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ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute<BR><super>21st</super> annual Potomac River Run Marathon & Half

ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
21st annual Potomac River Run Marathon & Half


ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute

21st annual

Saturday, May 4, 2024
On the historic C&O Canal Towpath
Start & finish at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC
The Easiest Full Marathon & Half in America -- Come see why!

  • The marathon & half are 100% SOLD OUT,
    except for sponsors.
  • We wish we had more capacity.
  • You may still sponsor the race and get a free entry
  • Sponsorship is $250 until Friday, May 3
  • No race-day registration
  • Register as a sponsor
  • See for full information
  • All sponsorship receipts go to charitable organizations

  • On-line registration is closed,
    but we invite you to
    sponsor SHF's 21st annual Potomac River Run Marathon & Half,
    or join us at dinner on Friday, May 3, at 6:15 PM at Big Tony's Pizzeria,
    also at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. ($10 in advance, $15 at the door -- all you can eat) at 6:15 PM
    or reserve a seat on Red Top Cab service on Saturday, May 4,

    departing at 7:00 AM from the host hotel
    Marriott Crystal City, 1999 Richmond Highway, Arlington VA,
    arriving 7:20 AM to Fletcher's Cove, with round-trip available after you finish
    Whenever we have four passengers, we call Red Top Cab for your round-trip ride back to our host hotel
  • Both the dinner and the cab ride are open to family members and friends as well as race entrants

  • Confirm your registration
  • Express Registration

  • Thank you for entering the 21st annual Potomac River Run Marathon!
  • We thank our sponsors:
    • celcius CELSIUS -- Live Fit
    • Boom Nutrition | donates CarbBoom, the best-tasting energy gel anywhere
    • Trader Joe's of Clarendon donates bananas
    • Big Tony's pizza welcomes us on Friday night, May 3, at 6:15 PM
    • Sprinklewood
    • Sprinklewood Bakeshop donates granola bags and gluten-free/vegan cookies
    • Pacers Running Store
    • Deep Rock Drilling Service

    • Breathe for Simon
      • Todd Mickalowski
      • Bethany Hailstone
      Other sponsors
      • Annie Boring
      • Justin Segall
      • Rachel Van Rookhuijzen
      • Sophia Lanciault
      • Josh Durham
      • Ashley Watson
      • Xingxu Chen
      • Felipe Montoya Pino
      • Michael Tucker
      • Jack Durham
      • Katelyn Engen
      • Raj Ratwani
      • Steven Kauzlarich
      • Cole Phillips
      • Sarah Chappuis
      • Baowei Ao

    • Status of Entries
    • If you complete 21st Potomac River Run, 18th Abebe Bikila Day International Peace, and 21½th Potomac River Run (either half or full marathon), you are entered in SHF's 2024 Grand Prix Series
    • $100 cash award to anyone who completes all three SHF half or full marathons in 2024 - May 4, September 14, and October 19

    • You may change between 8:00 AM FULL and 9:00 AM HALF or vice versa via this handy change form
    • Read our Transfer & Deferral Policy and Fee Disclosure
    • If you are a transfer or a deferral from another SHF race, you may enter for just $10 via this on-line entry form
    • On the first page, select category Transfers or Deferrals
    • Read about the C&O Canal Towpath

    • You may

    • Our host hotel is Marriott Crystal City near Reagan National Airport, 1999 Richmond Highway, Arlington VA (703-413-5500)
    • Use group code "The SHF Room Block" @ $210.00 per night from 05/01/24 to 05/05/24
    • Cutoff Date: Friday, March 25, 2024
    • If you buy the cab ticket, please be at Marriott Crystal City by 7:00 AM to get to the 8:00 AM start
    • Volunteer:
      • Sign up as a volunteer
      • You can select to support any of our beneficiary charities, or as a volunteer for Safety And Health Foundation
      • All the locations are mapped on this web page
      • You get one of our colorful t-shirts
      • Volunteer instructions

    • Packet Pick-ups:
      • Early birds: ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute donates spiffy green souvenir bags, which we assemble on Thursday, May 2, from 3:00 PM to 6:45 PM at their office at 2841 Hartland Rd, #401B, Falls Church VA 22043, on the first block north of Lee Highway (Route 29) just inside the I-495 Capital Beltway
      • Please come to ACE on Thursday, May 2, from 3:00 PM to 6:45 PM, to help assemble souvenir bags and to pick up your bag, t-shirt, and bib number early.

