Kensington 8k attracts myriad of runners


Owen Hananel, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

The Kensington 8K race has long been a trademark race for people of the DMV. In addition to an 8 kilometer course, the event also features a 2 mile challenge, as well as a 1K fun run. September 17th was the day of the anticipated event, where over 400 people ran in the 8K, and dozens more participated in the other events. For some students at WJ, the event is a new experience, while others have been coming for years.

“I’ve been running this race every year of high school and I’ve really enjoyed it,” junior Yannos Papaevangelou said.

A self-described casual runner, Papaevangelou said that he wasn’t concerned with getting a good time for the race, rather he just wanted to have fun.

“I think it’s a great way to bring the community together in a friendly competition sort of event,” he said.

While some runners, like Papaevangelou, take it easy in the 8K, some prefer to take it a little more seriously. Junior Zach Boudabous is a member of both the cross country and track teams at WJ, and according to him, the Kensington 8K is not something to be taken lightly.

“I’ve done the 8K in the past, and I was really looking forward to it, but I couldn’t make it this year because of a cross country race I was running in at the same time,” Boudabous said. “I hope I can go next year because I was really going to try and compete for a top spot.”

In this year’s race, the first place finisher was 35-year-old Dickson Mercer from Takoma Park, who achieved a time of 27:32. According to freshman Julia Hananel, who finished the race, the run was no easy feat.

“This was my first year running this race, and I think I could have done better if I had more experience beforehand,” Hananel said.

She added that she and many other runners underestimated the length of the roughly 5-mile course.

“I’m hoping to get better at running and strategizing so I can eventually learn how to pace myself more because I went out too fast at the beginning of the race, she said”


For people who missed the Kensington 8K or are simply looking for another race to compete in, many of the same participants will run the YMCA’s 10K Turkey Chase race in November.