- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2006

The Race for the Cure crowded the streets of Washington yesterday, but it doesn’t just pass through the District.

The race has locations this year in all 50 states, plus Germany, Italy and Puerto Rico, with an estimated 1million entrants, according to race organizers.

In 2002, the District race was the third-largest race in the world with nearly 47,000 finishers, according to Running USA’s Road Running Information Center. It dropped to No. 15 in 2003 and No. 20 in 2004, with more than 28,000 finishers.

This is a highly personal race with a high profile, but most charity races are organized on a much smaller scale, and are possibly even more personal.

One such race was yesterday’s inaugural Kelley Cares 5K Run in the Del Ray section of Alexandria.

In a testimony to the impact that Kelley Swanson had on the Alexandria community in her 18 years of life, about 800 people came out to run, pay their respects and keep her spirit alive.

Kelley, a soccer star, National Honor Society member and 2005 graduate of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, died a year ago while on a graduation trip to the Outer Banks, N.C. The cause of death was an unusual blood disorder complicated by blood poisoning.

Although soccer was her passion, helping disabled people was her lifeline. In her honor, a $30,000 check was presented yesterday to the city’s Therapeutic Recreation Section for adults and children with disabilities, where Kelley volunteered from fourth grade until her death.

Big loss — Mike Hurley, a longtime member of the Reston Runners, died Monday of an apparent heart attack. He was 58.

Hurley, a top age-group runner before successfully branching out to lake swims and triathlons, completed an Ironman competition in 2004 in Florida and was in training to compete in an Ironman event in Idaho next month.

Smart kid — Dathan Ritzenhein, who is running in the upcoming New York City Marathon, last week explained his motivation for finishing college, although he went pro in 2004 with two years of college eligibility left.

“I graduated from the University of Colorado three weeks ago,” said Ritzenhein, a history major. “My girlfriend told me she didn’t want to marry a college dropout.”

Going, going, gone Registration for the Annapolis 10-Mile race through historic Annapolis opened Thursday, and as of yesterday afternoon, there were fewer than 2,500 spots left. The race is Aug. 27. For details, visit www.annapolisstriders.org/A10Application.html

Still entries left — Last year, entries for the Marine Corps Marathon sold out in 62 hours. This year, there are still about 4,000 entries left, and registration opened May 17.

“People think we are closed out already,” said Marc Goldman, MCM sponsorship and marketing manager. “There are still some spots available, a little over 2,000 left.”

Goldman said registration hit 30,000 this year in about the same amount of time as last year, but the 4,000 new entries are taking longer to fill.

Upcoming races — Two events celebrating the area’s running community are in two weeks — the Run for Roses 5K Women’s Distance Festival on June 17 (organized by the Montgomery County Road Runners Club) and the Annapolis Striders Father’s Day 10K on June 18.

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