Arlington, VA

The Marine Corps Marathon will be held virtually this year, race organizers announced today.

The October marathon usually involves miles of closed streets, tens of thousands of runners grouped together, and large festivals in Rosslyn and Crystal City. That will not be the case for 2020.

Due to the “ongoing public health concerns and the guidelines of local governments,” participants will instead be asked to run 26.2 miles on their own in order to receive their finisher medal, organizers said. Previously, the companion MCM10K and MCM Kids Run were made virtual-only, while the main event was still set to be run on Sunday, Oct. 25.

“We explored various approaches to safely execute a live event and held numerous meetings with Marine Corps leadership, local government and public health officials,” Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO), said in a press release today. “We understand this is disappointing news for many, but we could no longer envision a way to gather together in compliance with safety guidelines. While we are unable to celebrate in-person this October, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the 45th anniversary event to the homes of runners around the world through a rewarding and engaging virtual experience.”

“Health and safety are our top priorities during this challenging time,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “The Marine Corps Marathon is a treasured event and tradition in our community that Arlingtonians look forward to each year. As we celebrate the race’s 45th anniversary this year, we will be enthusiastically and virtually cheering on each runner. We can’t wait to welcome these dedicated athletes and fans back to Arlington in person in 2021.”

More from a press release:

The virtual MCM Weekend events including the MCM, MCM10K, MCM50K and the MCM Semper Fun Mile must be completed between October 1 – November 10, the Marine Corps Birthday. All participants will receive the corresponding participant shirt, commemorative bib, patch and/or finisher medal. Runners will also have access to an online event program, personalized finisher certificate, the MCM Audio Experience and several new digital engagement platforms.

Further instructions and a link to the registration change form will be sent this week to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration. The deadline for currently registered runners to take action on the change form is August 5, 2020.

Runners currently in the live MCM or MCM50K category have the option to:

  • Defer entry to a future year (2021, 2022 or 2023) of the runner’s choice at no additional fee; These runners will have a guaranteed virtual entry available for purchase for 24 hours following initiation of the deferment process.
  • Request a full registration refund including carbo dining tickets and bib mail out, if purchased.

Runners who already deferred to a future year and paid a deferment fee will receive an automatic refund of the $30 fee and have the option to:

  • Remain deferred for 2021, 2022 or 2023; or
  • Request a full registration refund including carbo dining tickets and bib mail out, if purchased.

Runners who previously transferred directly from the live to the virtual event have the option to:

  • Request a partial refund of the registration fee minus the $45 virtual entry fee; or
  • Cancel registration and request a full registration refund including carbo dining tickets and bib mail out, if purchased.

Virtual event registration is open to the public. Entry fees are $45 for the MCM and MCM50K; $33 for the MCM10K; and $20 for the Semper Fun Mile.

Refunds of registration fees will be processed beginning on August 6, 2020 and may take between four to six weeks. Processing fees will not be refunded.

In addition to marking its 45th anniversary, this year’s MCM commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima by featuring actual volcanic ash collected at that site within the event medal.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

GOP Senate Primary Today — “Three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s Virginia primary are hoping to win a chance to defeat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in November’s general election. Alissa Baldwin, Daniel Gade and Thomas Speciale will be on the Republican primary ballot.” [The Center Square]

Pike Housing Proposal Delayed Amid Outcry — “Faced with criticism on multiple fronts, Arlington County Board members on June 16 essentially threw a staff proposal under the bus, delaying for three months consideration of a controversial plan on how to prioritize affordable housing in the Columbia Pike corridor… It would have increased the maximum threshold, from the current 60 percent of area median income to up to as much as 100 percent, for individuals to qualify for assistance in buying properties.” [InsideNova]

River Rescues Near Chain Bridge Saturday — “D.C. firefighters and police officers on Saturday rescued eight adults and four children who became trapped on rocks in the Potomac River and were cut off from shore by rapidly rising waters in a sudden rainstorm.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Arlington Home Show Cancelled — The pandemic has led to the cancellation of the annual Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo, which had earlier been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27. [Arlington County]

ACPD Investigating Brandishing Incident — “On June 21, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was driving in the area of 31st Street S. and S. Abingdon Street when he was allegedly cut off by the suspect. The suspect then waved the victim in front of him and began following him. When the victim parked, the suspect pulled alongside his vehicle and a verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect brandished a firearm.” [Arlington County]

Traffic Getting Back to Normal — “Car and truck volume trends in Virginia are moving back toward normal after plummeting during the COVID-19 shutdown, according to numbers released Friday by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Pandemic traffic on state-maintained interstates and primary roads hit a low on April 12, a Sunday… The numbers have gradually rebounded since, climbing back to around 20 percent below normal by the end of May.” [Virginia Mercury]

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The pandemic has claimed another victim: the 2020 Arlington County Fair.

