Like many other video conferences being scheduled for those working from home, virtual fittings are being conducted via Zoom. The customer books an appointment online then joins a one-on-one call with someone from Pacers, who walks them through the sizing and gives the customer some shoe recommendations based on their needs.
The shoes are then ordered online and sent to the house, but can be returned for a full refund.
“This has been incredibly popular,” Pacers CEO Kathy Dalby told ARLnow. “We booked almost 100% — over 50 appointments the first week — within 72 hours of launching. We had 100 scheduled as of this morning.”
Dalby said the company is aiming to increase its capacity for virtual fittings over the next few days. A chat feature on the website has also proven popular for the online store. Dalby credited much of that to outdoor running being one of the few allowable, socially-distanced exercises left and a popular form of stress relief.
“Our online sales have increased 10 fold, as has the option for people to have their product shipped or picked up curbside at select locations,” Dalby said.
Still, Dalby admitted the closure of the physical stores in mid-March hurt the company as closures throughout the region has severely impacted other local retail.
“We certainly saw a large dip the first week when the world was just trying to figure out what was going on,” Dalby said. “Spring is a big season for us so it certainly stings but we saw sales double from the first week of closure to last week as we mobilized our team and rolled out virtual fit options and promotion of our online shop. While the closures are incredibly difficult for all small businesses we are hanging in there and staying positive.”
Dalby said the crisis put pressure on the Pacers team to respond quickly. Virtual fittings, for example, went from concept to market in eight days.
“Normally a product like that would take 3-4 months to develop and test,” Dalby said. “We are design testing it on the fly making edits as we go. Finding these new ways to communicate with our customers will have staying power past COVID-19 for sure.”
The other side of Pacers is as an organizer of local races, like the now-postponed Crystal City 5K Fridays. All races have been put on hold for now.
“April is our biggest month for events constituting about 65% of our event revenue for the year,” Dalby said. “Through amazing partnerships… we have been able to pivot and reschedule a good number of events. We will certainly see a dramatic decrease in revenue for this year but are working now with many of our client events to help them find new dates in the fall.
“This will change the landscape of events,” she added. “We are working with other race producers across the country to mold what the future will look like.”
Gatherings of dozens — let alone thousands — of people are now criminal acts in Virginia, which is helping to put the kibosh on an annual series of spring races in Crystal City.
“At this time we’ve postponed this year’s series and plan to reschedule,” Crystal City Business Improvement District events manager Cassie Hurley told ARLnow last week.
No word yet on a possible return date for the month-long series of races. In the meantime, the governor’s stay-at-home order allows outdoor exercise while practicing social distancing, so solo 5K runs around Crystal City (and anywhere else) can continue.
A Courthouse pub is again lending its name to an annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed race.
The Four Courts Four Miler will start and finish in front of Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd). It’s taking place on Saturday, March 14, starting at 9 a.m.
New this year, the race is now a part of the St. Pat’s Run Fest, a two-day event that offers three races, including a 5K and 10K in the District on Sunday, March 15.
“Join us for an entire weekend of celebration and running as we combine two of our favorite iconic events,” wrote organizer Pacers Running. “The Four Courts Four Miler (Arlington) and the St. Pat’s Run (DC) merge across our community into one Run Fest. A region-spanning, shamrock-shaking, running event with adult beverages, Double Challenge and Triple Challenge finisher custom medals for our multi-event competitors, post-race fun and the most beautiful views in Arlington and DC.”
The Four Courts Four Miler course will take runners down Wilson Blvd into Rosslyn, then down Route 110, and back. It famously includes a steep climb at the end and a leprechaun that passes and heckles runners — for a good cause.
Shreeya Aranake contributed to this report. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography.
Arlington’s resident running superhero Michael Wardian is preparing to attempt another outrageous athletic feat.
Having already run 10 marathons in 10 days, nearly qualified for the Olympics, run across Israel in a record-breaking 10 days, won a marathon while dressed like Elvis, set a world record for running back-to-back marathons on all seven continents, and set another world record for fastest indoor marathon, Wardian is planning to go full Gump and run across the continental United States this summer.
Wardian, 45, tells ARLnow he’s hoping to run the roughly 3,000 miles from coast to coast — potentially from San Francisco or Los Angeles to one of the Mid-Atlantic beaches — in 60 days.
