56°Partly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Disparities in New Middle School Boundaries — “Under a staff plan slated to go to the School Board Dec. 14, middle schools will have economically-disadvantaged populations ranging from 1 percent of the student body at Williamsburg Middle School to 52 percent of the student body at Kenmore Middle School, with the other schools falling in between.” [InsideNova]

Winner of Marine Corps Marathon Works at 7-Eleven — The winner of this year’s Marine Corps Marathon lives in Nauck and works at an Arlington 7-Eleven store. Desta Beriso Morkama, a 32-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, arrived in the U.S. in September 2016. He has been receiving training and assistance settling into his new Arlington life from a number of local people and groups, including local running coach Jay Jacob Wind. [Falls Church News-Press]

JBG Installing Giant Screens at Central Place — JBG Smith plans to exceed the county-imposed public art requirement at its new Central Place development, thanks to a project that will install giant screens in various places around the apartment and office building. The screens will display moving images, including artwork and nature scenes. [Washington Business Journal]

Hybla Valley = The Next Shirlington? — Fairfax County has big plans for a car-oriented neighborhood south of Alexandria: “The plans also include a 3.1-mile extension of the Yellow Line that would connect the Huntington station to the Hybla Valley section of Richmond Highway, in hopes of creating a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood akin to nearby Shirlington.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Joe Green

by ARLnow.com October 26, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

What would it be like to skydive in highly-restricted airspace over Arlington and the Pentagon?

A new video gives us a first-person perspective on just that. The GoPro-style video shows the skydivers who swooped down from above as part of a demonstration before the Marine Corps Marathon this past weekend.

Multiple expert skydivers landed in a small strip of land between the runners and Arlington National Cemetery as tens of thousands of runners watched and applauded.

by ARLnow.com October 23, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Two Arlington Men Finish in MCM Top 3 — Arlington residents Desta Morkama and Kieran O’Connor finished first and third, respectively, in the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. Al Richmond, the last remaining “Groundpounder” who has run every MCM since it started, kept his streak alive with a 6:48.35 finish. The race, which begins and ends in Arlington, had its start delayed by 10 minutes due to a suspicious package investigation. [RunWashington, Washington Post, NBC Washington]

No Major Incidents at MCM — Other than the short starting delay, no major incidents were reported at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. Within the county, Arlington law enforcement and the fire department maintained a heavy presence along the course, along with Virginia State Police and other agencies. Arlington school buses were parked at key intersections to prevent anyone from driving onto the course. [Twitter, Facebook, Twitter]

Pedestrian Killed on Memorial Bridge — The Arlington Memorial Bridge was closed for more than three hours Saturday morning after a 47-year-old man was struck and killed by a car on the bridge. The driver remained on scene. Police are seeking additional information about the crash from witnesses. [NBC Washington]

Board Approves Library Renovation Project — Arlington Central Library will be getting $1.7 million in renovations, thanks in large part to a private donation. The Arlington County Board approved the project at its Saturday meeting. Per a press release, the plans include “new meeting rooms, an updated ‘tech-central’ area and a multi-purpose maker lab, a community-based space where people can share knowledge and tools to create together.” [Arlington County]

Roosevelt Memorial Anniversary Event — The National Park Service is holding a family-friendly event on Sunday, Oct. 29 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. The event will feature food including fried chicken and Indian pudding; an address from the former president’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt; a Teddy Roosevelt re-enactor; and a “Teddy Bear story time.” Shuttles will be available from the Pentagon parking lot. [InsideNova]

Library to Launch New Digital Collection — “Arlington Public Library will launch a new digital collection of Arlington women and their achievements in March 2018. The Center for Local History’s (CLH) Community Archives contains many collections pertaining to women’s history and consequently the history of Arlington County.” [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com October 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Man Killed in Md. Workplace Shooting — An Arlington man was among the three people killed in a workplace mass shooting near Baltimore on Wednesday. The family of the 53-year-old father of three says they forgive the accused shooter, who was later arrested in Delaware. [NBC Washington, WJLA, GoFundMe]

