Arlingtonians hit the ground running this weekend to compete in the first annual Battle of the Boulevard race.
Scores of runners showed up at the Clarendon Metro Station on Saturday morning to compete in the race, which was part of the county’s Neighborhood Day celebrations.
Residents of Arlington’s many neighborhoods were encouraged to sign up for the race. The race’s organizers donated $500 to the favorite charity of the neighborhood with the most entrants in the race.
The race was organized by Pacers Running Stores in partnership with Arlington County. According to the race's Web site, The Battle of the Boulevard is the only large-scale long-distance road race held exclusively in Arlington County and the only race that is allowed to go down historic Wilson Boulevard.
Arlington resident Colleen Creighton was glad that the county finally has a foot race it can call its own.
"It’s nice to have something in our own community, not in D.C.," she said.
Kay Marie Lavorini said that she was running in the Battle of the Boulevard to prepare herself for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. While stretching in preparation for the race, she admitted to having some pre-run jitters.
"I heard it’s uphill at the end," she said. "I hadn’t thought about that."
The 10-kilometer race started at the Clarendon Metro Station and went down Wilson Boulevard to Rosslyn. From there it headed south down Jefferson Davis Highway and ended at the Pentagon.
Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Walter Tejada (D) commenced the race by firing the starting gun.
While he wasn’t participating in the race, he did say to the crowd of runners that "I have so many places to go today, I will be running with you."
Tejada also praised the runners’ commitment to physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, noting that one of the themes of this year’s Neighborhood Day is staying physically fit.