- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 14, 2006

One thing more difficult these days than completing the Marine Corps Marathon is actually getting into the race.

Marine Corps Madness begins this week as online registration opens Wednesday at noon. At that moment thousands and thousands of index fingers will hit the keyboard in the frenzy to get an entry.

Last year, registration filled in just 62 hours and 19 minutes.The 31st anniversary event on Oct. 29 is expected to fill even faster, the Marines are predicting, though the field has been expanded to 34,000 from 30,000.

You don’t need to leave it to chance, however, as the Marines are offering guaranteed entries one day before. For the second consecutive year, the Marines have scheduled at Registration Rally at Pentagon Row in Arlington to be held Tuesday.

There certainly are a lot of great reasons for taking off from work between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a Tuesday. Doctor’s appointment, illness, jury duty, haircut, spring training and searching for another job are just a sampling. But this is important, folks, and surely your boss will agree the rally takes precedence over any work you might have to do.

Needless to say, food will be provided by the local merchants. Be sure to check in with Andre Williams and his staff at Gotta Run while you are there.

More growth — Potomac River Running Company in Northern Virginia is growing, according to co-owner Cathy Pugsley. The two-year-old company with locations in Ashburn and Burke is adding a third location at the Reston Town Center. Grand opening could be in early July.

Meanwhile, Potomac River Running snagged a page out of the book of the Rockville Rotary Twilighter, and why not. That event has been a huge summer hit.

Introducing the new PRR Twilight Festival 4-Miler.

The inaugural race will be held June 25 at 7:45 p.m., starting at the Old Dominion Brewing Company just as the weekend-long Old Dominion Beer Festival concludes. Hopefully, there will still be some beer left over. Shall we say “Run responsibly.”

Also at PR Running’s Ashburn location, runners are gathering these days for the “[email protected]:30” a free social run starting 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays during the summer months and featuring six miles or so on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

These runs sponsored by area running stores are a fun way to train with others who could help motivate and train.

Two runs out of Pacer’s Running store in Old Town Alexandria (7 p.m. on Thursdays) and Arlington (7 p.m. on Tuesdays) have been particularly popular this year.

Two on the tube — NBC will rebroadcast in its entirety the telecast of the 112th Penn Relays next Sunday at noon, according to USA Track & Field. NBC originally broadcast the Penn Relays on April 30, but because of an overtime game of a live NHL playoff telecast, the broadcast was cut short.

NBC coverage features USA vs. the World events, held as part of the Penn Relays on April 29. Two world-best performances were set during USA vs. the World’s international team relay competition.

And there will be three more showings of the 2006 Lilac Bloomsday Run. Nearly 41,000 participants completed the 30th running of the competitive event. The 30-minute show includes footage of the men’s and women’s elite races, wheelchair races, and general footage of the activities surrounding the run.

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