      • Pre-race: Packet pickup at Pacers Running Store of Clarendon at 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22201, welcomes us for packet pick-up on Friday, May 3, from 12:00 noon to 5:45 PM, inside the store
      • Buy something while you are there!

      • After Friday packet pick-up ends, we move to Big Tony's Pizzeria, two doors to the west of Pacers, also 3100 Clarendon Boulevard
      • Join us for informal pre-race dinner on Friday, May 3, at 6:15 PM, All you can eat for $10.00!
      • We can have your packet ready at Big Tony's Pizzeria, but only by specific prior arrangement. Write to RACEDIRECTOR@ATT.NET subject line "PACKET PICK-UP 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM ON FRIDAY. MAY 4"

      • Race-Day: Pick up your bib number, goodie bag, and t-shirt on Saturday, May 4, from 7:15 AM to 8:45 AM, on-site at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC 22207
      • Race-day packet pick-up and bag check at the picnic tables down the stairs in the lower parking lot
      • Races start at the top of the stairs on the gravel trail.

      • A small waterproof plastic bag is stapled to the back of your bib number.
      • That's the automatic RFID timing chip that feeds data to WebScorer®. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE! DO NOT DESTROY THE TIMING CHIP OR RUN A SAFETY PIN THROUGH IT!
      • We collect those chips post-race to re-use at future races. Then are costly, so DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE! DO NOT DESTROY THE TIMING CHIP!
      • After you finish, leave the timing chip intact, attached to the back of the name tag at the bottom of your bib number, and give the chip and tag to the finish line official
      • Then receive your finisher's medallion, hand-strung on a colorful ribbon
      • Get some refreshments under our recovery tent on the C&O Canal Towpath, and then walk down the stairs to our post-race picnic

      • In addition, as a back-up, we collect the name tag at the bottom of your bib number on a stringer to ascertain the order of finish, so please co-operate with the finish line volunteers.
      • In addition, as a back-up, we transcribe your bib number in a Time Machine (r) hooked directly to the computer under the text at the finish line.
      • After every 50 finishers, we print a finisher list. Consult the printed lists for your time and place. DO NOT HARRASS THE PEOPLE UNDER THE TENT AT THE RESULTS TABLE!

      • We weill broadcast the finish times directly and instantly to and also e-mailing your results to you in real time.
      • Once we get the live link set up, we will e-mail the link to you.
    • T-shirts designed by Karla McDuffie
    • Awards
    • We thank our charity volunteers:
    • Race-Day Schedule:
      • 7:00 AM - On-Site packet pick-up opens
      • 7:30 and 8:30 AM - Certified Laughter Yoga leader Diane Cohen leads two rounds of Laughter Yoga in honor of World Laughter Day, the first Sunday in May
      • Diane studied Laughter Yoga under Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The day is now celebrated on first Sunday of May worldwide.

      • 7:45 AM - 20-time Potomac River Run Marathon finisher Michael Creadon plays the National Anthem on trumpet
      • 8:00 AM - Full marathon starts
      • 8:30 AM -- Second Laughing warm-up begins
      • 9:00 AM - Half marathon starts
      • 9:15 AM - First half marathoners finish
      • 9:20 AM - First full marathoners make the midpoint at Fletcher's Cove
      • 12:00 noon - Last half marathoners finish
      • 2:00 PM - Last full marathoners finish

      World Laughter Day

      Read about Arlington Laughter Yoga

      View Laughology by Albert Nerenberg - Full Movie - Free

    • Charitable Giving
      • Three times a year, at each marathon in May, September, and October, we donate $8000 to Buy A Brick Foundation, $1400 to Marathon Charity Cooperation, and $600 to DC Capital Striders, a member of Road Runners Club of America
      • In September, we donate $2000 to Upendo Educational Foundation

