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Hill Talk: Sunday’s Capitol Hill Classic Benefits Cluster School

The 31st annual Capitol Hill Classic will take place Sunday morning.

The USA Track & Field-certified 10K starts at 8:30 a.m. at Peabody Elementary School on Stanton Park at Fifth and C streets Northeast. About 3,000 runners are expected to take to the streets, in keeping with last year’s totals, and a few hundred more will take part in the 3K run starting at 10:30 a.m. A fun run for kids will start at 11 a.m., and streets blocked off for the run are expected to reopen by 11:30.

The race benefits the Capitol Hill Cluster School, a D.C. public school encompassing three campuses that teaches more than 1,000 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The PTA organizes the race, according to Don Montuori, who serves as the PTA’s vice president of fundraising. Corporate sponsors include Keller Williams Realty, National Capital Bank, DC Access, Coldwell Banker and Verizon. Last year the race raised about $35,000, but this year may bring in less because the PTA is still looking for a way to refund the Metropolitan Police Department for blocking off the streets.

Runners from around the world and around the District compete in the race, including teams from government agencies and Hill offices. In 2009, 23-year-old Abiyot Endale from the Bronx, N.Y. had the fastest time overall at 30 minutes and 50 seconds. Gurmessa Kumsa set the men’s course record in 2006 at 30 minutes and 38 seconds, while Heather Hanscom set it for women in 2002 at 35 minutes and 27 seconds. Cash prizes are awarded for the top three men and women in the 10K and for some of the top finishers in different age divisions.

Runners can register for the race right up until Sunday morning, Montuori said. More information is available at

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