Dequina and Jaeckel win the DC Fed 5k

Race Review: Inaugural DC Fed 5k

Runners take off on the DC Fed 5k

Athletes, friends, and families competed along members of various government agencies at the Alexandria Aqueduct in Georgetown to run the inaugural DC Running Club Fed 5k. On a beautiful Saturday morning as peak bloom and Easter weekend brought scores of tourists and relatives to the DMV, just under 200 runners took off along the C&O canal to race for prizes, fitness, fellowship, and fun. Frederick Dequina took first place for the men, finishing in 18:25, while Nicole Jaeckel finished first for the women in 22:16. 15 members of @TeamMuriel, representing the office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, took home the 4-foot trophy awarded to the District or Federal agency that fielded the most participants.

By Chris Leyen

Georgetown, Washington, DC--The Federal 5k was inspired by the desire to honor the "hard working men and women in DC & Federal government, by running in their honor" said race director and DC Running Club president John Brathwaite. As such, there were two elements of competition Saturday morning: a traditional 5k, and an inter-agency participation competition in which, government agencies were encouraged to bring their members to walk or run.

In the 5k race, Dequina (18:25) had a dominant performance, beating out second place finisher, Andrew Timm (20:15), a research assistant for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, by nearly two minutes. Nicole Jaeckel won the women's division, finishing in 22:16, 10 seconds ahead of her father, who, along with her mother who cheered the pair on, were in town for Easter. The 20 year-old sophomore at George Washington University is no stranger to the district, and trains by running along the Capital Crescent Trail that parallels the race course.

Several agencies were represented in the team participation competition, the Department of Interior US Geological Survey took in the lay of the land, members of the IRS took a breather from tax season, and the Office of the Inspector General showed a presence; but, no agency showed up more in force than the staff of Mayor Muriel Bowser. Decked out in Kelly green, this enthusiastic and vibrant group made their presence known as they promoted a message of fitness that was more than just about individual performance, but about the positivity that empowers a community (in this case a community of ~200 runners) to achieve its goals. The strong showing was a part of Mayor Bowser's FitDC initiative. They also raised awareness for and made progress toward the #BillionStepChallenge, encouraging residents from across the city's eight wards to join their communities and get active by walking one billion steps. Learn more and log your steps here. When asked what brought them out, Deputy Press Secretary Jordan Bennett replied:

"Mayor Bowser means business in her efforts with FitDC to strive for a fitter and healthier city. We're here today to show that her Administration stands with her. What's most important isn't whether you're a regular marathoner or a casual stroller, but that you're making an effort to be a healthier you."

The 4-foot tall participation trophy will reside in the Mayor's office until next year, where they will defend their title again, possibly--race director John Brathwaite hopes--on Freedom Plaza.

Several families and other enthusiastic athletes also came out to run this Easter weekend. Michele "with one L, because she's 'one "L" of a woman" visited from Seattle, Washington. The bubbly 49-year old was not the furthest from her home this Easter, however. Rodrigo Sosa, a law student from El Salvador, brought his family to the race, saying "I'm running today, because it's a great opportunity to stay active, and a great way to learn about a place." Five members of the Bettinger clan from Cincinnati snuck into the participation competition with 10-year old Lucas as their representative, though they couldn't convince Brathwaite that they counted as an 'agency'. The Troxell trotters, a quartet of cheerful ladies who you could hear as soon as see when they called "Trotters assemble!" also sported t-shirts of Kelly green. Catherine (19, 30:35), Cara (50, 32:02), Teti (51, 39:54), and Heather (36, 39:56) came from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland for Easter, and it is their tradition to run a 5k every time they meet and as Heather said "great way to train and get in shape as a family."

Runners enjoyed hydration at the finish line courtesy of ID Life, a health and wellness company focusing on energy and personalized health including personalized vitamins and pre-, and post- workout drinks. ID Life representative Mia Mundy was sharing "Hydrate" an electrolyte solution without the high-sugar content of Gatorade.

Overall the race was a fun, family-friendly, low-key race on a beautiful Saturday morning. Full results and photos of the race can be found on

About the Race Organizer:

The DC Running Club, founded in 2008 is non-profit organization dedicated to engaging communities within DC, MD and VA of all ages to achieve fitness through walking and running. The next upcoming event is the Envision Realty Georgetown 10 Miler 2-Day Challenge on April 9th and 10th, and the women-only Runway 5k & 5 Miler on May 14th. All events can be found on