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Running Club Spotlight: Washington Running Club (WRC)

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 6:00am

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WRC members Kendall Tucker, Ben Stutts, Jesse Frantz, Julia Taylor and Pat O’Keefe at the 2014 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. Photo courtesy of Julia Taylor.

 
Kit Wells, Chief Information Officer of the WRC was kind enough to answer questions about the club.  
 

Tell us about your club's history.
The Washington Running Club (WRC) was formed when runner members of the Washington Sports Club (WSC) split from that association in 1974. The WSC was placing increased emphasis on other sports and the running members decided that a club aimed solely on running was necessary. WSC's history in distance running reaches as far back as 1964. So depending upon how you measure it, WRC is 40 year old, but embraces a half century of experience.

Over the years, the club has had in its membership a number of talented national-class athletes. Some of note include Jack Fultz, George Malley, Steve Spence, Mary Anne Dickerson, Laura DeWald, Patty McGovern, and Naoko Ishibe, among others. To see some of the outstanding marathon times run, check out the top club marathoners. The WRC has also had (and still has) numerous members who had been supreme high school and collegiate runners, been sponsored by running companies or running stores, and who have run very notable and competitive times.

How much does it cost to join?
Individual Membership:  $20 per year; Family Membership:  $30 per year; New Members: If you join on or after September 1st, your dues are good for the remainder of the current year and for all of next year! Sometimes procrastinating does pay off!

What skill levels are appropriate?
unners of all ages and abilities are invited to join! You are entirely welcome to check us out first to see if we are a good fit for you before becoming a member. On our Sunday Distance runs, we begin together and then run at paces varying anywhere from 6:00 to 9:30 per mile (3:45 to 5:40 per kilometer). WRC members have differing paces and distances, but of course, it all depends on who’s there.

We welcome serious runners of all abilities and have had many beginning runners over the years. However, if you have not been running at all or running is completely new to you, you may not be able to find someone to run with at your pace.

How many members are in your club?
We have approximately 100 active members in the club. Our members represent a wide variety of age groups and are nearly an even balance between male and female members. Among our active members, our youngest is 16 and our oldest is 72, but both act like they are around 18 years old. Often, WRC alumni now living far, far away return for visits with their old running pals.

Does your club have weekly workouts/runs?  
The primary weekly run for the Washington Running Club is our Sunday Distance Run, starting in Georgetown. In conjunction with our Sunday Distance Runs, we host track workouts to turn the casual runner into the competitive runner, and the competitive runner into a winner. WRC has resumed conducting track workouts as a group at American University’s Greenberg Track, every Tuesday from 6:30 a.m until 8:00 a.m. Members also participate in various other local training opportunities throughout the week, including track workouts and training runs with other groups in the metropolitan DC region.

Does the group get together for social events as well?
Every week we have a social gathering that follows the Sunday run at Dean & DeLuca Cafe. We also get together for our annual parties, service events, and to travel for races.

Is your club hosting any noteworthy events/races soon? Give us details!
We're currently planning an event for this fall, tentatively named the "Saturday Morning Run-of-Shame"! Saturday, September 6th, time and location TBD, but probably starting around 8 AM along Water Street in Georgetown, and finishing with refreshments and a splash in the fountain at Georgetown Waterfront Park. We'll probably just pass a hat to cover the costs of the refreshments, but the hope is that it'll be low-cost and low-key.

This event is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the running tours that have recently become so popular in DC. Rather than going to visit the national monuments, or cut the line during official embassy open houses, our event will incorporate an easy training run, about 10K in length, along with visits to a number of infamous local landmarks, which will be helpfully described by WRC members/ docents. It's a trifecta of running tradition meets oral tradition meets Washingtonian tradition.

We're hoping that our friends among the other area running clubs (and publications) will come along for the low-key fun.

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