The in-person fair, scheduled from Aug. 12-16, has been canceled and replaced with a “virtual format” that will run from Aug. 14-16.

“Given the current social distancing guidance and the uncertainty of the trajectory of the virus, it is unfeasible for the in-person Fair to move forward as scheduled,” organizer said late Thursday afternoon.

The exact format of the virtual fair was not immediately made clear. Organizers say it will “showcase the best of Arlington and share the spirit of the Fair.” Additional information is expected to be posted online.

The fair — a summer staple for generations of Arlingtonians — is expected to return in its full glory in 2021.

More from a press release:

Due to the current restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Arlington County Fair, scheduled for August 12-16, has been moved to a virtual format, to be held August 14-16.

The decision to cancel the in-person 2020 Arlington County Fair and move online was a very difficult one. A beloved community tradition, the Fair brings five days of pure joy to Arlington each August. However, given the current social distancing guidance and the uncertainty of the trajectory of the virus, it is unfeasible for the in-person Fair to move forward as scheduled.

The Fair Board is in the process of contacting our sponsors, entertainers, vendors, and community groups that are impacted to ensure all parties are aware of the change.

While we are disappointed that we cannot hold the in-person 2020 Fair, it also brings a new opportunity for the Fair to come to you! We have planned three days of virtual programming August 14-16 so we can still showcase the best of Arlington and share the spirit of the Fair. Check the Fair’s Facebook page in July for details and schedule.

The Fair is operated by an all-volunteer non-profit organization, Arlington County Fair, Inc. We rely on income generated by ride ticket sales, vendor fees and sponsorships to hold the Fair each year. While we understand that there are many pressing issues at the moment, we do accept donations year-round and would be grateful for any contributions you may be willing to make to ensure that the Fair remains a mainstay of the Arlington community. Additionally, we are actively recruiting Fair Board Members to assist with the planning of future Fairs. To apply, submit an online application.

We appreciate the continued support of the Arlington community and look forward to the return of the Fair as we know it in 2021.

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The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, an annual series of cycling races around Clarendon and Crystal City, has been cancelled by the pandemic.

In its place, however, organizers are using a pair of apps — Strava and Zwift — to host virtual rides this coming Saturday.

More from a press release:

Armed Forces Cycling Classic will kick off the weekend with a virtual Challenge Ride on their Strava Club. For those in the Washington D.C. area, three routes have been created to enjoy while riding safe and solo. For anyone outside of the D.C. area, we encourage them to ride, and we ask all participants to post photos to the AFCC Strava Club page or Instagram and tag @af_cyclingclassic to show that we are all riding together.

Saturday, May 30th at 11am, Armed Forces Cycling Classic will host a no-drop ZWIFT ride in partnership with Rapha. Athletes Justin and Cory Williams of Legion of Los Angeles will serve as ride leaders for this exclusive virtual event. AFCC and race announcer Brad Sohner will also host an Instagram Live during the event at instagram.com/af_cyclingclassic.

There will be no fees to participate in any of the Virtual Ride options and we do encourage participants to fundraise for our beneficiary, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). All riders who raise $200 or more will receive a limited edition Team TAPS jersey. Interested riders can set up their fundraising page at http://team.taps.org/cyclingclassic.

For those who want to relive last year’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic, video coverage of the races is available for free online.

