- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 2, 2003

The D.C. Council announced last week that the inaugural District of Columbia Marathon brought in as much as $5million to the city last year.
That figure, though small in comparison to marathons in other major cities, validates Mayor Anthony Williams' intended mission when he supported the March marathon through a tough first year.
Six months after the region took a devastating economic hit in tourism following September11, Williams strongly supported this race, just as he did in trying to lure a Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight to the District.
He lost the fight to Memphis, Tenn., but the marathon which upset many with its Palm Sunday date still attracted about 4,500 runners, making it 14th in size among American marathons last year.
"The Washington DC Marathon provided another much-needed boost to our city's tourism industry," said council member Jack Evans in a resolution announced last week to underscore the importance of the marathon to the city.
"Race registrants came from all over the world," said Evans, adding that he ran the entire 26.2-mile course. "Their families and friends spent hundreds to thousands of dollars on food, lodging and transportation during their stay."
Marathon officials estimated that the race yielded as much as $5million in net economic benefits to the District. The second annual marathon is scheduled for Sunday, March23.
Cat got their tongues
What was behind the International Association of Athletics Federations and USA Track & Field publicly inquiring about the relationship between sprint king Tim Montgomery, sprint queen Marion Jones and their newly acquired coach, Charlie Francis?
One source close to the European circuit said two weeks ago that at least two prominent European meet directors were considering not allowing Jones and Montgomery to compete while under the tutelage of Francis, who was Ben Johnson's coach when the latter was stripped of an Olympic gold medal and banned by his native Canada because of drug use.
This could be highly embarrassing to the IAAF, USATF, sponsors Nike and others who have gone public with their concerns. None of these organizations wants to see their marquee athletes being blackballed.
If Francis is sincere that he is clean, then Montgomery, Jones and their agent, Charlie Wells, should stop running and hiding and tell the world the extent of their relationship with Francis.
Conventional wisdom
The 46th annual Road Runners Club of America National Convention comes to the area April2 to 6. The Montgomery County Road Runners Club will be host for the event at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City. The convention offers runners a bevy of business meetings, informative workshops, an awards banquet and an entry into the now-closed Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run on April6.
The convention also will feature a two-day coaching certification workshop. Call 301/353-0200 for details.
Former local guy heads merger
The University of Oregon will take a bold step by merging its men's and women's track and field and cross country programs after the 2002-2003 season.
Martin Smith, a 51-year native of Alexandria, is the men's coach and will take over the women's program, too, after Tom Heinonen retires this year. It will mark the first time that one person has directed both of the school's storied programs.
Smith has earned Pacific-10 Conference and West Region Coach of the Year honors in four seasons as the men's track coach. He came to Oregon after tremendous success at the University of Wisconsin, where from 1983 to 1998 he helped the Badgers gain two NCAA cross country team titles, nine NCAA top-five team finishes, and one individual title.
Deadlines deadline
Applications for the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., and the New York City Marathon are available. Go online to nycmarathon.org for the New York City Marathon, where a random lottery drawing in mid-June fills most of the starting field of approximately 30,000.
Grandma's applications are available at grandmasmarathon.com. But don't hesitate, because last year's race filled its 9,000 spots in just 13 days.
Greene with envy
World sprint champion Maurice Greene shared his thoughts with reporters on a teleconference call Tuesday.
Q: What was your immediate reaction when Tim Montgomery broke your world record?
A: I was laughing. My thing is, WRs are made to be broken. He just happened to have one of those days when he broke my world record. I know I can run faster than he can. I'm glad I'm still in this sport to come back and claim my world record. Because I still think it's mine.
Q: Did you see Shawn Crawford's race against the zebra and giraffe [on Foxs "Man vs. Beast"?] What did you think?
A: I'm not going to run against any animals.

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