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.”
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.
Multiple roads will be closed in Arlington this weekend due to a 9/11 memorial race, a triathlon and festivals.
The 14th annual Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Race on Saturday will shut down some streets around the Pentagon.
The race takes runners around the Pentagon, starting from the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City (300 Army Navy Drive) down Army Navy Drive, around Columbia Pike and on Route 110 back to the DoubleTree.
Online registration is closed, but the race is holding in-person registration for $50 on Sept. 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the plaza next to Arlington Police headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road). On race day, Sept. 12, runners can sign up from noon to 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree. All participants get a commemorative shirt and post-race refreshments at the DoubleTree.
For the race, both directions of Army Navy Drive between 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street will be closed from about 3-8 p.m.
The following roads are also closed between 5:45-6:30 p.m.:
- Westbound Army Navy Drive between S. Eads Street to S. Joyce Street
- S. Joyce Street from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
- Columbia Pike from Pentagon South Parking to S. Joyce Street
- The northbound I-395 HOV exit to S. Eads Street
All roads that cross Army Navy Drive will be closed for approximately 20 minutes.
The following roads will be closed between 5:45-8 p.m.:
- Westbound Washington Blvd from Memorial Bridge to I-395
- Southbound Jefferson Davis Highway from Rosslyn to 15th Street S.
- Marshall Drive at Jefferson Davis Highway
- S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to 11th Street S.
Street parking will also be limited in Crystal City during the race.
In addition to the 9/11 Memorial 5K, there are two festivals shutting down roads on Saturday. The Prio Bangla Street Festival in South Arlington will close 9th Street S. from Walter Reed Drive to S. Highlands Street from 8 a.m. to midnight.
The Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) will close southbound N. Fort Myer Drive between east and westbound Lee Highway from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be detours from on westbound Lee Highway and south on N. Scott and N. Veitch Streets for cars coming from Key Bridge. Heavy pedestrian traffic is expected between 2-10 p.m., according to ACPD.
On Sunday, roads in Pentagon City will be closed again, this time for the Nation’s Triathlon. The I-395 HOV lanes from the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. to the HOV overpass at S. Fern Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow triathletes to complete the bike leg of the race.
Arlington students can now sign up for an after-school running program that helps build character.
Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia aims to help girls in third through eighth grades become more confident while also preparing them for a 5K run.
Registration is open until Sept. 21 and costs $175 to participate.
There are discounts for military families and families with two or more children participating. There are also discounted fees for girls on the reduced and free meal program at school, said Christine Denny, the program manager for Girls on the Run NOVA.
Girls on the Run NOVA currently has teams at Arlington Science Focus Elementary, Ashlawn Elementary, Barcroft Elementary, Discovery Elementary, Drew Model, Jamestown Elementary, Key Elementary, Long Branch Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Nottingham Elementary, Patrick Henry Elementary, Taylor Elementary, Tuckahoe Elementary and Kenmore Middle Schools.
Girls at other Arlington schools can also start a team at their school.
The 10-week program has a structured curriculum that includes running and student-led activities that help girls build character skills and confidence, Denny said. Coaches are there to help facilitate conversations.
The program is not just about training for the 5K and girls do not run during the entire session.
“The character building is a much more important aspect,” she said.
Programs are broken down by age. “Girls on the Run” is for third through fifth graders, and the girls discuss life events and the challenges facing them, according to the program’s website.
“We start by helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. We then look at the importance of teamwork and healthy relationships. And, finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world,” the website said.
For sixth through eighth graders, girls are given the option between “Girls on Track” and “Heart and Sole.” The “Girls on Track” program is a more mature program that discusses issues like cyberbullying, drugs, eating disorders and relationships. “Heart and Sole” breaks the girls down into smaller teams in order to encourage more team bonding, according to the website.
“We’re trying to build a complete girl,” Denny said.
Marymount is offering two sessions of the camp this summer, one for younger runners and one for more experienced athletes. Marymount’s cross-country and triathlon coach Zane Castro will coach both, assisted by professional triathlete Calah Schlabach and St. Anselm’s Abbey School cross-country coach Kailey Gotta.
The first session (June 22-26) is designed for runners age 8-13 who are looking to develop their skills. Enrollment in the five day camp costs $310, which includes lunch at the university and a camp t-shirt at the end of the session. The camp will run each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cap on enrollment.
The second session (June 29-July 3) is capped at 25 students and is geared towards runners age 14-17 who are preparing for the coming cross-country season. The more intensive camp will run from 7:30 a.m to 12 p.m. every day. Cost of enrollment is $200.
According to a press release, participants in both camps will receive a written evaluation from the coaches at the end of the session. To enroll their child, parents should send an email with their child’s name, age and emergency contact number.