      • On December 3, 2020, Giving Tuesday, we donated $4000 of expected net proceeds of our marathon not held on May 3, 2020, to Buy A Brick Foundation so it would get doubled by Facebook, then doubled again by a private donor
      • We share our love with you in this time of coronavirus

    • Past years' results:
    • Marathon News

      • Questions?      
      Write the race director or call 703-927-4833
      • Sponsored by
      AC-Carb-Boom!   BP-Carb-Boom!   GP-Carb-Boom!
      Carb Boom!®

      • Race-Day Announcer
      "Showtime Mike" Mebreahtu

    • Watch Showtime Mike here on YouTube | and here
      • Logistics
      Assisted by
      DC Capital Striders
      Ethio-American Athletic Association

      Gib Leonard, Buy A Brick Foundation
      Stomp Out Malaria Campaign
      Recent news:
      The quick update on Buy A Brick Foundation. All eight phases are now complete at Leonah Clinic. As the last step, the roof goes on next week. That project has been a major success. The clinic will be able to treat thousands of people in the bush village that wouldn't get treatment otherwise.
      Last Monday, we broke ground on a high school in the bush village of Chidobe. This high school will consist of three school blocks and a teacher living quarters. We need to raise $125,000 for this project and hope to have it completed within one year.
      -- Gib Leonard

      Write to
      Arlington Laughter Yoga
      • Benefits
      • Safety And Health Foundation and its charity partner Buy A Brick Foundation -
      • When you register, you may include an additional donation to Buy A Brick Foundation
      • In 2011-2017, we also supported American Red Cross International Response Fund in Haiti
      • On May 1, 2017, we donated $10, and we gratefully acknowledge the contribution from Lisa Totten
      • On April 22, 2015, we donated $225, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from Jim Amrhein, Holly Dubbeling, Elisabeth Mueller, Mary Beth Owens, Ann Marie Terzaken, Scott S. Thomas, Phoebe Uricchio, and John Wood
      • On December 27, 2014, we donated $150, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from Albert Avila, Mary H. Ester, Craig Odell, Tim Rooney, and Lynn Stapp
      • On May 5, 2014, we donated $145, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from Mehdi S. Cherqaoui, Jeff Duyn, Annie Lowrey, Zachary Maxcey, Mark John Rolincik, and Ginger Elaine Zarse
      • On May 6, 2013, we donated $100, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from Roberto Sidoti, Paula C. Bamford, Audrey Fincher, and Luke Mitchell
      • On May 5, 2013, we donated $1,000 to One Fund Boston in memory of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and in support of the many who were injured
      • On May 7, 2012, we donated $225, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from Madeline A. Blobe, Elizabeth Clor, Kevin Foley, Laura Huffman, Stephen Roberts, Joanne B. Sechrest, Ryan Earl Schmidt, and Oskar Tiger
      • On May 2, 2011, we donated $100, and we gratefully acknowledge contributions from John Batley, Katherine Anne Gergen Barnett, Hannah Kojm, and Robert Ian McDonald
      • 2025 Boston Marathon Qualifier
      • Open to
      • Runners of all levels of ability who can cover the course in less than 6 hours
      • Limited to the first 350 entrants

      • Read our welcome letters to entrants:

      • April 27, 2021
      • April 16, 2021
      • April 11, 2021
      • May 5, 2019 (PDF) | DOC
      • May 4, 2018 | May 2, 2018 (PDF) | DOC
      • May 6, 2017 | | May 1, 2017
      • April 26, 2017
      • April 27, 2016 | April 15, 2016
      • May 5, 2015 | Photo report | Final report May 4, 2015 | Post-race report May 3, 2015 | 2015 Welcome (PDF) | DOC
      • 2014 Welcome
      • 2013 Welcome | May 1, 2013 | April 30, 2013 | April 26, 2013 (for Maryland Starters ONLY) | April 24, 2013 | April 17, 2013 | April 11, 2013 | April 1, 2013
      • April 22, 2012 | 2012 Welcome (PDF)

