front of him on the television.
“Everyone was glued to the television and the first thing I saw on the big screen was a replay of the explosion at the finish line. I was just watching the news and reading the updates. No one’s talking inside the place, everyone’s kind of staring at the television,” said Kim. “I was saddened by what I saw. It was a little bit of confusion too because I think initially everyone was speculating as to what had taken place. My first reaction is, who does something like that? What possess someone to do something like that on such a wonderful day with everyone watching? It’s very disheartening.”
Eighty-two runners in the 2013 Boston Marathon listed their city of residence as Arlington, Va. Following today’s horrific bombing at the race’s finish line, we’re now starting to hear from some of those Arlington residents who ran the race and escaped the event unscathed.
Arlington resident Pam Howze traveled to Boston with her parents, husband (local political activist Alan Howze) and three children (ages 2, 5 and 7) for the race. Along with a cousin who lives in Boston, they were all at a “T” station about a half mile away from the finish line at the time of the blasts.
“We heard two explosions… we didn’t know what it was,” said Howze, 39, who finished the race with a time of 3:27. She crossed the finish line 30-45 minutes before the bombings.
“I’m happy we’re all safe,” she said. “I’m saddened for everyone who isn’t. It’s very upsetting.”
We asked Howze, who was reached via cell phone as the family drove back to Arlington, whether she would run the race again, in light of the bombing.
“Right now I’m not sure, but I probably would,” she said. “I don’t think I’d bring my whole family, though. ”
Some runners and loved ones of runners have taken to social media to say they’re okay.
“I finished at 3:37:39, and I was in the clothes-changing bus when we heard the two explosions and felt the shock waves,” said Jay Jacob Wind, 63, an Arlington Heights resident and prolific local marathon runner. “It was like 9-11, when the ground shook all the way from the Pentagon to my house three miles away. So I’m safe, but I’m saddened by this tragedy, and I share my sorrow with many millions of others.”
A full list of Arlington runners who registered for the race is available on Wind’s blog.
Taneen Carvell, an Arlington resident and training coach with Potomac River Running, “ran well and [is] safe,” according to the store’s Facebook page.
Reynolds Wilson, an Arlington resident and running enthusiast, crossed the finish line well before the bombings.
“He finished in 3:02 and unaware of the events until after the fact,” we’re told. “He and his family all okay.”
Among other local residents who ran the race are Cindy Walls, the cross country and track coach at Bishop O’Connell High School, and her daughter, Katie. In addition to being a coach, Cindy is also a grief counselor. Katie, who graduated from Bishop O’Connell in 2009, ran track in high school and college.
Neither woman finished the race, which was cut short by the bombings, but their 13 mile time, listed on the Boston Marathon website, suggests that it’s unlikely they would have been near the finish line at the time of the explosions. A school spokesman has not yet responded to an inquiry from ARLnow.com.
Update at 9:10 a.m. — Walls and her daughter were still running the course and did not even hear the blasts, but husband John Walls was across the street from one of the explosions and says he could “feel the heat and smell the sulphur,” according to the Sun Gazette.
Have you heard from an Arlington resident who ran the race or who was a spectator near the finish line? Email us at arlingtonnews [at] gmail.com or let us know in the comments.
Michael Wardian isn’t the only elite marathon runner in Arlington.
Arlington resident Claire Hallissey, a 29-year-old transplant from the UK, was the top British female finisher in the London Marathon over the weekend. So impressive was her time of 2:27:44 that it landed her the third and final spot on the British women’s marathon team at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
“The crowd in London on Sunday was fantastic and the Olympics will be even bigger and better,” Hallissey told The Sun newspaper in the UK. “I’m still ecstatic over my run. I’d hoped I could run a time like that and that everything would fit into place on the day.”
Hallissey’s Olympic-caliber run has captured the attention of nearly every major British media outlet, including The Sun, BBC News, The Guardian, The Independent, the Press Association newswire, the Scotsman, and others.
“CLAIRE-PE DIEM,” blared The Sun’s headline. “Claire Hallissey saves her vest for last with Olympic spot.”