Marine Corps Marathon Preps Well Underway — This week workers have been setting up fencing, mile markers, signs, tents, TV camera towers, temporary no parking signs and making other preparations along the Marine Corps Marathon route in Arlington. [WJLA, Twitter]

Award for Arlington Animal Control Officer — Animal Welfare League of Arlington Chief of Animal Control Jennifer Toussaint has been named Virginia Animal Control Officer of the Year for “outstanding service in the field of animal care and control.” [Facebook]

Winter Outlook: Warmer for Arlington — The National Weather Service’s official U.S. Winter Outlook was released yesterday and predicts a warmer winter for Arlington and the D.C. area, with equal chances of more or less precipitation than usual. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Chris Teale October 19, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

The 42nd Marine Corps Marathon and MCM 10K will bring a bevy of road closures to Arlington County this coming Sunday (Oct. 22).

Opening ceremonies for the races begin at 6:30 a.m., with the wheelchair race starting at 7:45 a.m. and the marathon and 10K beginning at 7:55 a.m. Around 30,000 people are expected to take part in the races, which run through parts of Arlington and D.C.

There are a number of good vantage points in Arlington to watch the runners, including the beginning and end of the marathon in Rosslyn and some of its final miles in Crystal City.

Per an Arlington County Police Department press release, the following roads will close on Sunday:

4:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Marshall Drive from North Meade Street to Route 110

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street

4:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street

4:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  Route 110 ramp from Washington Blvd. to Pentagon North parking

5:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.    Exit 8B, Southbound 395 exit to Southbound Route 1. Motorists seeking to enter Crystal City are advised to continue south, take exit 7 (Glebe Road), and make a left at the traffic signal to travel south on Glebe    Road.  Continue south for approximately 2 miles, where Glebe Road intersects with both S. Eads Street and Route 1. Both thoroughfares lead into Crystal City.

7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.  Lee Highway (eastbound) from Lynn Street to North Kirkwood Street

7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.  Spout Run Parkway from southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Lee Highway

7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.  GWMP from Spout Run to Memorial Circle Drive

7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)

7:35 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at South Eads Street

7:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  South Eads Street from South Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive

7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  Army Navy Drive from South Fern Street to 12th Street South

7:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.  15th Street South from Crystal Drive to South Eads Street

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.   12th Street South from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Crystal Drive from 12th Street South to 23rd Street South

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  23rd Street South from Crystal Drive to North Clark Street

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street South to I-395

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon North Parking

7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Washington Blvd. from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle (southbound lanes will reopen at approximately 9:30 a.m.)

While roads will close for the race, Metrorail will open two hours early at 6 a.m. and have extra trains on the Blue and Yellow Lines. Metro said the extended hours, now a rarity compared to years past, are “funded through an agreement with event organizers.”

Travel tips from a Metro press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com October 16, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Gas Leak Along George Mason Drive — Part of S. George Mason Drive near Columbia Pike was closed this morning due to a gas leak. [Washington Post]

Blue, Yellow Line Delays — A “signal problem” outside of National Airport, the site of weekend track work, caused delays on the Blue and Yellow lines this morning. [Twitter]

Bethesda Has Most Expensive One-Bedroom Apartments — Bethesda has the highest median rents for one-bedroom apartments, at $2,270, according to a new report. “In comparison, D.C.’s typical one-bedroom costs $2,260 per month, while one-bedroom rents in Arlington, Virginia, cost a median of $2,140 per month.” [Curbed]

Remembering Hoover Field — A pair of airports, Hoover Field (later Hoover Airport) and Washington Airport, operated during the 1920s and 1930s on the site of the present day Pentagon reservation. National Airport was opened shortly after both closed down to make way for the Pentagon. [Paul Freeman, Twitter]

