Sunday Morning Run
Keeping Up With the Fentys
For a lot of people, Sunday mornings are about sleeping in, reading the newspaper and hanging out with family. For others, like those who gather for a five-mile run at Fleet Feet in Adams Morgan, Sunday mornings are about getting outside, moving around and socializing.
"It's more fun to run with people," said Sandra Holmberg, 32, a teacher from Northwest Washington who joined the group one recent Sunday and said she was "not a big runner."
For 24 years, ever since Phil and Jan Fenty (that's D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's mom and dad) opened Fleet Feet, runners of all speeds have gathered Sunday mornings at 9.
"We emphasize social. Run at a speed you can talk," said store manager Shawn Fenty, 43, who has been running with the group regularly for about two years.
"Speed you can talk" varies from 6 1/2 - to 12 1/2 -minute miles. (Don't be intimidated if the mayor's older brother rolls up on his red Cervélo bike with aerobars. He welcomes all runners, but he may sprint by you.) "Spring hits, and a lot of people feel like they want to get out," Shawn Fenty said on a recent Sunday. The city's chief executive rarely comes, opting to make Sunday mornings "family time," his brother said.
Many people come with friends, but Jimmy Hrobowski, 40, a personal trainer, met his running buddy and fellow seven-minute-miler through the group. Every Sunday when he walks into the store, he looks for John Sharretts, 41, a researcher at Washington Hospital Center. "I need someone to run at a consistent pace," Hrobowski said. "I can't run by myself."
The route varies week to week, with about 10 five-mile courses. Sometimes route sheets are available, but even without them, it's not hard to keep someone ahead of you in your sights.
About 20 runners gathered recently, some stretching, some socializing. As everyone started the route (down Adams Mill Road, across the bridge and into Rock Creek Park, up to P Street, then 14th Street to Euclid Street and back to Columbia Road), natural groups formed, and most everyone found someone they could run and talk with.
One of the best reasons to run with a group is for the advice you can get. After the run, Shawn Fenty spoke with one runner about triathlons, while others chatted about races they have done or want to do. Fenty will also let you buy anything you might need. (The store doesn't open until noon.) "Everyone just convenes here. They're nice," said Kim Mitchell, 47, a management consultant from Silver Spring. She and friend Karen Stokes have been running Sundays with the Fleet Feet group for the past few years. She credits the group for "getting me back into running."
Where is it?1841 Columbia Rd. NW
What's it cost? Free.
If you have more time? Chances are you'll be done running by 10. That's a perfect time to throw on a sweatshirt and head to Perrys at 1811 Columbia Rd. NW for brunch and a drag queen show. (Don't worry, there's no dress code.) Get there between 10 and 10:15 to be in line when the doors open at 10:30. The buffet brunch is $22.95 but does not include mimosas or bloody marys. The crew performs starting at 11.