Hallissey was born in Watford, outside of London. After attending the University of Cambridge and then earning a doctorate at Bristol University, she moved to Arlington with her husband Matt, who had been offered a job as a transportation planner, according to various outlets.
Hallissey works as a grant writer for a Loudoun County-based nonprofit organization, according to her LinkedIn page. In her spare time she is an avid baker, according to her Twitter page.
Photo via Twitter
Lawmakers Punishing Arlington for HOT Lanes Suit — Arlington may have succeeded in blocking a state-backed plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395 last year, but the lawsuit the county filed against the HOT lanes project is coming back to haunt it in Richmond. State lawmakers have proposed budget amendments that would reduce Arlington’s share of road maintenance funds by $100,000 — a form of punishment for the county’s legal tactics. [Washington Times]
Wardian Wins D.C. Marathon — Arlington’s Michael Wardian won the SunTrust Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon in the District on Saturday, completing the race with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds. The 37-year-old father of two had previously won the race’s predecessor, the National Marathon, five times. [Competitor]
Sliced Shopper Demands Wi-Fi – A woman has penned an open letter to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s insisting that the store install free public Wi-Fi internet service. The letter writer says the store’s lack of Wi-Fi led her to accidentally slice her finger while cutting avocados at home. [Patch]
Signature Production Connects with Younger Audience — A production at Shirlington’s Signature Theater is accomplishing the difficult feat of connecting with a younger theater-going audience while at the same time shining a critical light on their generation. “Really Really,” by 26-year-old playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo, examines “the self-absorbed mindsets often exhibited by the twentysomething members of ‘Generation Me.’” The show runs through March 25. [Variety]
Prolific marathoner, international shipbroker and Arlington resident Michael Wardian is trying out for the 2012 London Olympics.
Wardian, who ran in 26 races of 26.2 miles or longer in 2011, will compete in the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston on Saturday. The 37-year-old told The Daily that starting marathon running in his 20s, rather than earlier in life, is helping his endurance now.
“I’m not burned out,” Wardian told the tablet publication. “Many top guys start running when they’re 8 or 9 and have been competing at a high level for a long time. A lot of people in their late 30s think they’re done with sports. I’m still setting (personal records).”
Michael Wardian, an Arlington resident and one of the country’s premiere distance runners, crushed the world record for an indoor track marathon, completing the 26.2 miles in 2:27:21. The old record was 2:34:54, set in Boston back in 1928.
Wardian set the record at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, which has a 200-meter soft urethane track. To complete the marathon, he had to run 211 laps.
Wardian, who works as an international shipbroker in Georgetown, is no stranger to setting records. He set the world records for fastest marathon while pushing a baby stroller and fastest marathon on a treadmill, but both of those records have since been broken (“I hope to get them back soon,” he told us).
Wardian says he enjoyed setting this record so close to home.
“It feels great and I was so happy to be able to do it at Thomas Jefferson Community Center… close to my house in front of my family and friends,” he said.
Two Arlington runners cleaned up at marathons in Delaware and Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Arlington resident and international shipbroker Michael Wardian, coming off his fourth National Marathon win in March, ran the fastest Delaware Marathon ever with a time of 2:26:22.
After finishing the race Wardian, who is training for an ultra marathon in South Africa, decided to keep going.
“I’m going to go do another hour, hour and a half run right now,” the 36-year-old told the Wilmington News Journal.
In York, Pa., Arlington resident Toni Diegoli was the fastest woman in the Bob Potts Heritage Rail Trail Marathon by more than 11 minutes.
Diegoli, 31, finished with at time of 3:06:08, or 11th overall. The next-fastest woman finished in 3:17:14.
Diegoli talked to the York Daily Record after the race and tried her best not to gloat.
“I started out pretty well and didn’t really see any other women,” said Diegoli, who won the North Central Rail Trail Marathon in Maryland in November. “I don’t mind, because I kind of like running alone. Besides, there are always some guys around you.”