Best Places to Watch the Marine Corps Marathon — A number of Arlington locations are listed among the best places for spectators to watch the Marine Corps Marathon. [WTOP]

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

by ARLnow.com October 31, 2016 at 9:10 am 0

Dog dressed as a pumpkin (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

Arlington Residents Place in MCM — A pair of athletes from Arlington placed at the 41st Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Desta Morkama, an Ethiopian who’s living and training in Arlington while seeking asylum, was the second-place male finisher, bested only by Army Medic Spc. Samuel Kosgei. Nicole Irving, a 24-year-old Arlington placed third among the women. Perry Shoemaker of Vienna placed first while Army Capt. Meghan Curran captured second. [Stars and Stripes, Run Washington, Run Washington]

Investor Bets Big on Ballston Real Estate — Perseus Realty has purchased the Ballston Metro Center building, betting that “the planned remake of the Ballston Common Mall, among other projects, bodes well for the neighborhood.” [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Budget Would Slash Jobs, Increase Waits — Metro is considering a new budget that would plug a $300 million budget gap by slashing 1,000 jobs, increasing wait times between Metrorail trains and raising fares. [NBC Washington]

Write-In Candidates in Virginia — Sixteen write-in presidential candidates have filed the proper paperwork with the state to have their votes tallied. Note: InsideNova’s desktop site now shows two auto-play video ads simultaneously upon loading an article. Those with slower computers may wish to avoid the site. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

by Andrew Ramonas October 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Marine Corps Marathon road closures (Image via Arlington County)

Driving and parking around Rosslyn, Crystal City and other parts of Arlington could become a particularly challenging experience later this month.

Several streets in the county are set to close to traffic for the 41st Marine Corps Marathon Sunday, Oct. 30.

The race is scheduled to start about 7:55 a.m. on Route 110 between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. Thousands of people then are expected to run on a 26.2-mile course through Arlington and the District.

During the marathon, Crystal City is slated to have an all-day family party with moon bounces, face paintings and crafts. Rosslyn also is set to throw a finish festival with live music and a beer garden.

The Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency plan to close the following roads, starting at 3:30 a.m.:

3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.    Marshall Drive from North Meade Street to Route 110

3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.    North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street

3:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  N. Kent Street from Wilson Boulevard to N. 19th Street

3:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.    Route 110 ramp from Washington Blvd. to Pentagon North parking

6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Lee Highway (eastbound) from Lynn Street to North Kirkwood Street

6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Spout Run Parkway from southbound George Washington

Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Lee Highway

6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  GWMP from Spout Run to Memorial Circle Drive

7:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)

7:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.  HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at South Eads Street

5:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  South Eads Street from South Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Army Navy Drive from South Fern Street to 12th Street South

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  12th Street South from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive

7:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.  Crystal Drive from 12th Street South to 26th Street South

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street South to I-395

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon North Parking

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  Washington Blvd. from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle

Image via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com October 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Marine Corps Marathon sign outside Pacers Clarendon storeThose running the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 30 now have an alternative to picking up their race packets at National Harbor this year.

The new packet pickup location has some worried about crowds at the Maryland shopping, entertainment and tourism destination, which is not Metrorail accessible. In response, local running store Pacers has made a deal to pick up packets for customers and bring them to Pacers locations, including the store at 3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon.

The catch: you have to buy at least $125 in Brooks running gear — including Marine Corps Marathon apparel, which will be available — at Pacers between Sept. 28 and Oct. 24 to be eligible.

Pacers will also be holding mini-expos at the company’s Clarendon and Navy Yard stores just before the marathon.

“We will be hosting expotiques at Pacers Navy Yard and Pacers Clarendon on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 with all the great last minute essentials and great deals you expect at the expo — just without the massive crowds and travel headaches!” Pacers said on its website. “And for those of you who participate in our packet pick up program, we’ll have your packet waiting for you with a smile.”

by ARLnow.com August 31, 2016 at 1:55 pm 0

Runners get ready to start the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon (photo by Jennifer Currier)

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Arlington County has stepped up to play a bigger role in this year’s Marine Corps Marathon after Metro’s SafeTrack work prompted big changes.