Parents must also fill out a registration form and bring the form and a check on the first day of the camp. The form, along with a list of other youth development camps being offered at Marymount this summer, can be found on the school’s website.
Pacers will close its running store on Pentagon Row next month, the company announced this afternoon.
The store, at 1101 S. Joyce Street, is being moved to a new Pacers location at 300 Tingey Street SE, in the District’s Navy Yard community.
The Pentagon Row store will close its doors on June 28, while the Navy Yard location is expected to open in late August. The Pacers location at 3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon will remain open and will be the local chain’s only Arlington location.
The Pentagon Row Pacers opened in spring 2009, after the company bought and took over the storefront of the Gotta Run Running Shop, which originally opened in 2004, according to Pacers CEO Kathy Dalby.
Dalby said that the popular Pacers races in Pentagon City and the Pentagon Row store’s active running club will continue even after the store closes. She said the decision to close the store was mostly about its small size.
“Pacers Pentagon Row has a great following, especially the groups that run with us weekly out of the shop,” Dalby said. “However, the size of the store — our smallest at 1,200 square feet and 60% smaller than our average location — limited our ability to provide the full breadth of product our customers have come to expect from Pacers Running.”
“We look forward to still supporting runs and races from Pentagon Row and [continuing] to be an integral part of the South Arlington fitness community,” Dalby continued.
Separately, Pacers also announced that it will be moving its existing location near Logan Circle in D.C. to a larger storefront at 14th and S Streets NW. That move will take place around the Fourth of July holiday.
Photo via Google Maps
Clement Running for County Board — Perennial local candidate Audrey Clement is running for Arlington County Board. Her paperwork was certified by election officials yesterday, placing her on the Nov. 3 ballot. Clement has ditched the Green Party label and is now running as an independent. Among her top issues are the historic preservation of Wilson School, getting developers to provide more community benefits and eliminating the 12.5 cent commercial real estate surcharge tax. [InsideNova]
Road Closures for Four Miler — A number of roads will be closed for much of Saturday morning for the Four Courts Four Miler. Among the planned closures are northbound Route 110 and Wilson Blvd from Courthouse Road to Route 110. [Arlington County]
Marine Corps Marathon Lottery Begins Today — Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is being conducted via an online lottery, begins at noon today. The registration period closes at noon on March 23. The registration fee, for those who get in, is $125 plus processing fees. [Marine Corps Marathon]
The alleged incident happened Saturday around 10:15 a.m. Police say a jogger was crossing 10th Street at N. Barton Street when a man driving an older BMW “nearly struck” him in the crosswalk.
A verbal exchange ensued and in a “fit of rage” the driver “proceeded forward” with the jogger still in front of the car, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“The driver proceeded forward causing the victim to jump on the hood and was driven approximately 20-30 feet before hitting the brakes and throwing the victim to the ground,” according to the crime report. “The victim did not sustain injury and the suspect fled the scene, located at his residence a short time later. Geoffrey Fisher, 65, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with attempted unlawful wounding. He was released on a $5000 unsecured bond.”
A witness told police that the jogger had the walk signal when he was initially almost struck.
Patrick Henry Elementary Honored by State — Patrick Henry Elementary School was among 40 schools around the state honored by the Virginia Board of Education for improving the academic performance of economically disadvantaged students. It was named a Highly Distinguished School for exceeding both state and federal benchmarks two years in a row. [WJLA]
Arlington, Falls Church Have State’s Best Jobs Numbers — Arlington and Falls Church tied for the lowest jobless rate in Virginia last month. They both listed a 3.7 percent unemployment rate for September. Arlington’s unemployment rate had been at 4 percent in August. [InsideNova]
Dog Loose at Airport — Among the cases recently handled by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington was a dog loose on the property at Reagan National Airport. The pooch had been reported missing and was reunited with its owner. [Washington Post]
Bike Light and Arm Band Giveaway — All cyclists, runners and walkers who stop by the Crystal City exit of the Mount Vernon Trail tonight from 4:00-6:00 p.m. will receive a free bike light or LED arm/leg band, courtesy of the Crystal City BID. Limit one item per person, while supplies last.
