- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2003

If nothing else, Jay Wind is one persistent person.

Rebuffed twice by the District and National Park Service and twice by Arlington County in his attempt to replace the failed DC Marathon, Wind finally developed a palatable 26.2-mile plan for an inaugural Arlington Marathon. Last week Wind announced that police, fire and park department officials in his home county had agreed to issue him a permit.

The event, Sunday, May2, will have much the feel of a local club race, with a limited field of 250 runners meandering through Arlington’s rolling bicycle path system.

Because the trail is narrow, runners will start in five “flights” of 50 runners each, two minutes apart, from 8 a.m. on. Race awards will adjust for starting times, although you may never see an athlete who beats you because he/she started in an earlier or later flight.

“We’ll start them in flights of 50: sub three hour marathoners first, then two minutes later, sub-3:30s, and so on,” said Wind, a veteran marathoner himself.

The marathon will have a time cap, according to Wind.

“We welcome everyone, but because this course is challenging and because we need to sweep the course after five hours, we especially invite open male marathoners with a sub-4 qualifying time, open females with a sub-4:30 time and masters within 10 minutes of their Boston qualifying time,” he said. “We pay police and fire rescue by the hour, and we want to reopen the trails to public usage right after the last runner goes by.”

Wind said the spectator-friendly race will start Olympic-style, with 600 meters on the Washington-Lee High School track, before heading out on the paths and finishing on the same track.

Though the field will be small, Wind is planning the accoutrements of a larger event, with a pre-race expo the day before, a pre-race dinner honoring the metropolitan area’s U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers, an all-comers track meet run simultaneously with the marathon at Washington-Lee and a post-race Sunday evening party for those still standing.

Wind was ecstatic that one day after registration opened Thursday, he had nearly 100 entries. This race will close out soon. Go to www.pvtc.org/marathon.html to register.

The timing of this marathon is pretty good, with very little competition from other East Coast events in the spring except for the second running of the Frederick Marathon, apparently slated the same day and at the same time.

End notes — On-line entries for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile run April4 will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow and remain open until the on-line entry quota is reached. Last year that occurred in six days.

Some 80 percent of the entries will be accepted on-line and the rest through the mail, said event director Phil Stewart. To enter on-line, go to www.cherryblossom.org. …

Masters runner Bob Weiner of the District recently was appointed chairman of a Masters Track & Field Media Subcommittee of USA Track & Field. Weiner now is authorized to coordinate media coverage for masters National and Regional Championship meets. …

You don’t see this very often, but Serge Arbona of Baltimore is contemplating breaking the 24-hour world record — on a treadmill. The 38-year-old veteran knows what he is doing. He has won several ultra-marathons, including the 2002 Old Dominion 100-Miler in 16 hours 23 minutes. He said he will be going for the world record from noon Jan.24 to noon Jan.25 at the Falls Road Running Store in Baltimore. The mark to beat is 138 miles.

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