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Morning Notes

APS Expands Grab and Go Meal Locations — “Beginning Wed, March 25, APS will expand the number of sites that provide free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to five locations to better reach families. Meals will be set up outside the building for distribution from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday.” The new locations are Barrett, Campbell and Randolph elementary schools. [Arlington Public Schools]

Massage Therapist Charged with Assault — “At approximately 6:31 p.m. on March 9, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 3:00 p.m. on March 7, the victim was receiving a massage when she was allegedly inappropriately touched by the suspect. Following an investigation by the Special Victims’ Unit, a warrant for Assault and Battery.” [Arlington County]

Rosslyn Launches Restaurant Support Program — “The Rosslyn BID is… launching #RosslynRewards, a program to support Rosslyn restaurants that are still operating during these uncertain times. When you order takeout or delivery from participating Rosslyn restaurants and share on social media with the hashtag #RosslynRewards, the BID will give you a $10 reward for every $20 you spend.” [Press Release]

ART Bus Rides Now Free — “Starting Tuesday, March 24, Arlington Transit bus riders will enter and exit all ART buses using the rear doors only. Customers who require the use of a wheelchair ramp can still enter the bus through the front door. ART will also be suspending fare collection on all ART buses since the farebox is located at the front door.” The ART changes mirror those implemented by Metro today. [Arlington Transit]

Signature Cancels Performances — “In response to guidance from the CDC and state and local authorities, Signature Theatre has made the decision to close its doors to the public through the beginning of June.” [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

AWLA Announces COVID-19 Policies — “Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with CDC recommendations, AWLA is cancelling all public events, classes, tours, and clinics for the rest of March. We feel that this in the best interest of our staff, volunteers, animals, and the public.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]

Rep. Beyer Couldn’t Get Coronavirus Test — “People ask ‘did @RepDonBeyer get tested for COVID-19?’ No he did not. We tried to get a test for him… But there aren’t enough tests, he didn’t meet the risk threshold.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Pentagon Makes Coronavirus Changes — Tours at the Pentagon have been cancelled, while a Pentagon clinic is offering coronavirus tests to employees who meet certain criteria. [Twitter, Twitter]

Crosshairs Garage Races Cancelled — “Hey everyone, we’ve made the decision to cancel the remaining weeks of the @crystalcityva Garage Races. I will be issuing refunds for everyone who pre-registered. We will let you know if any plans to reschedule in the coming months materialize.” [Twitter]

Restaurants and Bars Stay Open — Local restaurants like Bakeshop in Clarendon are staying open, and many have been posting about stepped-up sanitation measures. Among the local venues taking extra sanitation steps is Four Courts in Courthouse, which is still planning to host St. Patrick’s Day festivities. [Twitter, Twitter]

SAT Testing Cancelled — SAT tests that had been scheduled on March 14 at Wakefield and Yorktown high schools have been cancelled. [Twitter, Twitter]

Police St. Patrick’s Day Event Cancelled — “To ensure the health and safety of our community… the Don’t Press Your Luck Anti-Drunk Driving Event has been canceled.” [Arlington County]

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One of Arlington’s biggest annual events has been cancelled and its biggest sports league suspended, as a result of coronavirus concerns.

Ballston Quarterfest made the announcement shortly after 3 p.m.

“The health and well-being of our community is the top priority at the Ballston BID,” said a PR rep for the business improvement district. “It is for this most important reason that we have made the difficult decision to cancel Quarterfest this year, which was scheduled for Saturday, May 16.”

“At this time, we plan to move forward with other, smaller events and will continue to follow Arlington County-recommended procedures for events, which may include canceling or postponing some additional or perhaps all public programs and events taking place in the near future,” the rep said.

The Arlington Soccer Association, meanwhile, has announced that it is suspending operations, practices and games until at least the end of the month.

“In light of the actions taken today by US Youth Soccer and the US Soccer Federation to suspend operations, Arlington Soccer is suspending all club-related practices, games and other activities effective immediately through March 30, 2020,” the league said. “At that time, we will reevaluate the situation and provide families with an update on next steps. While we are disappointed to have to make this decision, we believe it is in the best interest of our players, their families and our employees”

The pair of Thursday afternoon announcements will nix a street festival in Ballston attended by tens of thousands of people each year, to the benefit of local restaurants, and at least temporarily pause a league with 9,000 players. The actions are in line with health authorities’ recommendation to avoid large gatherings and social contact, to help head off the rapid spread of the disease.

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The popular annual Four Courts Four Miler race, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

The St. Patrick’s Day-themed race usually takes runners from Courthouse, through Rosslyn, down Route 110 and back. Instead, organizers announced today that it has been called off and those who signed up will have their registrations deferred until 2021.

Previously planned road closures will now be lifted.