      • FAQ:
            • Q. Will the water and athletic drinks be passed out in paper cups or in botles?
            • A. At the aid stations, both water and Gatorade will be in paper cups. Before the start, we offer free samples of CarbBoom. Before the start and after the finish, we offer Simone Super Energy.
            • Q. Do you recycle / re-use?
            • A. Yes. Please dispose of cups and bottles in our marked recycling boxes. Please deposit banana peels and other food waste in our marked composting boxes. We re-use unclaimed bib numbers from previous years
            • Q. Where will drinks be passed out?
            • A. At the start / midpoint / finish at Fletcher's Cove and at each aid station at Lock 5, Lock 7, and Lock 10.
            • Q. What time is the start time for the race?
            • A. The full marathon starts at 8:00 AM, and the half marathon starts at 9:00 AM.
            • Q. Is the full marathon a Boston qualifier?
            • A. Yes, and we send results to Boston Athletic Association about a week after the race.
            • Q. Is the half of full marathon a qualifier for anything else?
            • A. Yes, and results are available on-line for verification required for qualifiers for Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City marathons -- also Olympic Trials during qualifying years
            • Q. What are the full marathon awards?
            • A. In the 8:00 AM full marathon: $250 for 1st M/F overall, $150 for 2nd M/F overall, and $100 for 3rd M/F overall, plus your choice of SHF items or store certificates for top 3 M/F in age groups 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & over
            • Q. What are the half marathon awards?
            • A. In the 9:00 AM half marathon: your choice of SHF items or store certificates for top 3 M/F overall and in age groups 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & over
            • Q. If I want to start the half marathon at 8:00 AM, is that OK?
            • A. Yes, but no awards in the 8:00 AM half marathon
            • Q. When should I arrive?
            • A. Please arrive a half hour before your start. If you pick up your packet on Thursday or Friday, then you don't have to stand in line on Saturday. If you don't, please allow 10 extra minutes to get your packet.
            • Q. Do you use timing chips?
            • A. No, we use the old-fashioned method of clicking your bib number into a Time Machine electronic time recorder, wired to a computer for instantaneous results.
            • Q. What about parking?
            • A. We only have about 300 spaces at Fletcher's Cove, and we want to leave some spaces for other park users. Fletcher's Cove has two parking areas. After you enter the driveway toward Fletcher's Cove, look to your left. The upper lot has about 85 parking spaces. Those spaces fill quickly. Now look to your right. You see a tunnel that goes under C&O Canal and C&O Towpath. Carefully enter the tunnel and drive through it to a lower lot with about 300 parking spaces. Once we fill all the parking at Fletcher's Cove (maybe 7:15 AM), a US Park Police officer directs cars to turn right on Reservoir Road towards free on-street parking at The River School, on W Street, Hutchins Street, Bending Lane, Reservoir Road, and MacArthur Boulevard, 0.3 to 0.7 miles away.
            • Alternatively, please take our Red Top Cab from Marriott Crystal City or car-pool to minimize parking delays.
      • Course
      • Flat - scenic - beautiful views of the Potomac River - tree-lined - shaded - out'n'back
      • Almost totally flat course
      • Course Maps:
      • USATF certified course map: Here
      • GMAP: HERE
      • Google map of the start: Here
      • Course map: Course Map
      • Almost totally flat course | Course Map
      • Aid stations with water, Gatorade, friendly volunteers, and toilets at
              • The start / midpoint / finish at Fletcher's Cove - Mile 0.0, 13.1, and 26.2 (permanent and portable toilets)
              • Lock 5 - Mile 2.0, 11.1, 15.1, 24.2 (portable toilet across C&O Canal)
              • Lock 7 - Mile 4.0, 9.1, 17.1, 22.2
              • Lock 10 - Mile 6.0, 7.1, 19.1, 20.2
      • Spectator access at the stations and also at
              • Chain Bridge - Mile 1.0, 12.1, 14.1, 25.2
              • Lock 6 - Mile 2.2, 10.9, 15.3, 24.0
              • Lock 8 - Mile 5.0, 8.1, 18.1, 21.2
              • Lock 9 - Mile 5.5, 7.6, 18.6, 24.7
              • Turnaround point - Mile 6.6 and 19.7
      • The locks are accessible from EASTBOUND Clara Barton Parkway only
      • You pass 4 aid stations a total of 15 times. | MAPS
      • Off-Site Parking Options
      • Full & Half Marathon
      • Your choice -- 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles
      • Both are USATF-certified
      • The full marathon is a qualifier for Boston Marathon + Chicago, Houston, and New York Marathons
      • The half marathon is a qualifier for Chicago, Houston, and New York Marathons
      • The half marathon is a qualifier for Chicago, Houston, New York
      • When you register, you can select which distance you want to run, same price
      • You may change later between 8:00 AM FULL and 9:00 AM HALF start
      • Registration 
      • Keepers:

