- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dan Browne is coming back to the Army Ten-Miler next month. The three-time champ and event record-holder, hot off the world championships marathon Aug. 22 in Berlin, said he committed to the Oct. 4 10-miler in Arlington because he is back on the Army’s World Class Athlete Program team.

“The Army Ten-Miler is the Army’s largest race out there,” Browne said. “And now that I’m back in the WCAP since November of last year, I’ll be running the race.”

Browne, 34, gained celebrity status in 1997 by leading his WCAP team against the now-defunct Reebok Enclave with his first victory in 47:44. He successfully defended a year later but in 1999, Enclaver Chris Graff set Browne back to second in a slow, rainy race.

Five years later, Browne came back to Army, motivated by his trip to Athens for the 2004 Olympic 10,000 meters and marathon. The gutsy Browne reset his event record with the triumphant 47:32, a mark that still stands.

Browne said he has been training at high altitudes at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on and off since 2007. After an unusually short break after worlds, his training is focused on Army.

“I took a break after worlds, a little less time than normal, and I am back training hard in Mammoth,” said the 1997 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. “I heard the Brazilians have been doing well [at Army] for the past couple of years.”

Browne should fit right in this year with his fluency in Spanish and Portuguese. And he will have help from the WCAP team.

“I think we’re bringing in some good guys from the WCAP team,” he said.

After Army, Browne said he will wait and assess his fitness before committing to his next competition.

“I have no race plans right now, but obviously the New York marathon is a few weeks after, so if I am feeling good, maybe I’ll run there,” Browne said. “I’ll do things between a 10K and a marathon, but I am training for the marathon for the next [Olympic] trials.”

Army note - Seven-time Army finisher Sammy Ngatia will return this year. Ngatia was the surprise winner in 2000, running 48:50 as a 41-year-old. He turned 50 this year.

Cool running - The bicycle path on the Wilson Bridge officially opened in early June, but it wasn’t until recently that I got off my butt to check it out.

I’m impressed.

The scenic vistas on the bridge allow spectacular views of Alexandria, Crystal City and the distant monuments of the District.

Our trip started from home in Old Town Alexandria, down the Mount Vernon bicycle trail to the easily found entrance to the bridge path. Expect a pretty fair climb to the crest of the bridge, then a wonderful downhill takes you right to the hub of National Harbor.

That is where my running partner and I viewed the magnificent Gaylord Hotel before running back over the bridge.

For one-way trips, start either in Old Town or National Harbor and take the 25-minute ferry back. Make sure you include a stop at one of the many fantastic restaurants on either side of the Potomac.

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