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]
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
Those 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.”
(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.
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.
— Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) August 31, 2016
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
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
Tens 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
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.
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.”
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
A 14-year-old Arlington resident will be the youngest female runner in this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. As if that wasn’t unique enough, she’ll be one of the few to be running the race with her entire family.
Ella Alliston and her parents will all be running the marathon, the first for any of the Allistons.
The Marine Corps Marathon is open to anyone 14 years old and up, said marathon spokeswoman Tami Faram. Alliston said that she was surprised she was the youngest runner but was happy she could compete in a marathon at her age.
“When my friends found out they had kind of the same reaction, they were like ‘wow you are so young, I can’t believe you are doing it,'” Alliston said.
Alliston and her mom, Martha, and father, Ross, have run multiple races since Ella joined Girls on the Run in third grade. Ella and Martha started running 5K races, and encouraged Ross to join them. The family has since completed multiple races, including a half marathon last year.
“We did a half marathon and we didn’t want to get out of our routine so we decided our next step was a marathon,” Ella said.
The family has been training for the marathon for at least 18 weeks, Martha said. To prepare for the marathon, the family would run three days a week, with long distance runs on the weekends, Ella said.
“For the last month or so we’ve been running a half marathon or more on Saturdays,” Ross said.
The Allistons have run all over Arlington and D.C. in order to find enough miles for their long runs. They’ve run around downtown D.C., up the C&O Canal Trail and through Georgetown.
“I really liked running downtown and around the monuments,” Ella said. “It was another distraction to look at the monuments and everything. It was flat and there weren’t many hills.”
The family takes turns picking out which trail they’ll run. Ross likes the C&O trail, while Martha likes to run the urban environment of the District, they said.
“We run almost everywhere,” Martha said. “We’ve been through all parts of downtown by the Capitol, the monuments, all through Arlington.”
During the week, the family runs up N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive. Ella mapped out the exact routes that would meet the required mileage each week, Martha said.
After each run, the family heads home to shower and eat breakfast, a routine they plan to keep after the Marine Corps Marathon.
“We’ll probably head home. We have two little dogs we have to walk and then we’ll have lunch,” Ross said.
The family is looking forward to the marathon, they said, adding that they have already tested parts of the course, including the famous long first hill in Rosslyn.
“We’ve enjoyed training for it and we can’t wait to do the Marine Corps Marathon,” Martha said.
Arlington K-9s to Retire With Handlers — The Arlington County Board on Saturday unanimously voted to officially sanction the transfer of ownership of retiring law enforcement K-9 officers to their handlers, thus allowing police dogs to live out their lives with their long-time partners. [NBC Washington, Arlington County]
Big Changes Coming to Crystal City Building — The U.S. Marshals Service is consolidating its offices into one Crystal City office building. That will leave another Crystal City office building, 1750 Crystal Drive, vacant. Owner Vornado is planning a big facelift for the building, with more glass and steel and less concrete on the outside. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington, Falls Church Renew Service Agreement — Arlington County will continue to provide court, jail, fire department and other services to the City of Falls Church, under a new agreement approved by the Arlington County Board on Saturday. Fall Church will pay Arlington just over $1 million per year for the services. [Arlington County]
McAuliffe to Start Marine Corps Marathon — Next weekend’s Marine Corps Marathon will be officially started by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. [Twitter]
M.J. Stewart Suspended at UNC — Former Yorktown High School football standout M.J. Stewart has been suspended from the University of North Carolina football team after being charged with assault in connection to an off-campus altercation. Stewart, a sophomore, had been a starting cornerback on the team. [Associated Press]
Resident to County: Cover Sandboxes — A Shirlington resident spoke before the County Board on Saturday to raise concern about uncovered sandboxes. She urged county officials to keep sandboxes covered when not in use, to keep pets and disease out. [InsideNova]
Memorial Bridge Repairs Starting Soon — Temporary repairs to the Arlington Memorial Bridge are expected to begin later this month. The repairs are expected to take six months and will allow the closed lanes on the bridge to reopen. [Washington Post]
Stratford School Historic Designation Meetings — The Arlington School Board held a work session last night and is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Thursday regarding a possible historic designation for the Stratford Junior High School building. The building currently houses the H-B Woodlawn secondary program, but is slated to be renovated back into a community middle school. Superintendent Patrick Murphy is recommending the School Board defer action on a historic designation until later. [Preservation Arlington, InsideNova]
Big Test Score Jump at Elementary School — Good news about Carlin Springs Elementary, which has a largely Hispanic and low-income student body and has struggled with standardized tests in the past: “Some grades… had double-digit increases in their state test passage rates after a concerted effort to prepare disadvantaged students for the exams and closely track student performance on practice tests.” [Washington Post]
Marine Corps Marathon Security — The 40th Marine Corps Marathon is two and a half months away, but local police departments are already gearing up for it. The event requires tight coordination among law enforcement agencies, including the Arlington County Police Department. [ESPN]
Republicans Want Bond Changes — Arlington Republicans want big ticket items like the Long Bridge Park aquatics center separated out of county bond issues. For the past 20 years, Democrats on the County Board have typically bundled big items with smaller bond-funded projects under broad categories like “parks.” Republicans say items valued at more than $25 million should be put to voters separately as a matter of good governance. [InsideNova]
Portion of Wilson Blvd to Be Renamed, Temporarily — The portion of Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn Street and N. Moore Street in Rosslyn will be renamed “Marine Corps Marathon Drive” for the month of October. The County Board approved the measure this week. Runners will pass the renamed road at the beginning of the Oct. 25 marathon and then will return to it for the race’s finish festival. The Marine Corps Marathon is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Reminder: Issue With Galleries on iOS — ARLnow.com is still working to solve an issue that’s preventing our image galleries from loading images on iOS device like the Apple iPhone and iPad. The technical issue follows our implementation of security measures that will make your browsing experience on our site more secure by serving pages exclusively via HTTPS.