For the record, Wardian noted, that would not be a record-setting pace. Setting the record would be difficult since, between his daily ~50 mile runs, Wardian intends to telework for his day job as an international shipbroker.
Accompanying Wardian on the journey will be a small crew, who will help document the feat and provide logistical support, and perhaps some other runners. Attempting the run, including a stretch through the desert, at the beginning of the summer “is probably going to be terrible,” he said, but he’s excited about the “big, epic” challenge.
Though the exact route is being worked out, while Wardian conducts more research and talks to other people who’ve done the coast-to-coast run, one possible path is to take the Lincoln Highway all the way across the country.
Wardian did not totally rule out turning around and running back across the U.S. after completing the first transcontinental run, like the fictional Forrest Gump, though he said “my wife would probably disown me if I did that.” Another possibility, according to Wardian, should this run go well: attempting the same kind of coast-to-coast run on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
As for how he’s managed to continue running ultra-marathon distances at a seemingly impossible pace for the past 25 years, Wardian credited clean living, a vegetarian diet, and a bit of luck.
“I’ve taken pretty good care of myself, avoiding injury,” he said. “I know when something doesn’t feel right.”
Photos courtesy Michael Wardian
NAACP Slams APS Diversity Czar Process — “The Arlington school system’s effort to appoint a diversity czar has run into a buzzsaw of criticism from the county’s major civil-rights organization. The two co-chairs of the Arlington NAACP’s education committee took to the Dec. 5 School Board meeting to complain that the selection process was leaving out many of those the position is designed to support.” [InsideNova]
Snow Likely Overnight — “Temperatures are poised to leap to near 60 degrees Tuesday, and it won’t feel at all like it could snow. But, in a flash, that will change. An Arctic front charging to the East Coast will switch our weather from fall-like to winterlike in a matter of hours, setting the stage for possible wet snow overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
Local Bus Routes on Chopping Block — Metro is considering cutting or restructuring a number of local bus routes as part of its new, proposed budget. Among the Arlington bus routes that could be cut are the 5A, 16G, 22A and 22C. [WTOP]
Wardian Attempts Elvis Record — “Local ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has unfortunately failed to re-capture the world record time for the fastest marathon run while dressed as Elvis.” [Canadian Running]
Letter: County Shouldn’t Rescue Fallen Phones — “I question whether retrieving personal property is really an appropriate use of Arlington County resources. It must have cost significantly more than the value of the phone to provide the personnel for the recovery effort. As an Arlington County taxpayer, I resent that.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Pedestrian Struck on Columbia Pike — A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Columbia Pike near S. Highland Street around noon on Friday. Passersby rushed to help the victim, who remained on the ground after being struck. The crash appeared to happen prior the crosswalk in the westbound lanes of the Pike. The pedestrian reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries. [Twitter/@ARLnowDOTcom]
ACPD Ramping Up Seat Belt Enforcement — “During the Thanksgiving holiday, Arlington County Police Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign to work toward reducing the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up. The campaign runs from November 25 – December 6, 2019.” [Arlington County]
Veteran Suicide Run Ends in Arlington — “Two Massachusetts men finished a 500-mile run from Cape Cod to Arlington National Cemetery on Friday to raise awareness of veteran suicides. Joshua Milich, 29, of Somerset, and Brian Tjersland, 52, of Dartmouth, started off on their journey from Massachusetts National Cemetery on Veterans Day.” [Cape Cod Times, NBC 4]
Hope ‘Doesn’t Know What to Expect’ with Majority — “Like his three colleagues also comprising the Arlington delegation to the House of Delegates, Patrick Hope has never served in the majority. That changes on Jan. 8, when Democrats take control of a body that has been under authority of Republicans for more than two decades – and when, for much of that time, Democrats were as much an afterthought as the groom at a wedding reception.” [InsideNova]
