- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

The Arthritis Foundation will not have its Jingle Bell race in Reston this year. Instead, the Reston Runners, who helped organize the event, will conduct their own Fall Into Winter 8K race Dec.14, to benefit INOVA Regional Trauma Center Programs.
The Arthritis Foundation people are pulling their resources from the Reston race that last year attracted 706 participants, according to Nicole Carey, president of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter.
"The Reston race really didn't make money," Carey said. "Basically, we covered costs on the race."
In fact, she said, the race grossed $18,105 before paying expenses for T-shirts, police and other race-related costs. This figure paled in comparison to the profit generated from the chapter's Washington event.
"We have limited resources," Carey said. "We decided that two events [Washington and Reston] were great for the runners but not great for us. With the limited resources, we were looking for the best bang for the buck."
Carey said the well-established Washington race, scheduled Dec.7 at Freedom Plaza, attracted more than 4,000 participants in its running and walking events last year and grossed $136,295 before expenses.
"The number one priority is to raise awareness of the cause of arthritis," said Carey, who cited a newly released Center for Disease Control study showing that one in every three Americans will suffer from arthritis or chronic joint pain.
"We need to focus more resources on our programs that serve people who have arthritis," said Carey, who added that she is recovering from knee surgery brought on by arthritis in her mid-30s.
The Jingle Bell event is part of a nationwide series in more than 100 cities, with Washington being the oldest with its 19th running this year. Other locations in Maryland are Salisbury (today), Frederick, Solomon's Island (Dec.7), Baltimore and Glen Burnie (Dec.8).
As with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, which organized the now-defunct MS Half-Marathon as well as dozens and dozens of other local charities that have come into the running scene and benefited from runner's generosity only to drop out, it still boils down to financial decisions.
Flooding the runners
In an effort to protect participants from a potentially deadly condition known as hyponatremia, the Houston Marathon will reduce the number of on-course water stations for its 2003 race, organizers wrote in a news release two weeks ago.
"Water stations will now be available every mile and a half on the marathon course, a reduction from the previous race standard, which positioned aid stations at each mile," the release said. "The first water station on the marathon course will be at mile two."
Hyponatremia is a serious, emerging issue in the sport of running. The condition occurs when the sodium level in a person's bloodstream drops below normal. More than 50 cases have been documented among Houston Marathon runners over the last four years.
If you need that much water during a marathon, maybe you need to take up swimming, where you can get water with every breath. We are talking about running a marathon here, not conducting a drinking contest.
More trots
Not that our area lacks in Thanksgiving Day running events, but add a new one to the schedule. The first annual Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger is being organized by SOME (So Others May Eat) and the WB50 Family Fund.
The event, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Jefferson Memorial and winds around the Tidal Basin, includes a 3K for walkers and a 5K for runners. Although SOME is a worthy cause, as the organization feeds the hungry on Thanksgiving and Christmas, event officials are calling the 5K a fun run, not a race, so beware.
Because of Mall restrictions, there is no race day registration. Call 202/797-8806, ext.1011.

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