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
Participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon were met with sunny, albeit breezy, conditions for Sunday’s race through parts of Arlington and the District.
Army Spc. Samuel Kosgei of Junction City, Kansas, finished first at 2:22:11. Two Arlington residents rounded out the top five finishers: Michael Wardian came in fourth with a time of 2:25:41 and Graham Tribble was close behind, finishing at 2:25:51.
Meghan Curran of Moorestown, New Jersey, led the women, with a time of 2:51:46. Lindsay Wilkins of Arlington was the second woman to cross the finish line, coming in at 2:52:19 and Arlington’s Erin Taylor came in fifth for women, at 2:52:53.
The Arlington County firefighters who participated in the race with full gear in honor of fellow firefighter Josh — who recently was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — were met with cheers and cowbells from bystanders.
When ARLnow.com caught up with Batallion Chief Dan Fitch during the race, he said he and the other team members were “pretty sore.” The firefighters spotted Josh at numerous points during the marathon, prompting Fitch to say, “He’s as much support for us as we are for him.”
Josh managed to meet a group of the firefighters toward the end of the course and finished the race with them. An email from one of the team members said, “This was something that will stay with us forever.”
The official MCM results page indicates more than 27,000 participants crossed the finish line for the marathon and 10K races.
Thirteen Arlington County firefighters plan to run the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday in full gear that can weigh up to 45 pounds.
The firefighters are running the 26.2 miles around Arlington and D.C. to raise money for multiple sclerosis after a firefighter named Josh — who doesn’t want his last name released for privacy reasons — was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in June. Josh worked out of Fire Station 6 in East Falls Church with firefighter Jake Pike, who is organizing the run.
“Our brother Josh is the glue of our firehouse, the jokester, the infectious personality that always smiles and is always positive,” Pike wrote on the fundraising page for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website. “In June 2014, our Captain came into the room with very solemn news. The glue of the crew and our brother had been in the ER all night and was diagnosed with MS.
“It is the only time I have heard our firehouse completely quiet. Not a sound from 12 strong A-list personalities was heard. The room went dead silent. At that moment you could feel that something left the room. It was devastating news. For the next few days each one of us grappled with the news, studied and read as much about MS as we could and some went home and cried. We were in shock.”
Pike told ARLnow.com today that a few weeks later, he and the other firefighters at Station 6 had resolved to run the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for MS research and to support, as Pike called him, “our brother.”
“It wasn’t long enough to train for a marathon, but was kind of the perfect opportunity to do something,” Pike said. “We told him after the fact and he got mad at us because he didn’t want to draw attention to it. He’s a private guy, but I think he appreciates it. He’ll be there at the finish line for us.”
Some of the 13 participants will be wearing pressurized oxygen tanks and helmets, while others will just be wearing the suits, Pike said. The firefighters are nervous about the suits, Pike said, since they are designed to retain heat and weather forecasts are calling for an unseasonably warm day.
“None of us have run it before, and we’re not runners,” Pike said with a nervous laugh. “The biggest challenge for us is the weather. So if it’s hot and humid like it’s supposed to be, that’s going to be an issue. Then there’s the five-hour mark, you have the hit the [14th Street Bridge] in five hours or you’re not going to finish.”
Regardless of the result, Pike and his colleagues have already raised $5,630 for the MS society, and hope to raise even more Sunday when the tens of thousands of runners and spectators see the group of firefighters in full gear running alongside. A large contingent of the Arlington County Fire Department is expected to attend to support the group, and Josh.
“It’s really for the guy we wake up next to every day,” Pike said, “so hopefully it makes it easier for him.”
You can donate to their cause and help them reach their $30,000 fundraising goal here.