Category Archives: North Face

Trail Running at Difficult Run – Great Falls, Virginia

A few years ago, I was asked by a personal friend of mine, Elyse B., if I would help her train a group of runners for the North Face Endurance Challenge 2009.   I was delighted she asked because I knew not only would I be able help train a group of runners, but it would also give me the opportunity to learn more about the wonderful trail system nearby known as Great Falls Park.

We met with this group of runners each Wednesday evening at Difficult Run and Saturday mornings either in Great Falls Park or Algonkian Park, where the endurance challenge is held each year.  For those that aren’t aware, this is a trail run series sponsored by North Face, that is held across two days each year, usually a weekend in June.  On Saturday, runners have an option of a 50 miler, a 50 kilometer, a marathon, or marathon relay (4 person team).  On Sunday, runners have an option of a half marathon, a 10 kilometer, or 5 kilometer option.  We were training 10 kilometer to 50 mile runners over a period of approximately 6 months, more time for the longer distance runners.

I had the opportunity to meet a great crew of running friends including Tom M, James B, Jeff A, Tom H, Laurie A., Kevin R, Jay D, Matt Z, and several others.   Some of these individuals had never run an endurance race before and now, only two years later, they are running 20 plus mile runs each weekend for joy.  They amaze me and encourage me to be a better runner.

DC Capital Striders has partnered with North Face to bring these runs back again.  Each Wednesday evening, we run at Difficult Run starting at 6 pm.  Runs are open to all runners regardless of pace or ability level.  Each week, we will share the course, run together, and make sure each runner returns back to the Difficult Run Parking lot safely.   Weekend runs will soon be organized as well for those who wish to get in more training (above 10 miles).

Picture attached is from our Wednesday night run – join us each week and absorb the wonder and beauty of trail running!

Tip of the day:  If you haven’t been trail running, you don’t know what you are missing. Come join us and find out what a great experience this can be.  Sign up at:





North Face Endurance Challenge and WeeklyTraining Runs

A few weeks ago (June 4 and 5) I, along with several DC Capital Striders friends and runners, had the opportunity to attend and participate in the North Face Endurance Challenge.  Several friends were running various distance events from 10K all the way up to the 50 miler.   This is one of my favorite weekends of the year!  

DC Capital Striders Running group secured a sponsorship with North Face recently and had the opportunity to have a tent at the race site for the weekend.    Members running included Chris G.; Jeff A.; James B,; Tom H., Tom M.; Theresa A.; Jeff A. and friends Autumn C and Adriana A.   Even though I wasn’t participating as a runner this weekend, the endorphins were flowing watching friends compete and accomplish such wonderful running feats.

Many local running favorites finished in the top three for the 50 mile race including Matt Woods, Jordan Mcdougal, and Michael Wardian.   Also featured on race weekend was ultramarathon favorite and North Face sponsored athlete Dean Karnazes.    I had the opportunity to meet him and also speak with the executive director of his foundation, Karno Kids.   DC Capital Striders may organize a spring race for Karno Kids with its mission to encourage, motivate, inspire youth to get outside and become physically active and to restore & preserve the environment for their use and enjoyment.

Join DC Capital Striders for weekly trail runs open to all runners at Great Falls park (Difficult Run) each Wednesday evening and on Saturday mornings at various locations around Washington DC.   Our hope to is organize a huge team for next year’s race – 2012! 

For more information, visit:  

Tip of the day:  Whether you are participating in an event as a runner, a friend, a motivator or a volunteer – you can still enjoy the experience.