As a result of SafeTrack, Metro has stopped extending its hours for special events. Whereas the Metrorail system previously opened at 5 a.m. on marathon day, this year it will open at 7 a.m., less than an hour before runners are set to cross the starting line near Rosslyn.

At a press conference this afternoon at Rosslyn’s Spectrum Theater, marathon officials said this presented a major challenge. Metro has been a primary means for runners getting to the marathon, but due to “strict and unchanged timelines, dictated from the various jurisdictions through which the course runs,” officials were unable to push the start time back.

Marine Corps Marathon announcement 8/31/16The three-part solution: providing parking and shuttle options, keeping the starting line open for an extra 40 minutes, and extending the course in Arlington while shortening it in D.C.

Those in Arlington or driving to Arlington will now be able to park at the Ballston mall garage and take an ART 42 bus to the runners village area near the Pentagon; the buses will start running at 5 a.m. More options: free parking in the garage at 23rd and Crystal Drive in Crystal City, with shuttles running to the runners village, or paid parking in Pentagon City.

Shuttles will also run from the Reagan building in D.C. and from the Gaylord, the official Marine Corps Marathon hotel at National Harbor. Officials encouraged runners to stay at hotels in National Harbor or Arlington, if possible.

Should runners arrive late and not make it through security until a bit after the 7:55 a.m. start, they won’t have to rush: the starting line will be kept open until 8:55 a.m. this year, about 40 minutes longer than usual, according to MCM marketing manager Marc Goldman.

To make sure runners can “beat the bridge” — make a mid-race cut-off point in time — the course is being extended in Arlington. At the beginning of the race, there will be an extra portion of course along N. Kirkwood Road, before runners head down the Spout Run Parkway. Later in the race, three extra blocks have been added to the Crystal Drive stretch through Crystal City, and an additional portion has been added around the Pentagon south parking lot, Goldman said.

The long stretch up and down the Rock Creek Parkway in D.C., meanwhile, has been shortened.

Additionally, the start of the MCM 10K race has been moved from the National Mall to the Pentagon parking lot. The 10K will now take place entirely in Arlington, to keep 10K runners from coming into conflict with marathoners.

Metro, for its part, says it will add extra 8-car trains to the Blue and Yellow lines when it does open on marathon day.

Marathon officials thanked Arlington County for helping to accommodate the changes to this year’s race. They also thanked race participants.

“Thank you to the runners for their patience while we untangle and address these challenges,” Goldman said.

The Marine Corps Marathon will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30; as usual, it will start and end near Rosslyn. The full press release about the changes is available here.

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2015 at 8:30 am 0

Early flight at Reagan National Airport (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Dems Vote For Redskins Team Name Change — The Arlington County Democratic Committee voted Wednesday to officially call on Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s “offensive” name. Some Democrats opposed the vote, suggesting that “nobody would take the resolution particularly seriously.” [InsideNova]

New Trend: Karaoke Leagues — Team karaoke leagues and costumed karaoke competitions are all the rage in Arlington, D.C. and New York City, according to a Wall Street Journal trend piece. [Wall Street Journal]

Kudos for Local Chinese Restaurant — Peter Chang’s restaurant in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center is “the best neighborhood Chinese restaurant in Washington,” according to food critic Tom Sietsema. [Washington Post]

Marymount Tree Lighting Ceremony — The public is invited to attend Marymount University’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony tonight. The ceremony will take place in front of Marymount’s Lodge building starting at 6 p.m. and will feature music from the Randolph Elementary School Choir.

