by Heather Mongilio — September 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1,486 0

9-11 Memorial 5K logo.

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.

by Heather Mongilio — August 26, 2015 at 11:00 am 676 0

Girls on the Run NOVA participant (Courtesy of Girls on the Run)

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.

by Mariah Joyce — June 18, 2015 at 10:30 am 389 0

Marymount logoThe deadline to enroll in one of Marymount University’s annual youth running camps is tomorrow (June 19).

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.

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm 1,858 0

Pacers Pentagon Row store (photo via Google Maps)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

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,047 0

Sunset in Pentagon City

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]

by ARLnow.com — March 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm 6,952 0

Geoffrey Fisher (photo courtesy ACPD)An Arlington man is being accused of almost running over a jogger during a fit of road rage near Courthouse.

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.

by ARLnow.com — October 30, 2014 at 9:20 am 1,047 0

Wet day in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by lifeinthedistrict)

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

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 9:00 am 970 0

Sky over S. Walter Reed Drive near Shirlington (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

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]

Arlington Wine Bars Make Top 100 — Arlington wine bars The Curious Grape and Grand Cru have been named to OpenTable’s list of the top 100 wine-centric restaurants in America. [OpenTable]

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

by Ethan Rothstein — July 1, 2014 at 9:35 am 1,749 0

Jay Jacob Wind(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.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — June 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm 772 0

Shirlington Running Club (photo via SRC)(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) The Shirlington Running Club turns 5 years old today, a milestone for the club that has grown from a handful of runners to more than 2,500 members today.

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.

by Ethan Rothstein — April 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm 2,626 0

Boston Marathon logoOn Monday, 102 runners from Arlington crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

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.

Michael Wardian in the 2014 Boston Marathon (photo courtesy Jenna Downey)Wardian is an elite runner who runs dozens of races each year, but he said this year’s Boston Marathon was unique — the excitement level among the spectators was off the charts.

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.

Kayley Byrne and her fiancee at the 2014 Boston Marathon (photo courtesy Kayley Byrne)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.


by ARLnow.com — April 14, 2014 at 9:00 am 2,414 0

"Arlington Blossoms" (Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder)

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

by ARLnow.com — April 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm 865 0

Disrupt Fitness banner

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:

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.


by ARLnow.com — February 7, 2014 at 9:30 am 611 0

Foggy Arlington National Cemetery and Memorial Bridge (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Former Sheriff Sentenced for Shooting — Former Arlington County sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson has been sentenced to six years in prison for a fatal shooting in Alexandria. Patterson shot and killed 22-year-old Julian Dawkins, a driver for the Shirlington-based PBS NewsHour, during a late-night confrontation in May 2013. Patterson was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in December. [Washington Post]

Metro Track Work This Weekend — Track work on the Blue and Orange lines this weekend will result in trains running every 16 minutes, instead of the normal daytime service of a train every 12 minutes. [WMATA]

Yorktown Defensive End Signs with Citadel — Star Yorktown High School defensive end Logan Robinson will be playing football for The Citadel this fall. Robinson signed a national letter of intent for the military school on Wednesday. [Sun Gazette]

Pacers to Host ‘Cupid 5K Run’ — The Pentagon Row Pacers store (1101 S. Joyce Street) will host a Valentine’s Day-themed “fun run” next week. The run will start at the store at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, and will end at Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.), which will offer discounts to runners wearing white clothing or cupid wings. [Facebook]

Art Show at House of SteepHouse of Steep (3800 Lee Highway) is hosting a collection of watercolors by Howard C. Smith, co-owner of Clarendon-based Beth Singer Design, through March 31. The company designed the current ARLnow logo. [Beth Singer Design]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by Ethan Rothstein — August 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm 2,218 0

Jay Jacob WindJay Jacob Wind has numbers running through his head.

One hundred and fifty-one marathons. Three thousand shorter races. Nineteen minutes and 19 seconds on his first 5K more than 30 years ago, and 39:39 on his first 10K. His first marathon — the Marine Corps Marathon — he ran in three hours and 27 minutes. He finished his first Boston Marathon in 2:47.

Consider another number: how many people in Arlington know more about running in the area than Wind? Probably zero.

Not only has Wind published a local running blog/column, the Arlington Running Roundup, for years, and served as a inspiration and mentor for a generation of younger runners, but he has also been such a presence in the local athletic community that he was appointed chairman of the Arlington Parks Commission from 1996-97 and was later named an “Arlington Community Hero.”

(The honors were detailed in a Washington Running Report article that also quoted Wind as saying, “I want to be the known as the guy who got all of Arlington running.”)

ARLnow.com struck up a conversation with Wind this week to discuss the past, present and future of running in Arlington with the county’s foremost authority on the matter.

ARLnow: When did you move to Arlington, and when did you first start running?
Jay Wind: I moved here in June of 1978. That spring, I was in graduate school at the University of Georgia when I ran my first race. I had been running for years and years before I even knew there was such a thing as a race. Those were my first races after about a decade of training. When Frank Shorter won the Olympic marathon in 1972 and came in second in 1976, I had no idea. That thing that fired up thousands of Americans about running was totally lost on me.

ARLnow: What was the running scene in Arlington like back then compared to today?
JW: Back then there were still lots of people running. The Cherry Blossom 10-miler was 10,000 people instead of 30,000, and the Marine Corps Marathon was the same. There weren’t charities doing races. Race For The Cure changed all that, and it proved that really huge money could be made by charities, because the net proceeds of a race are generally half of the gross proceeds, and it’s really hard to find that kind of margins in any other event. The running stores — in particular Georgetown Running Company — have recognized they can promote their store by being a generous sponsor of a race. The fact that we’ve got so many runners, and therefore so many running stores, and therefore so many core sponsors has really made a huge difference.

ARLnow: What’s been the biggest change in the running scene since you started?
JW: The biggest single change has been the proliferation of private gymnasiums to get fit. It used to be that there were community centers and a handful of other gyms, but now, there are way, way more private gyms, and there are a lot of people who would prefer to work out on a treadmill or an elliptical on a hot day in the summer or a cold day in the winter, so it’s enabled more people to get fit. And you don’t necessarily have to be fit to run, but it sure is a lot more fun.

ARLnow: So just how different is it when you’re out on the trails these days?
JW: I’d say, nowadays we see 10 times as many runners as we did 30 years ago. There have been so many breakthroughs in running fabrics so we’re not running in cotton t-shirts and boxer shorts. We’re running in high-tech shirts, non-chafing shorts, polytech socks, running shoes. All these technological improvements, and that’s enabled more people to participate, it’s enabled, at the front end of the pack, for records to be set. The technology improves and it enables us to do our best.

ARLnow: What about Arlington do you think makes it so appealing for runners?
JW: Arlington’s got a ton of great trails. All you need is a good pair of shoes. We’ve got this beautiful perimeter around Arlington with the W&OD and Custis and Four Mile Run trails. You can run that whole distance about 26 miles with only two small street crossings in Rosslyn, two in Shirlington and Gravelly Point. Only five points. That’s so significant. The visionaries like (former County Board Chairman) John Milliken, who put together the Arlington perimeter… it was a brilliant idea, and it’s great for bicycles, too. It’s great for nature lovers or bird lovers. We are so lucky.



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