Flickr pool photo by lifeinthedistrict
Wardian Featured in Runners World — Prolific ultramarathon runner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian was the subject of a full-page spread in the latest Runners World magazine. Wardian, 40, holds the record for fastest marathon dressed as a superhero, fastest marathon with a stroller and fastest marathon on a treadmill. He was photographed on the Potomac Heritage Trail, where he regularly goes on morning runs with his puppy, Rosie. [PDF]
Candidates Question School Costs — School Board candidates Barbara Kanninen and Audrey Clement both said that there are ways to contain costs at Arlington Public Schools. Clement said the school system should consider increasing class sizes, while Kanninen said she was concerned about the cost of technology initiatives. [InsideNova]
GW’s Barcroft Park Field to Be Named — George Washington University will name the field its baseball team plays at Barcroft Park after a major donor. The field recently underwent a $3 million renovation. It will be named after Avram “Ave” Tucker, a former GW baseball player and the owner of a financial firm, who is making a $2 million donation to the school. The newly-christened “Tucker Field” will be dedicated in a ceremony Saturday morning. [George Washington University]
Orthopaedic Center to Open in Clarendon — The Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Center of Falls Church has announced that it has opened a second office, at 1307 N. Highland Street in Clarendon.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
(Updated at 10:00 a.m.) Three records fell Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Community Center during the annual Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon & 50 Kilometer races, two of them broken by Arlington residents.
Chuck Engle, 43, won the indoor marathon in 2:43:49, setting an unofficial world record for fastest indoor marathon time ever by someone older than 40, according to Arlington running guru Jay Jacob Wind, who organized the event.
Wind broke his own record for fastest indoor 50-kilometer race by a runner 60 or older, completing the distance in 4:23:45. The 64-year-old Wind ran the same race, and set the same record, last year in 4:34:14.
The women’s champion on Sunday, Washington D.C. resident Kristen Jaremback, ran the 16th-fastest women’s indoor marathon of all time, finishing in 3:25:28, according to Wind. Jaremback didn’t stop running however, continuing to complete the 50-kilometer race — roughly 31 miles — in 4:03:43, an American women’s record and the sixth-fastest indoor 50-kilometer time ever run by a woman, according to records kept by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS).
Engle unofficially broke the record set by German marathoner Uwe Langer, who ran the indoor marathon in 2:44:58.7 last year. Engle’s performance puts him at 17th-fastest of all time, according to ARRS. The world record holder regardless of age is Arlington’s own Michael Wardian, who ran the 26.2 miles in 2:27:21 in 2010, more than seven minutes faster than the next time on ARRS’ list.
The race was the fifth annual running of the indoor marathon and 50-kilometer race. Marathoners circled the community center track 211 times. Participants in the 50K circled the track 250 times.
This evening, the running club is throwing its fifth anniversary party at its usual post-run watering hole, Bungalow Sports Grill (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive). The club’s runners participate in its 5K runs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the restaurant for happy hour.
Mirentxu Meyer and Shirley Santos founded the running club when Santos was training for a triathlon, and, seeing as how they “hated to run,” they figured they would start a community group to make it a little more fun.
“Shirlington is a really young place with new families,” Meyer said. “We [saw] a lot of cuties out at the grocery store and we wanted to bring them out.”
The club was designed as a “not too intimidating and not too easy group,” and it’s grown exponentially as runners sign up to have their attendance tracked, earn free T-shirts with attendance milestones and enjoy a few beers with their running counterparts at Bungalow. Meyer said people “don’t have to be a runner” to join the club, and their attendance will still be taken.
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. the party will include raffles with prizes like free tickets to a show at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, a shoe fitting with New Balance and 10 vendors on hand to offer their wares to members both new and old.
There will be a rain date later this week — yet to be announced — if the run is cancelled due to the inclement weather in the forecast, but that won’t stop the carousing. Four years ago, at SRC’s first anniversary party, the skies opened up during the raffles, Meyer said.
“All of a sudden there was a big crack and there was a crazy downpour,” she said. “There was no power left, but the beer kept pouring.”
Photo via Shirlington Running Club. Morgan Fecto contributed to this report.
It was the first running of what many view as the world’s premier distance race since last year’s race was marred by the bombings that killed three and left hundreds injured.
Michael Wardian was the top finisher from Arlington, finishing in 2:23:32, good for third in the 40-44-year-old men’s division and 44th overall. Wardian, who turned 40 on April 12, won the North Pole marathon by nearly an hour less than two weeks ago and completed two other races — the GW Parkway 10 Miler and a 5K — between then and Monday.
“People are screaming and the energy is so amazing,” he said. “For me it was super emotional coming down the final stretch and crossing the finish line. I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was such a special day and a great day to be a runner.”
“The whole reason I got into running 20 years ago was to get into the Boston Marathon,” he said. “It’s an honor to just be a part of it.”
Arlington’s top female finisher was Clarendon resident Kayley Byrne, 26, who finished in 3:09:05, putting her in 322nd among all women and 267th in her division.