Arlington Tech Co. Raises $4 Million — Rosslyn-based LiveSafe has raised $4 million in a new venture round. The company makes mobile campus safety software for universities, large companies and government agencies. [DC Inno, Washington Business Journal]

Winners of Startup Competition Announced — Arlington County has announced the winners of the U.S. round of the Dongsheng/AC Bridge Entrepreneur Competition. The global competition is a partnership between Arlington Economic Development and China-focused investment company Dao Ventures. [Arlington County]

New Patch for 74-Year-Old Marathon Runner — Retired Marine Al Richmond, who at the age of 74 recently completed his 40th Marine Corps Marathon, has been presented with a special patch at a ceremony at his Arlington home. Richmond said he plans to keep running and improve on this year’s performance. [CBS Local]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com October 26, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

Runners get ready to start the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon (photo by Jennifer Currier)

Marine Corps Marathon Wrap-up — Despite a soggy start, spirits were high for the 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon, which wound through Rosslyn, D.C. and Crystal City Sunday morning. The winners were a 22-year-old recent West Point grad, representing the Army team and, on the women’s side, a Costa Rica native who only started running seven years ago. [Run Washington, Stars & Stripes]

Orange Line Delays — Orange Line riders are experiencing delays of up to 25 minutes this morning due to a broken rail in Maryland. [Twitter]

School Bus Camera Tickets May Be Refunded — Arlington County is considering refunding tickets issued by stop arm cameras on public school buses, following a determination by the state Attorney General that the county doesn’t have the legal authority to issue such citations via mail. [Washington Post]

I Like This Park Because — Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation has erected two new chalkboard in Rosslyn Highlands Park, asking park users why they like the park. [Twitter]

Top Bus Lines in Arlington — The county-run transit organization Arlington Transportation Partners has a list of the top five most important bus lines in Arlington. They are: ART 43, ART 45, ART 42, Metrobus 16 series and Metrobus 38B. [Arlington Transportation Partners]

New Little Free Library in Arlington — There’s a new Little Free Library in Arlington. The resident-created library is located at 1723 N. Veitch Street, three blocks north of the Courthouse Metro station. Affordable housing developer AHC, which helped with the library’s creation, is planning a celebratory launch party tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Photo by Jennifer Currier

by Heather Mongilio October 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Roads closed due to Marine Corps MarathonTens of thousands of runners and spectators will descend on Arlington for the annual Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday.

The race, now in its 40th year, will have up to 30,000 participants running around Arlington and the District.

As a result of the race, Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency will be closing down more than 20 roads for much of the day, including parts of Wilson Blvd, Washington Blvd and Lee Highway.

N. Kent Street in Rosslyn will be closed from Wilson Blvd to 19th Street N. from noon on Saturday, Oct. 24, until the end of the marathon on Sunday, for the marathon’s finish festival.

Route 110, between Washington Blvd and the Pentagon north parking lot, will be closed from 4 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The highway will also be closed between I-66 and Jefferson Davis Highway from 4 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as will Marshall Drive from N. Meade Street to Route 110.

The following roads will be closed from 4 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to N. Lynn Street
  • Wilson Blvd from N. Nash Street to Route 110
  • N. Lynn Street from N. Meade Street to Lee Highway
  • Fort Myer Drive from N. Meade Street to Lee Highway
  • N. Moore Street from Wilson Blvd to Lee Highway
  • 19th Street N. from N. Lynn Street to N. Nash Street

Marine Corps Marathon road closures (Courtesy of ACPD)

Eastbound Lee Highway from N. Lynn Street to N. Kirkwood, Spout Run Parkway from GW Memorial Parkway to Lee Highway and GW Memorial Parkway from Spout Run Parkway to Memorial Circle Drive will be closed from 7-10 a.m.

The Key Bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon. HOV lanes on the 14th Street Bridge and I-395 near the Pentagon will be closed from 7:35 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A number of closures in Crystal City are planned to accommodate the tail end of the marathon course and the Crystal City MCM Family Festival.

The following roads will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m.

