54th Annual                                    February 15, 2015

2015 GW Marathon header

Farewell 'til Next Year

One final note from your Race Director before we put the 2015 effort to bed for the summer.

We posted partial times (9.7 and 17.0 mile splits) for the solo marathon and relay on the DC Road Runners web site.

If you haven't already signed up, please consider the offer from the directors of the Runners Marathon of Reston for free entry to all of our solo marathon runners.  If you would like to take advantage of this offer, email the RMR’s race director (address sent to all our runners).  The RSVP deadline is March 17.

DC Road Runners Club also puts on a shorter race in late summer with a very similar course.  The Larry Noel 15K Race will take place on Labor Day Sunday, September 6, at 5pm.  If you like the course through Greenbelt and dodging potholes on Beaver Dam Road (which we really hope the county will re-pave soon), but prefer summer thunderstorms, heat & humidity to winter blizzards and frostbite, please consider this race.  Complete information and online registration are located here.

The 55th annual presentation of the George Washington’s Birthday Marathon and Relay will take place on Sunday, February 14th, 2016 (Valentine’s Day!).  Once we've updated the web site for the 2016 race, we'll send everyone who registered for 2015 instructions on how to get the promised discount on entry fees.  Look for them in September.  Mark your calendars, make plans to join us at the start line, and start praying now for good weather!

Some Good Deals for our 2015 Runners

It’s been ten days since the our truncated attempt to run the 2015 George Washington’s Marathon Birthday Marathon and Relay.  We’ve received a lot of comments, most of them supportive but some sharply critical.  We’ve read and given consideration to every one of them. 

We have two offers for our 2015 runners.

  • First, the directors of the Runners Marathon of Reston have offered free entry to all of our solo marathon runners.  Since the offer comes late in their planning cycle, it has a couple of conditions: you’ll wear a GWBM bib, receive a GWBM medal if you finish, won’t get a shirt, will be included in their official results, will not receive a free ticket to the pre-race carbo dinner, but are welcome as a paid guest (tickets are $10) and will be welcome to all drink and food during and after the race.  They will waive their current registration fee ($95), and no, you can’t get a refund if you’ve already registered and paid it.  If you would like to take advantage of this offer, do not register on their web site, but please email RMR’s race director.  (Address will be provided in an email we are sending to all our registered runners. The RSVP deadline is March 17.) 
  • Second, we will offer a discount of $15 for solo marathoners and $7.50 for relay runners off our 2016 registration.  If our entry fees are the same as 2015’s (not promised!), this will represent a 30% discount off early registration prices.  Some background: (1) we originally said “no refunds” and that the bad-weather date would be Sunday, February 22. (2) Availability of volunteers required us to change the bad-weather date to Saturday, February 21.  Some runners cried “foul!” (3) If we had held to the Sunday back-up date, the race would have been a total cancellation and we fail to see how this would have been a favorable outcome. (4) So we’re looking for a solution that we hope will please everyone and realize may please no one.  So be it.

These offers apply to our 2015 runners whether they participated in the abridged 2015 event or not.

The 55th annual presentation of the George Washington’s Birthday Marathon and Relay will take place on Sunday, February 14th, 2016 (Valentine’s Day!).  Mark your calendars, make plans to join us at the start line, and start praying now for good weather!


Congratulations and Thank You!

Well, we did it.   Sort-of, kind-of.  We had our plans but Mother Nature had her way (as she usually does).  We expected light snow to start falling around 11, but we didn't think the heavy stuff was gonna come down for quite a while ... long enough for most people to finish the race.  We "called" the race at 11:40 and everyone got back to Greenbelt safely. 

To the 110 solo runners and 30 teams who ran with us, we thank you for your cooperation and good humor under deteriorating weather conditions.  We hope everyone had a memorable experience, and we certainly hope you enjoyed the post-run pizza and Hard Times Café chili 'n' fixins' at the Greenbelt Youth Center.

Our friends at RacePacket have a great photo album of snow falling on the Relay Exchange area (along with some comments from people who weren't there that we should have canceled the race outright). Please have a look and add your comments.

The 55th running of the George Washington's Birthday Marathon and Marathon Relay will be on Sunday, February 14th, 2016.  Mark your calendars and plan to join us.  Maybe the weather will be better!


Marathon and Relay Update - Thursday Morning

The answer to a question many of you are asking: The race is ON!

The Race Director toured the course this morning.  The streets in the Greenbelt residential area and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center are generally well-plowed.  The "home stretch" trail from Hillside Road, through the culvert and down to the finish line was also plowed and shoveled!  There are some "iffy" spots along the course where runners will have to exercise caution, but these are manageable. 

The weather forecast is still looking very cold but otherwise favorable. Friday night/Saturday morning low around 8F, warming to the low 30s on Saturday.  Chance of snow Saturday afternoon with accumulations of 1-3 inches.  Hopefully, we'll be done before any heavy stuff comes down.

Packet pickup is scheduled for Friday evening, 5-8pm at the Greenbelt Youth Center, and Saturday morning 8:00-9:45 before the race. 

More information this evening.  Travel safely!  Stay warm!


Marathon Planning Update

We are continuing to plan for the Marathon on Saturday, February 21st. It's going to be bitterly cold Saturday morning, but winds are forecast to be only 5-10 knots. We're concerned about course conditions (specifically, ice) on Beaver Dam Road and along the "home stretch," once runners turn off Hillside Road, go through the culvert and travel over an off-road trail to the finish line.  We will inspect the course on Thursday morning to determine whether it is safe, and will email everyone with the "go/no-go" verdict.

If we're able to run, it will still be critically important for runners to dress safely.  Layered attire; wearing a windproof shell with zipped or velcro'ed closures that can be opened to regulate temperature; covering the head. ears and hands; and carrying chemical hand warmers are suggestions every runner should heed. 

We realize and regret that the decision to move the race's back-up date to Saturday is problematic for some runners.  (The reason for the change is that so many people plan to participate in the Maryland RRCA Ten Mile Challenge on Sunday that we were not able to identify enough volunteers to be course marshals and water station workers that day.)  Thus far, we have adhered to the "no refunds, no deferrals" policy that has been part of the Information for Runners section since we opened registration. However, once we've either conducted the Marathon or been frozen out a second time, we will re-visit that policy and see whether we can make things better for those who can't make it on Saturday.  Again, we'll email everyone once we've reached a decision.

Weather Forecast as of Tuesday Evening

The weather throughout the region continues to be challenging. Here is what the forecast looks like as of Tuesday evening, February 17.  Another snow event Wednesday, followed by record-low temperatures that will provide little chance for melting.



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