    • Join our Facebook page -- share rides, thoughts, and photos!
    • Host Hotel
      • Host hotel: Marriott Crystal City, 1999 Richmond Highway, Arlington VA (703-413-5500)
      • View the property
      • Reserve a room by Tuesday, April 4, check in after May 4, done by Sunday, May 7.
      • To get you from the hotel to the race, we offer Red Top Cab rides for just $10.00 per passenger.
      • Each cab seats 4. Board when you get downstairs and catch your cab before 7:15 AM
      • Google Map from the hotel to the race
      • Race-Day
      • Civil Twilight at 6:35 AM | Sunrise at 7:01 AM
      • You may park anywhere in Crystal City
      •   Then go to the host hotel and take our Red Top Cab ($10 pre-paid only) for our 7:00 AM taxi service to Fletcher's Cove
      • First cab arrives 6:55 AM and departs with 4 passengers
      • Six more cabs depart as soon as they fill with 4 passengers
      • Last cab leaves at 7:15 AM from the host hotel
      • If you booked the cab ride, please be in front of the host hotel by 7:15 AM
      • The ride to Fletcher's Cove take about 10 minutes, so please catch an early cab if you start at 8:00 AM
      • Parking is limited to 385 cars at Fletcher's Cove (see below).
          Once parking at Fletcher's is filled, cars must turn right onto Reservoir Road and park free on-street.
          Your best choice is to have a friend drop you off at the entrance to Fletcher's Cove or Lock 5,
          then have your friend go to one of the locks to watch you
          Parking is free at Locks 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, all accessible from EASTBOUND Clara Barton Parkway.
      • You may pick up your bib number, t-shirt, and goodie bag
          on race-day, Sunday, 2, 7:15 AM to 8:45 AM, at Fletcher's Cove at the picnic tables
      • Restrooms are on-site
      • Note: No race-day registration
      • 7:25 AM -- Announcements begin by Michael "Showtime Mike" Mebrahtu | See his video
      • He introduces our medical director, Natalie Thom, MD, advanced cardiac life support certified, who stays in contact with all three aid stations during the race
      • 7:30 AM -- Laughing Warm-up led by Diane Cohen, Arlington Laughter Yoga
      • 7:50 AM -- The National Anthem, played by 16-time Potomac River Run Marathon finisher Michael Creadon
      • 7:55 AM -- welcome
      • 8:00 AM -- Full marathon start
      • 8:25 AM -- Announcements begin by Michael "Showtime Mike" Mebrahtu | See his video
      • 8:30 AM -- Laughing Warm-up led by Diane Cohen, Arlington Laughter Yoga
      • 8:50 AM -- The National Anthem, played by 16-time Potomac River Run Marathon finisher Michael Creadon
      • 8:55 AM -- welcome
      • 9:00 AM -- Half marathon start
      • Spectator access | MAPS
              • Chain Bridge
              • Lock 5
              • Lock 6
              • Lock 7
              • Lock 8
              • Lock 9
              • Lock 10
      • The course is out'n'back twice 
      • Directions
      • To drive to Fletcher's Cove from Georgetown, head west on M Street.
      • Cross Foxhall Road. M Street becomes Canal Road.
      • Continue west for 1.5 miles on Canal Road to the sign for Fletcher's Cove on the left.
      • CAREFULLY cross the westbound lane to turn onto the driveway.
      • Stay right and follow the tunnel under the C&O Canal to free parking.
      • Alternatively, turn right onto Reservoir Road and park free on any neighborhood street.
      • Please carpool or use our Facebook page to share a ride.
      • Drop-off instructions
      • Parking is limited at Fletcher's Cove
      • If someone can drop you off, the best place is the intersection of Canal Road and Reservoir Road
      • Please be careful when you cross Canal Road.
      • Post-race
      • Refreshments courtesy of sponsors, medals by Dan Kain Trophies, presentation of awards immediately after you finish
      • 8:00 AM Marathon Awards: $250 to 1st, $150 to 2nd, $100 to 3rd overall M/F; gift certificates and commemoratives to 1st, 2nd, 3rd by 10-year age-group M/F in the 8:00 competitive start
      • 9:00 AM Half Marathon Awards: gift certificates and commemoratives to 1st, 2nd, 3rd M/F overall and 1st, 2nd, 3rd by 10-year age-group M/F
      • Finisher certificates by e-mail on request
      • Sponsors:
    • 2022 sponsors:
      • We thank our many sponsors and vendors:
      • CarbBoom! by Boom Nutrition,
      • Dan Kain Trophies,
      • Pacers Running Stores,
      • Red Top Cab,
      • Simone Super Energy,
      • Traders Joe's of Arlington
    • Pacers Running Stores
    • Pacers Running Stores
    • 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22201 (703-248-6883)
    • 1301 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314 (703-836-1463)
    • 10420 North Street, Fairfax VA 22030 (703-537-0630)
    • 1821 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20009 (202-506-2029)
    • 300 Tingey Street SE, Washington DC 20003 (202-554-1216)
    • 7 Palmer Square West, Princeton NJ 08542 (609-454-5429) -->
    • Boom Nutrition
    • Carb BOOM!
    • A product of Boom Nutrition
    • Order on-line at
    • calmoseptine
      Calmoseptine ® multipurpose moisture barrier
      Simone Super Energy™
    • Technical documentation:
      • Press Room
      • Alexander Medeiros joins the Tammy Massie Fan Club. He wrote:

