The Rules of the Road Ap­ply to Run­ners, Too

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports -

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 hagej@wash­post.com

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