Another 100 in the Nation’s Capitol – Rock n Roll DC 2016

A year ago this weekend, we saw Joe Harris become the first (and still only) person to finish 100 Rock n Roll half and full marathons. Apparently this is the place to celebrate big milestones as our friend Tawni chose this Rock n Roll DC for her 100th Half Marathon. I can’t say enough about this circle of friends we’ve made. Not only are they downright awesome in their longevity and dedication, they know how important it is to celebrate these amazing accomplishments. Running is an individual sport, but it doesn’t mean you can’t share moments like these.

We landed at Reagan National DCA late Thursday night. After last year’s monsoon, the forecast looked a lot better – high 40’s to start the half on Saturday and climbing into the mid 60’s by the finish. We stayed outside the beltway at the Westin Crystal City and took advantage of the excellent Metro system to get around.

The Expo was at the DC Armory off the Blue Line. Security was pretty tight as we were warned ahead of time, so we waited until 11 so we didn’t get caught in a long security line at the 10 AM opening. We checked in with our friends at the CGI staff including Dorcas, the “retired” Darlene, Ryan, Mindy, Colleen and new staff member, Juan. We’ll have to get his last name or initial to differentiate him from “Juan Runner” Aguilar. Maybe we should call him Juan 2? We also caught up with Jennifer to get her and Blair an early wedding present. Twenty-eight days (as of today) and counting!

Dorcas directing incoming traffic
Darlene’s retirement seems pretty busy. I’m wearing my  100 Half Marathons Club finisher shirt in Tawni’s honor.
Colleen and Jennifer at the Rock n Roll booth. We’re pretty easy to convince to sign up for DC 2017.

We found Ann Wessling to ask for a big favor at the start line the next day. For those who haven’t seen her on Facebook or Twitter recently, Ann gave up social media for Lent. I’m not sure I could survive that! In return I’m trying to use my work contacts to find her a supply of Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer.


Bay Area speedsters Diane and Shawna were in town. I had a note in Arizona that Diane had finished second in the Half Marathon Grand Prix for 2015, but after going through all the tiebreakers, she actually placed FIRST. Shawna also won the 5K in San Antonio for the females. We see them again in Dallas next weekend and I’m excited to track their progress for 2016!


We met Kamika and took off for lunch and some quick sight seeing around the Capitol. We found the best places to take pictures of the White House and saw Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speed by in a motorcade. I’m certain he waved at Kamika.


Dinner was at Teddy & The Bully Bar. Tamie found a few decorations. Apparently it’s hard it is to find “100” party favors because people don’t generally live that long. Joe organized a give of a shadow box from Fond Memories Graphics. About the only bummer was the restaurant wanted to charge us $135 dollar for them to serve us Tamie’s cake.

It occurs to me now that seven people at that dinner have hit the 100 half marathon mark already. Given that only 0.5% of people in the US have finished a half marathon at all, this was one crazy bunch!


Saturday March 12th.
Race morning was a bit of a scramble. Coming in from Crystal City some of us met the other gypsies at the VIP area at the Willard while Susan, Kamika, Tamie, Tawni and Sherry went straight to the corrals.

Gypsy reunion outside the Willard. Ron, Al, Ted, Michelle, Joe, Beth, Sherry, Jim, Lisa Marie, Marissa and Caryn.
The start line. This always make it feel real for me!
Corral 10 as the meeting point. Left to right: Ron, Tamie, Daryl (Tamie’s husband who ran with Tawni for her first half marathon), Tawni, Kamika and Phil.
Caryn, Lisa Marie, Al and Sherry were able to join us. This was the first race Lisa Marie ran with us where the weather wasn’t dreadful.

Susan barely made it to gear check before they shut the doors and had to wait for a porta-potty line before we started (#raceproblems). We finally shuffled in with corral 18.

Business completed, we jump into the corrals.
After Michelle, Susan and I wore the back bibs in San Antonio, we knew this would be a great way for Tawni to get some encouragement. Bib courtesy of Caryn!
Annie gave Tawni a wonderful shout out at the start. I don’t know that Tawni expected being challenged to do a cartwheel at the end!

Tawni wanted to run with Daryl for the full distance, fitting since the two of the ran their first half marathon together. With the weather dry this year, Susan was able to take a lot of pictures of the scenic course.


Sisters Tamie and Tawni. Over 250 races (all distances) between them.
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Patty at mile 1 cheering on the runners.
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Mid morning Saturday makes for a pic without a lot of tourists.
Running the Mall
A lot of people were thinking these were cherry blossoms. They are actually Saucer Magnolias.
The turnaround over the Arlington Memorial Bridge. I love seeing our faster friends on the way back.
Along the Potomac
Quite a few people cheering from the bridges.
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The Blue Mile. Remembering fallen soldiers who served our country.
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They were positioned on the mile 6 hill and were great motivation to get to the top.
Sunrise down mile 8.

I caught up to Daryl and Tawni around mile 11.5. They were shooting for a sub 2:30 and made the mistake of taking shots of whiskey from a table in the Georgetown neighborhood.  It was a mistake because it was labeled “champagne.” Why not celebrate early, right?

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Tawni estimated about 300 congratulations on her milestone event.

Ann gave Tawni another shout out at the finish line. Dan Cruz from Competitor took some video. I’ll post a link if we see anything go up on the web anywhere. We had maybe 5 minutes of light sprinkles the whole day. The weather gods were certainly smiling on Tawni this day.

Tawni and Daryl came in just under their 2:30 goal
I missed the finish line picture, but was able to catch them just afterward. This is the kind of day I’ll remember for a while.

We had a celebration dinner at Marrakech just off Dupont Circle. The restaurant was kind enough to let us serve the cake that Patty and Tamie drove in all the way from Ohio.

The Barbie with the Tawni haircut and bib were a nice touch. The poop-colored icing was quite delicious.

A group of us walked off dinner by going down to the mall for night time pictures. Sherry ran the full marathon in a time she hadn’t seen for some years. Her year is shaping up to be a good one. Kamika retired to his hotel room. With his travel schedule from Hawaii, it’s good for him to not have to sleep on a plane. We stole the elf on a shelf idea and used the Tawni doll for a few pictures.

I really like how these milestone celebrations are becoming more frequent. There’s a lot that goes into finishing even ONE half marathon so getting 10, 25, 50 or a hundred is something that I still take time to appreciate.

There are a few big numbers coming up in 2016 and with any luck we’ll be still on the road to help celebrate them all.


We hope you can join us!


After three Rock n Roll events in 2016, the upgraded Pannell Report is humming along well. Totals after DC:

Races     #
2              1147    (683 New Double Beats compared to RNR NOLA) 
3               152

After DC, Rock n Roll has a double weekend in Dallas on Saturday (5K) and Sunday morning (half) and Mexico City on Sunday night. It’s possible that someone could collect up to 9 medals in the weekend if they do the Remix, Mexico City 2015 (bonus for doing both years) and RNR San Antonio 2015 to get the Texas Legend. They would also earn the Groupie 4 and might be able to pick up the Roadie 5 race Heavy Medal.

Latest word from Rock n Roll shows potentially hazardous air quality in Mexico City. Hopefully things clear up in time for the race Sunday night.