        This was my first marathon. Before this, the longest I had ever ran at once was 6 miles. My first impressions: A marathon is grueling, hellish, torturous, absurd, insane... and I'm glad I did it! On the last leg (last 7 miles) I was walking with care to avoid impact sending waves of pain from my feet to my head. The very same care I had taken for the previous 5 miles before a woman started passing me with a pace not much greater than a walk. I thought to myself... maybe I can keep that pace! So I started moving at a pace not much greater than a walk beside this woman as she asked, "do you want any nutter butters?"
        Shocked, stalled, stunned - I chuckled to myself as she had a back-pack on with beanie babies and a full pink get-up.
        Doesn't this hurt and slow you down, I thought to myself?
        I replied, "no thanks, haha, I can't believe you're able to do this with a backpack on, I can't even run this with a shirt on!"
        I told her, "a mile back I was repeating to myself, 'If you can move, you can finish! If you can move, you can finish' until I saw you pass me and you inspired me to pick up the pace."
        We started introducing ourselves and talking about work, life, etc. as I thought to myself, "if I can keep my mind off the pain shooting down my neck, lower back, abs, chest, quads, abductors, knees, calves, feet, and toes, maybe I can finish!"
        I was awe-struck as Tammy was able to keep a consistent tone and conversational tempo on the last 7 miles of a marathon before she casually elaborated about a marathon she ran THE DAY PRIOR.
        We were at the 24.5 mile mark when I had to interrupt her, "I think I need to walk again." I'm not sure what I wanted from that sentence. I sort of wanted her to say, we could do that, or we could keep running with an emphasis on keep running. She replied, "if you think you should walk, you should walk, but if you think you can keep running, we're a couple miles out and you could get sub 6 hours if you keep this pace." It was precisely what I needed to hear. I say, "please don't walk just to keep with me, but I think I'm gonna walk a little." I said that as I didn't want to hold her back, but in the back of my mind, I wanted desperately for her to keep coaching me. The pain was agonizing at the 16 mile mark... this was torture, but listening to the life stories of a marathon veteran kept me moving faster than I thought possible.
        Tammy asked a half mile later, "do you think you can run now?" and I replied, "I thought I was going to be walking the entire last 7 miles, so this is already more than I thought I'd be doing, but... if you run... I'll run!" Tammy picked our pace up and kept the conversation up to match! A few minutes and a few more stories passed before I interrupted again and asked, "how long do you think we have left?" She replied, "maybe 400 meters."
        I thought to myself, "...I don't know what 400 meters is..." and told her, "sorry to cut you off! I think I'm gonna try running the rest!" She replied, "Do it! Go Alex, go!"
        I entered a full-stride stance and for whatever reason starting yelling at myself, "come on!" "come on!" "hup! hup! hup!" I was 100 feet from the finish line when it felt as though my ribs were collapsing in on themselves. I had to stop and I started walking. A few seconds later, I hear Tammy saying from maybe 200 ft back, "Go Alex! Go!" and I ran across the finish line! Tammy approached the finish line with another person she started talking with between me finishing and her finishing. (What an inviting personality!) She told me, "you set the bar high for your first marathon! Sub 6 hours is great for your first time out!"
        I told her, "I couldn't have done it without you! You're incredible, thank you so much for coaching me. I can't describe how much you helped me!"
        If it weren't for Tammy I would have ended 40 minutes later than I had. Tammy is an amazing woman who helped in precisely the ways I needed help. There's a quote I heard many years ago and tell myself often, "alone you'll go fast, together you'll go far." It was a couple miles before the last leg when I told myself this and thought - I need to make a friend. If I'm gonna make it out of here - I'm going to need a friend. Tammy was that person. In those moments of true torture, Tammy was there to keep my spirits up. Tammy was my friend that carried me out of hell with a smile on her face. Thank you Tammy. I don't want to draw this out, but to make a generalization - when we suffer - the connections we make are very strong. I write this last paragraph holding back a tear because the emotion attached to this woman's rallying cry to push me forward. The mentors and teachers that help us on our path have lasting impressions.
        This human condition may be damning at times, but it is with friends, mentors, students, and in general, relationships that we may pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and continue down a rewarding albeit torturous path.
        P.S. whoever reviews these, I can only hope you know who this Tammy person is and may pass this along to her. I will never forget my first marathon.

