Over 24,000 runners took flight through the nation’s capital at the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & ½ Marathon braving the cold with smiles on their faces. Mid-March in Washington D.C. typically means early-spring like weather with favorable conditions for a fast run through our nation’s capital, but on Saturday, Old Man Winter refused to give in, which made runners work a little bit harder for their cherished finish medal.
Mizael Carerra crossed the finish line at RFK stadium clocked one hour, five minutes, and 51 seconds for the 13.1-mile race facing not only a tough field of competitors but also temps in the mid-20s to low-30s and strong winds. Coming through over two minutes later was second-place finisher Austin Whitelaw (1:07:59). Third place in the men’s half marathon division went to Paul Thistle (1:08:27).
“Coming into the race, I knew it was going to be cold. I saw the temperatures dropping, and the only thing I could do was bring arm warmers and gloves,” recalled Carrera afterwards. “I didn’t warm up until mile 6. I was going up the hill where the wear run blue: run to remember group was and had to put in a lot more effort. I loved the course. It was good.” Carrera also won last year’s race. “I really like it. I’m definitely coming back next year.”
The women’s half marathon went to Kerry Allen, who blazed the course in 1:19:20. Like Carrera, her win was a solid one as second-place finisher, Jenny Mendez Suanca, reached the finish like two minutes and 16 seconds later (1:21:37). Sarah Bishop, 1:22:02 took third.
The marathon came down to the last four miles as American University graduate Samuel Doud, came from behind in the 26.2-mile event in 2:26:57 to beat local elite runner, Girma Bedada (2:29:57) who led for most of the race. Long-time D.C. favorite and six-time champion Mike Wardian (2:30:40) took third place. Doud said afterward that Saturday’s race wasn’t just his first win, but also his debut marathon. Doud’s strategy to start off conservatively and then pick off runners in the later stages of the race, paid off for him. “I had no idea what I was capable of doing,” he said.
The 42-year-old Wardian, who is known for numerous running achievements in his long career, said he trained for the race by running to and from his work all week. He said that on Sunday, the day after running a stunning 2:30 for the 26.2-mile race, he will be racing yet another marathon up and down a mountain. “It’s going to be a big weekend,” he said. Wardian just completed the World Marathon Challenge by running seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents. Having recently run a marathon in Antarctica, he said the chilly temps in D.C. on Saturday felt relatively warm compared to what he faced in the South Pole.
Christie Wetzel won the women’s marathon in 3:04:01, which equates to an average of 7:02 per mile. Sabine Fisher-Daly was second in 3:08:41. The last podium spot went to Angela Hartman (3:10:11).
Wetzel said she prepared for her cold race by training with the D.C. Road Runners club,
“I feel good. I had no idea I would win,” she said with a smile. “This was my first big win.” Wetzel’s next race will be the Boston Marathon in April.
Elite runners aside, 24,000 competitors lined the famous streets of Washington D.C. where they were awarded with stunning views of the capital’s iconic monuments and sites and record low temperatures for the event. Funk group, The Family Stone, took to the stage at the finish-line festival and gave participants and their families something to celebrate.
For full results or more information, visit RunRocknRoll.com/DC.
2017 United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Marathon & ½ Marathon: Place, Name, Age, Hometown, Time
- Samuel Doud, 21, Washington DC, 2:26:57
- Girma Bedada, 36, Washington DC, 2:29:57
- Michael Wardian, 42, Arlington, VA, 2:30:40
- Bobby Peavey, 25, Arlington, VA, 2:38:56
- Marc Beauchemin, 50, Alexandria, VA, 2:40:44
- Christie Wetzel, 29, Arlington, VA, 3:04:01
- Sabine Fischer -Daly, 37, Ithaca, NY, 3:08:41
- Angela Hartman, 30, Hyattsville, MD, 3:10:11
- Alicia Mizes, 22, Bethesda, MD, 3:10:26
- Taylor Reffett, 22, Bethesda, MD, 3:15:46
- Mizael Carrera, 25, Addison, IL, 1:05:51
- Austin Whitelaw, 23, Johnson City, TN, 1:07:59
- Paul Thistle, 29, Washington DC, 1:08:27
- Hicham Alaoui, 29, Arlington, VA, 1:08:42
- Kieran J. O’Connor, 30, Arlington, VA, 1:09:39
- Kerry Allen, 28, Washington DC, 1:19:20
- Jenny Mendez Suanca, 37, Costa Rica, 1:21:37
- Sarah Bishop, 34, Fairfax, CA, 1:22:02
- Maura Carroll, 27, Arlington, VA, 1:22:13
- Caitlyn Tateishi, 30, Washington DC, 1:22:20