Byrne, a William and Mary alum who’s getting married in August, ran the marathon for the third time in a row — and for the second time with her mother, Carol. The two ran the Boston Marathon last year and Carol finished just 7 minutes before the bombs went off. Carol was uninjured, but shaken up.
Afterward, Byrne recalls watching the news coverage in their hotel room, stunned at how such a joyous event had turned so tragic so quickly. Then they made a pledge.
“We were like — we have to go back,” she said.
Byrne said running the 26.2 mile course this year “was completely inspirational.”
“There were people lining the course the entire way,” she told ARLnow.com. “Everyone was wearing Boston Strong shirts. It wasn’t so much about the race but a celebration of Boston and of running. There was a huge sense of community throughout the entire race and the entire weekend.”
Wardian’s next race will be the picturesque Big Sur marathon in California on Sunday. Byrne said she’s “feeling pretty beat up today,” but is looking forward to some day competing in the two World Marathon Majors she has yet to run, London and Berlin.
After the jump, in order of finish, are Arlington’s top 20 finishers in Boston from Monday.
Lubber Run Neighbors Rally Against Housing Proposal — Those who live around the Lubber Run Community Center showed up to the Saturday Arlington County Board meeting to rally against a proposal to use the public land around the community center for affordable housing or a new school. The residents also asked the Board to approve a renovation to the community center. [Sun Gazette]
Board Approves Expanded ‘Technology Zones’ — The County Board on Saturday approved an expansion of its program of reduced business license taxes for technology businesses in certain “technology zones.” About 5-10 businesses per year are expected to qualify for the tax incentives. [Arlington County]
Avg. Single Family Home Price Tops $900,000 — The average sale price of a single family home in Arlington hit $913,677 in March. That’s up 11.7 percent year-over-year. The average townhouse sale price, meanwhile, was $449,202 and the average condo was $515,000. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Educators Honored — Two Arlington educators, Glebe Elementary principal Jamie Borg and Kenmore Middle School teacher Cassidy Nolen, are among the recipients of the Washington Post’s annual education awards. [Washington Post]
Air Force Research Office to Remain in Arlington — After considering a move to Dayton, Ohio, the Air Force has decided to keep its Office of Scientific Research in Arlington. The decision was made after Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Rep. Jim Moran, pressed the Air Force to abandon the relocation proposal. The office employs about 170 people. [PR Newswire, Dayton Business Journal]
Arlington Runner Wins Marine Corp 17.75K — Arlington’s Kelly Swain was the top female finisher at the Marine Corps 17.75K race in Prince William County over the weekend. Swain, 28, finished the 11.03 mile event in 1:14:02. The 17.75K is a precursor to the Marine Corps Marathon, which starts and ends in Arlington. The sold-out race will take place this year on Oct. 26. [Army Times]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonderman
Editor’s Note: The following biweekly column is sponsored and written by Disrupt Fitness.
It’s finally spring! Late winter storms aside, it’s a time to be renewed, refreshed, and revitalized — to break out of the cocoon and get back out in the sun.
For many, that means shaking the dust off their running shoes and making a daily jog part of their lives once more. Here are a few of our favorite ways to hit reset on the routine and get running far and fast.
1. Sign up for a race.
A race is a great way to seek out camaraderie or tap into your inner competitor. Finding a fun, unique event can add variety to your training, introduce you to new people, and inspire you to run faster than ever before.
It need not be a marathon to be a challenge! There are plenty of local options between 5K and 26.2 miles. Add one of these events to your calendar, invite a few friends, and get ready to race!
- Crystal Run 5K Fridays, every Friday in April: this series of Friday night 5Ks in Crystal City will get your weekends off to a great start.
- The GW Parkway Classic, April 13: it’s the 30th anniversary of this beautiful 10-mile and 5K race.
- Marine Corps Historic Half, May 18: if you missed the full Marine Corps Marathon, travel down to Fredericksburg and cruise through 13.1 miles of history.
- Potomac River Run Marathon, May 4: a relatively new race on the C&O towpath; this is flat, fast, and fun.
2. Become a spectator.
Watching a road race is a weekend morning well spent. It’s a great way to be part of your local fitness community and cheer on your fellow runners as they challenge themselves.
Here are a few of the major, mostly sold-out events you won’t want to miss this spring:
- Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run, April 6 (Note: this annual event is also the National 10-mile Championship race).
- The Color Run, April 19 in Baltimore and May 18 in Washington, DC.
- Nike Women’s Half Marathon, April 27.
3. Get a change of scenery.
Now is the perfect time to take a daring leap off the treadmill or abandon your most well-worn neighborhood routes and workouts. Be sure to try out one of the many trails or parks our area has to offer–such as Burke Lake Park, the trails at Rock Creek Park, or the paths on Roosevelt Island.