The Rules of the Road Apply to Runners, Too
Runners, like all pedestrians, accept and welcome responsibility for their personal safety when running on the roads. But sometimes, as Tom McCarthy from Kingstowne found out last month, society steps in to impose its notion of the rules of the road.
“I was definitely in the wrong,” said McCarthy, 47, a lawyer with the National Labor Relations Board, after he was cited and fined $20 for “walking in a no-walk zone.” “But I mean, I’m running, man.” McCarthy regularly runs from his downtown office, and on March 22, at 5:35 p.m., he was crossing Pennsylvania Avenue near 13th Street in Northwest — six blocks from the spot where a Metrobus struck and killed two Alexandria women on Feb. 14.
Two Metropolitan police officers were watching; they already had corralled in the median at least a dozen pedestrians who had jaywalked while attempting to cross the thoroughfare during rush hour. One of the officers ordered McCarthy to stop as he ran across the road diagonally.
“I was halfway across and there were no cars coming. I heard her yell, and I’ll admit, I thought about not stopping, but [as a lawyer] I’m an officer of the court,” McCarthy said.
“The officer asked me for I.D., and of course I had none. I’m running! I was livid,” McCarthy said. He collected his ticket and then continued his run. “The only good thing, you’ve got a lot of adrenaline and you end up running better.”
Of course, the police simply were doing their jobs. “We’ve had pedestrians getting hit in that area,” D.C. police officer D.J. Jackson said. “It’s all for pedestrian safety.” K 40 STRAIGHT: Ben Beach, from Bethesda, notched his 40th consecutive Boston Marathon finish on April 16 in 4 hours 11 minutes. Beach, 57, has muscular dystonia, which has limited his training to 12 miles per week. “My quads were reading me the riot act the last eight miles or so,” he said. “I was mighty grateful to make it to the Hancock Building.” K MOVING UP — FAST: Less than two years after winning the 5,000 meter NCAA title, Stanford graduate Ryan Hall is now one of the world’s top marathoners following a stellar 2:08:24 debut in London last Sunday. Hall, 24, has adjusted his sights to the Olympic trials marathon in November and a shot at amedal in Beijing.
— Jim Hage firstname.lastname@example.org