YHS Football Advances to Regional Final — “On Friday night, the Patriots shut the [Madison] Warhawks down, scoring a 25-10 win in the Class 6 Region D semifinals for their second victory of the postseason. The Patriots, who went on the road and never trailed, secured that third playoff game; they will face Westfield, another traditional power, in next week’s region final.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]
Advocates Pushing for Less Parking at HQ2 — “Amazon wants employees at its new Northern Virginia headquarters to commute car-free to work… So why does the development’s current design include an underground parking garage with nearly 2,000 spaces — guaranteeing that a significant chunk of Amazon’s workforce will drive to work?” [Greater Greater Washington]
Express Lanes Causing 14th Street Bridge Slowdown? — Some commuters have been taking to social media to gripe about what they say is heavier traffic caused by the I-395 Express Lanes: “This morning the express lanes made 395N regular lanes undriveable. The problem is they closed off the 14th street bridge hov to regular traffic, which is creating a tremendous clog point. Its now taking 30 mins just to cross the 14th street bridge.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Northam in Arlington Today — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is scheduled to attend the Governor’s Transportation Conference this morning at a hotel in Crystal City. [Cvent]
‘Feuerwehrmann’ Joins ACFD for Three Weeks — “Two Arlington County Fire Department crews had a unique opportunity recently when they welcomed a fellow firefighter from the Aachen Fire Department in Germany. Lieutenant Sebastian Ganser, a firefighter, paramedic, and fire instructor in Arlington’s sister city of Aachen, Germany, spent three weeks with Station 5C in Crystal City and Station 2B in Ballston — living and working alongside Arlington’s firefighters and paramedics.” [Arlington County]
Long-Distance Runners Arriving in Arlington Soon — “Josh and Brian will be running roughly 500 miles from Massachusetts National Cemetery to Arlington National Cemetery in VA for your donations. This journey will take between 10-14 days averaging 40-50 miles per day. They will start on November 11th, 2019 (Veterans Day) and will only stop to eat and sleep until they make it to Arlington, VA.” [Mission 22]
Road Closures for Annual 5K — “The 5th annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will implement several road closures from approximately 8:00 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event.” [Arlington County]
Planetarium Boosters to Stay Active During Closure — “The Arlington school system’s lone planetarium will be closed for about a year and a half starting later this month, as construction takes place turning the nearby Arlington Education Center building into classroom space. But leaders with the Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium say they will fill the gap with programming elsewhere during the closure.” [InsideNova]
Arlington’s first indoor running studio is opening this weekend in Clarendon.
Formula Running Center (3101 Wilson Blvd) features coached treadmill and strength workouts for runners at all levels, in addition to runner recovery resources and private training.
The 5,000 square-foot studio, in the former American Tap Room space, plans to open its doors this Saturday and Sunday for free classes and tours of the studio, with pre-registration required.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t just another fitness studio, and that we were going above and beyond for our athletes,” said co-owner Chris Hoffman.
Hoffman, an avid runner, founded the studio with fellow athlete Nicole DonVito with the goal of providing a one-stop training shop for area runners.
“Not only can they get these great, coached running sessions, but we’re making sure they recover properly to prevent injury,” Hoffman said. “And that’s whether they’re getting ready to run their first mile, or training for a marathon.”
Running workouts are coached on state-of-the art Woodway treadmills, with scoreboard screens throughout the studio displaying progress. Runners are encouraged to wear heart-rate monitors, which will be available for rent in the studio.
Recovery services include guided foam rolling, yoga, and stretching classes, muscle compression wraps, an infrared sauna, a cold water “ice pod,” and a cryotherapy machine, which uses localized freezing temperatures to soothe muscles.
Membership starts at $104 per month for four “credits,” with first time discounts and credit packs available. Each class and most recovery services will cost one credit, and the cryotherapy machine will be two credits.
The studio applied for a construction permit in February, per county records. It will join the ranks of nearby boutique fitness studios SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp, among others, and is also just steps from the Clarendon Metro station and running store Pacers.
