Much has changed in the last few months, and even more has changed over the last 15 years for Elizabeth Sloss, of Arlington, Virginia. She came to D.C. for college in 2005, decided to stick around, and later on got married, too.
She ran the Marine Corps Marathon a few years ago and decided she wanted to run it again. After she signed up, a lot of things changed again.
For one, the pandemic changed the race — it’s virtual now, and people have had several weeks to run their own personal marathons instead of gathering at one spot and taking off together. And while Sloss didn’t plan on it when she signed up, the race has become what she calls her own, personal “farewell tour” of D.C. too.
“Since COVID, my husband and I, we found out we’re moving out west to Seattle, Washington,” Sloss said. “I’m using this race as a farewell tour of D.C. to visit all my favorite places and important locations that have a lot of significant meaning to me.”
On Halloween, she’ll run past the places she lived and the places she worked.
“This really is so commemorative of D.C. and what’s so great about living here,” Sloss said.
Using Google Maps and Strava, an app used by runners and cyclists, she’s mapped out her course between Arlington and the city.
Sloss will make sure to run past the spot where the Front Page used to be in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, since that’s where she first met her husband. She’ll also run along the Custis Trail in Arlington, too, because that’s a place she runs so often anyway.
But while she’d normally finish the race at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Virginia, this year she’ll finish her race in D.C. — in a place that’s not usually on the course.
“My husband and I got engaged at ‘The Tombs’ in Georgetown,” she said. “I’m planning on … ending the 26 miles there … celebrate all the special memories that we have.”
Sloss will finish her run there, but The Tombs won’t be open, so they’ll get takeout elsewhere.
Along the way she’s expecting to see some friends cheering her on her route — which might help to make the race feel a little more normal. But even though she’s moving to the other Washington, she’s hoping to make it back to run the marathon again — next time the way it’s usually run.
“I would love to,” she said. “I’d love to come back.”