      • January 12, 2021 -- Read about Aaron Burros' 50th birthday year celebration running of 50 marathons, which allows you wear a gift to show you care ♥ benefiting St. Jude Children Research Hospital
      • May 4, 2014 -- "FairVote Director's Marathon in Support of Timely Electoral Reforms"
      • May 6, 2013 -- "Potomac River Run Marathon paves the path to Boston and personal records" -- in Washington Running Report
      • Jaime Horn, 35, of Washington DC, writes: "I am running Potomac River Run Marathon to raise money for my best friend's foundation who was killed in Iraq in 2007 while working for a democracy-building organization. The Andi Foundation ( offers financial assistance to young women who wish to work in the fields of politics, communications, and humanitarian work."
      • April 6, 2010 -- Potomac River Run Marathon Calls Itself “The Easiest Marathon in America” -- in Washington Running Report
      • April 2, 2010 -- Press Release | DOC | PDF
      • Terri Lynne Willis's 2007 pre-PRR Marathon blog | Her 2007 Marine Corps Marathon blog | in News from the Emory Transplant Center
      • Headphones and water belts
      • Re personal listening devices, we follow USATF rule 144.3.b (Assistance to Athletes):
        The visible possession or use by athletes of video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area. The Games Committee for an LDR event may allow the use of portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication; however, those competing in championships for awards, medals, or prize money may not use such devices.

      • Because we must be able to communicate instructions to you at certain points in our races, we specifically allow wearing headphones during the race, but we specifically prohibit wearing headphones at these points:
      • Start line
      • Aid stations
      • Turnaround 1
      • Midpoint
      • Turnaround 2
      • Finish line

      • Since we offer prize money ($250, $150, $100 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd M/F), we ask you to follow this rule: If you expect to finish in the money, please don't wear headphones. Because of the specificity of Rule 144.3.b, we must disqualify potential money-winners whom we see wearing headphones or other two-way devices such as cell phones and the new talking wristbands. Sorry about that.

      • You may carry water or wear a hydration vest, but won't it slow you down? We have aid stations with water and Gatorade roughly every two miles.

      • We do not accept self-measurement using GPS