The race website posted the following message:

In alignment with government officials, as well as our desire to create a safe environment for our runners, volunteers, staff, city services, and community, we are cancelling the 2020 St. Pats Run Fest and moving participants to the 2021 event. This includes all events (Saturday’s Four Courts Four Miler and Sunday’s 10K + 5K).

All runners will be automatically deferred into the 2021 St Pats Run Fest (3/13-3/14, 2021).  If you deferred prior to this announcement and paid a deferral fee your deferral fee will be refunded. Shirts and medals for challenge participants will be available for pick up at Pacers Clarendon or Pacers 14th Street through the end of March.

We appreciate the support of the running community and especially the hard work of our municipality and medical partners. This was a very difficult decision for our team but one we felt was necessary for the well-being of our community.

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(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) A queso catastrophe has local macaroni and cheese fans feeling blue today.

The Nova Mac and Cheese Festival, scheduled for this coming Saturday in Ballston, has been cancelled, according to messages on the event’s ticketing and Facebook pages.

The full message:

We are writing to inform you that in response to challenges that would have impacted the overall quality of the event, the team for NoVa Mac and Cheese Festival has made the decision to cancel the event planned for October 5th in Ballston, VA. We sincerely hope to return to the area with the event in the future. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and we are grateful for your interest.

We are issuing full refunds to all ticket holders (Full 100% Refunds will be completed this week). In addition, we are offering free admission to our Richmond, Va Mac and Cheese festival the following weekend (October 12th) for anyone who was a ticket holder to our NoVa event. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Thank you

There’s no word on why exactly the plans melted down, but an Arlington County memo obtained by ARLnow.com suggests that only a half dozen mac and cheese vendors had submitted the required paperwork for the event.

“Although our Special Events team members worked diligently to assist them, as of Friday the organizer only had (6) confirmed food vendors that submitted the required paperwork and were approved by Public Health,” wrote Leslie Pelzer, the manager of the county’s Office of Special Events. “The [organizer] has expressed that they would like to re-apply in the Spring 2020.”

Despite the promises of prompt refunds and free admission to the Richmond festival, in the Facebook comments customers were none-too-pleased about the turn of events.

“Don’t they know better than to mess with our beloved mac n cheese,” wrote one. “These are fighting words.”

“This is basically the Fyre Festival,” said another.

Others pointed to the cancellation of another macaroni and cheese festival in Leesburg earlier this year and suggested a nefarious pattern, although the events were apparently organized by different entities.

Mac and cheese festivals seem to be something of a cottage industry. The organizer of the Ballston event has other upcoming mac fests planned in Richmond, Baltimore, Scranton and Pittsburgh. Yet another festival, organized by a different local events company, is planned for Oct. 26 in D.C.

Courtesy photo

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With dangerous, scorching heat prompting warnings from forecasters and local officials, organizers of outdoor events are reconsidering their plans this weekend.

Among them: the popular, annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race.

The race, which was scheduled for Saturday evening, has been cancelled, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said this afternoon.

“The Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed the weather conditions unsafe and the event will not be rescheduled,” the BID said via social media. “If you are registered already you will be contacted by Pacers directly and you can still pick up your packets with your shirt at the Pacers store today and tomorrow.”

The Twilighter 5k race tomorrow has been canceled. The Arlington Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed…

Posted by Crystal City on Friday, July 19, 2019

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Morning Notes

‘Great Chocolate Race’ Cancelled — “The Great Chocolate Race, originally scheduled to take place in Rosslyn on Saturday, December 9, 2017, has been canceled due to circumstances outside the control of Arlington County and its Police Department. Runners who signed up to participate are advised not to respond to the area as planned.” [Arlington County]

Tax Bill Could Boost N. Va. Over D.C. — The GOP tax bill currently making its way through Congress could make Arlington and Northern Virginia a significantly more attractive a place to live for higher-income residents, tax-wise, than D.C. That is due to the proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions. [D.C. Policy Center]

Decal Design Finalists Revealed — Four finalists have been chosen in the Arlington County treasurer’s annual vehicle decal design contest for high school students. The potential designs for the 2018-2019 decal include ball players atop a goalpost, a depiction of Arlington’s skyline with blossoming cherry trees in the foreground, a ferris wheel from the county fair and the Cherrydale War Memorial. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

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