  • S. Eads Street from S. Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive until 2 p.m.
  • Army Navy Drive between S. Fern Street to 12th Street S. will reopen at 2:30 p.m.
  • 15th Street S. from Crystal Drive to S. Eads Street will open at 10 a.m.

The following roads will be closed between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

  • 12th Street S. from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive
  • Crystal Drive from 12th Street S. to 23rd Street S.
  • Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street S. to I-395
  • Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon north parking
  • Washington Blvd from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle with southbound lanes reopening around 9:30 a.m.

Street parking will also be limited in parts of the county near the marathon course during the race. Participants and spectators are advised to either Metro in or — in Crystal City — park in a parking garage at Crystal Drive and 23rd Street S. before the road closes.

by Heather Mongilio October 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm 0

Al Richmond (photo via Marine Corps Marathon)There are only two people who have run all 39 Marine Corps Marathons, and one of them is an Arlington resident.

Al Richmond, 74, is preparing to run the 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. He’s one of the Groundpounders, the increasingly exclusive group of people who have ran all of the marathons. (The group had four active members as of 2013.)

The original group has dwindled down to two, both of whom are retired Marine Corps colonels.

While Richmond has run multiple marathons, including the Boston Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon has a special place in his heart. The retired colonel was part of the original team that set up the marathon, then called the Marine Corp Reserve Marathon.

“They were using it as recruitment when the all volunteer team first started,” Richmond said.

Richmond decided to run the race, even though he was not a long distance runner, and he got hooked.

“I ran the three miles for the Marine Corps and that was basically it,” he said. “And after running that first marathon I said that wasn’t bad and kept continuing to do it.”

Richmond started running multiple marathons, up to three or four a year, he said. While he used to run for speed — his top speed was a six minute mile — he now runs a slower mile and aims to finish.

He is lucky he hasn’t sustained an injury that would prevent him from running the race, he said, noting that there was one time he almost didn’t run.

Richmond was shot in a mugging in 1990 and underwent three serious surgeries. As a result, he was having trouble training and was going to throw in the towel, he said. He ultimately decided to run the race after reading an article in a newspaper.

“I was eating breakfast and I opened the paper and there was an article about the other colonel and how he was the only Marine to run all the marathons, and my wife looked across the table and said you’ve run all of them,” he said.

This year, Richmond will be running the course with one of his daughters. After the race he’ll go home to his house in the Maywood neighborhood, sleep and then either laze around or go for a walk.

“I’ll come home and take about a 20 minute hot shower and then I’ll go to bed for a couple hours because I’m exhausted,” Richmond said.

He doesn’t have a particular part of the race that he likes, he said, adding that he prefers the parts that have larger crowds.

“I wouldn’t say I really don’t like any of it except for 26.1 miles,” Richmond said.

The senior marathoner doesn’t have any longevity tricks for other runners, but he advises people to make sure to stay hydrated.

“It helps if you have a goal,” Richmond said. “If you are trying to get ready for a half marathon, a 10K, a 5K, that helps.”

It’s also important to listen to the body for when to push it and when to take a break. Sometimes a person has to push it in order to get past the mental wall, he said.

“Everyone’s different,” Richmond said. “You just have to go with it or play mind games.”

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

Preparations are underway for one of Arlington’s biggest annual events: The Marine Corps Marathon.

The marathon, now in its 40th year, will kick off starting at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday. The 26.2 mile course will take it from Rosslyn to the GW Parkway and Key Bridge, around D.C., across the 14th Street Bridge, and through Crystal City before ending near the Iwo Jima memorial.

We photographed workers setting up tents and signs near the memorial yesterday afternoon. Throughout the week more signs and tents will be going up in Crystal City and throughout the course.

For those hoping to cheer on the runners, Crystal City will be holding its annual MCM family festival, with activities like moon bounces, face painting and arts and crafts.

Rosslyn will again host the race’s finish festival, where runners will meet up with friends and family members. The finish festival will also have food and drink, souvenirs and live entertainment.

Photos by Justin Funkhouser

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