Arlington Man Accused Of Abusing Boy — “A teacher at Anne Beers Elementary School in Southeast Washington has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old student between December 2016 and April 2017, according to police and documents filed in court. David Christopher Noble, 46, of Arlington, Va., was arrested Monday and charged in an indictment with several sex abuse counts and with threatening the boy and his family.” [Washington Post]
Big Raise for Arlington Startup — “Enterprise software company Stardog announced Tuesday morning that it had raised $9 million of a Series B round to expand its product offerings as well as its engineering, customer success, sales and marketing teams. The Arlington, Virginia-based maker of an enterprise data unification platform secured the funding in a round led by New York City-based venture capital firm Tenfore Holdings.” [Technically DC]
Scams Still Targeting Local Residents — “ACPD is warning the public about two telephone scams targeting area residents… learn about the outstanding warrant scam and a scam referencing Dominion Energy and ways to protect yourself.” [Twitter]
Generator Work in Courthouse This Weekend — “Generator replacement at Justice Center means no parking/sidewalk access on 14th Street between N Troy and N Courthouse Road. Expect early a.m. noise for crane set-up… This work was rescheduled from last weekend for this coming Saturday, Nov. 2.” [Twitter]
Wardian Wants to Go Full Gump Next Year — Newly-minted MCM50K champ Michael Wardian “has participated in more than 250 marathons and another 150 ultramarathons. His longest distance thus far is a 400K (nearly 250 miles) through the Gobi Desert that was self-navigated and took him four days… Next year, he hopes to run across the continental United States, but don’t compare him to Forrest Gump; he says he’s heard that one a few too many times.” [Arlington Magazine]
Four Percent of Nuptials in Va. Are Same-Sex — “Same-sex couples have made up one of every 26 marriages in Virginia since such unions were legalized in the commonwealth in 2014.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
23rd Street Restaurants Worry About Parking — “Owners and operators along Crystal City’s ‘restaurant row’ are demanding changes to Roseland Residential Trust’s proposed multimillion-dollar expansion of the Crystal House complex, saying the project may irreparably harm their businesses… At issue are 95 pay-to-park spaces in a lot at South Eads and 22nd Street South, around the corner from the restaurants on 23rd Street.” [Washington Business Journal]
Juvenile Detention Facility in Question — “The City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church, and Arlington County will host community meetings in November to obtain public input for a study examining the future of the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center (Center). The facility, located in Alexandria, is operated by the three jurisdictions through a regional Juvenile Detention Commission.” [Arlington County]
Wardian Was Also a Weekend Winner — “This was the first year of the MCM ultramarathon, a 50K, and MCM tweeted Sunday afternoon that Arlington marathoner and ultramarathoner Michael Wardian won that event. Earlier this year, Wardian ran the entire Capital Beltway. Wardian, whose first-ever marathon was the MCM win 1996, finished with a time of 3:11:52.” [WJLA]
Neighbors Negotiating With Amazon — “A group of neighborhood activists started discussing a unique joint effort, aiming to set a ‘livability agenda’ for the area and better bargain for the benefits they want to see… The partnership has helped community members take their needs directly to Amazon, and the company’s main developer and landlord in the area, JBG Smith.” [Washington Business Journal]
Crash at Shirlington Bus Depot — “Medics on scene of a crash between a van and a Metrobus in Shirlington. At least one minor injury reported. Not clear how the crash happened.” [Twitter]
Photo for Allison Bredbenner
Another School Boundary Process Coming — “It might go well, or it might be the civic-engagement equivalent of a bloodbath. But either way, Arlington school leaders are about to embark on a new round of rejiggering elementary-school boundaries.” [InsideNova]
Fire Station 8 Contract Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a $16.1 million construction contract and a concept design for a new, energy-efficient, four-bay station to replace the obsolete Fire Station No. 8 at 4845 Lee Highway. The new fire station will better serve the community while honoring Fire Station No. 8’s long history.” [Arlington County]
Local Man Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Violations — “An Arlington political consultant who served as the treasurer of multiple Political Action Committees (PACs) pleaded guilty today to lying to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about approximately $32,500 in payments of PAC money that he directed to himself and a close friend.” [Press Release]
Run With a Running Legend Friday — Updated at 2:45 p.m. — “Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon – wearing bib number 261 – and is the founder of the global non-profit 261 Fearless, will be in Arlington this Friday to run with the 261 Fearless Club DC Metro/VA. The short, easy run will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. It is free and open to the public; all are invited.” [Press Release]
ACPD Celebrates Accreditation — “The Arlington County Police Department has received its Initial Accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). The announcement comes following an intensive on-site assessment, which took place in April 2019.” [Arlington County]
Notable Local Candidate Endorsements — The website Greater Greater Washington has endorsed a number of Arlington candidates, including Del. Alfonso Lopez for the 49th House of Delegates district, Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol for County Board, and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth’s Attorney. Additionally, Cristol has endorsed Dehghani-Tafti. [Greater Greater Washington, Twitter]