Reston, VA

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 19)

  • Book Bingo — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — Download a bingo card and read along, the website said. Get three books in a row and earn entry to a drawing for prize. Completed bingo cards can be emailed to [email protected].

Thursday (Oct. 22)

  • Herndon Farmers Market – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from April to November on Lynn Street in historic downtown Herndon, the website said.

Friday (Oct. 23)

  • Campfire Fridays — 6:30-8 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park (7500 Accotink Park Road) — The program is $12 per person, the website said. Attendees will enjoy nature walks, interactive activities, animal presentations, and s’mores. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Oct. 24)

  • Watershed Cleanup — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) — Help keep our waterways clean, the website said. Volunteers will collect trash from streams and trails and compile and report results.
  • Making a Scarecrow — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way) — Bring old clothing to stuff with hay, and afterward pose with your new friend and take a picture, the website said. The cost is $2o per family, with each family having 45 minutes to create their scarecrow. To register, use this link.
  • Boo at the Pool — 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Dive into the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center’s Boo at the Pool, the website said. The cost is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for non-residents. Each participating child will receive a goody bag upon completion of the event and those wearing a costume will receive an additional prize. Children must also be accompanied by an adult. To register, use this link.
  • Halloween Family Fun Day — 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Village Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Children should dress in their favorite costume and parents are encouraged to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme to be included in a self-driven Halloween Car Parade at Hunters Woods Village Center parking lot, the website said. Children will also receive a goody bag. To register, use this link.
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With the weather turning and more locals looking to take their workouts indoors, the Park Authority has announced a series of changes to the reservation system as the RECenter continues to reopen.

“As we move forward with our phased approach to RECenter operations, we need your help to assure that we can continue to operate safely in an ongoing pandemic,” the Park Authority said. “Beginning this fall, our RECenters will begin to offer a modified class program schedule and swim team pool rentals. Balancing these additional member needs with the requirements to assure appropriate COVID-19 safety measures will be more important than ever. Please help us ensure that we can make the most of our limited space so that all members have the greatest access possible to our facilities.”

The Park Authority asked that people only place reservations for times they will be in the facility, and call ahead to cancel if they can’t make it.

“We ask that you cancel at least 24 hours in advance so we can remove your reservation and make it available to other members,” the Park Authority said.

Starting on Monday, Oct. 5, the online reservation page is going through some changes to reflect an increase in capacity.

New reservation titles will be available for:

  • Fitness Center Tickets
  • Lap Swim/Water Walking Tickets
  • Recreation Swim Ticket
  • Aqua Flex Ticket

Under the new system, the reservation will be held for 30 minutes, after which it will be made available to others on a walk-in basis. Two no-shows result in a call from the Park Authority.

“Our primary goal remains the safe accommodation of as many current members, class participants and contracted swim organizations as possible under current COVID-19 standards,” the Park Authority said.

Reservations can be made online.

Image via Google Maps

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After a months-long closure, Herndon Community Center is opening its doors to the community once again.

The center will reopen on Thursday, August 20 at 7 a.m. Although the pool and fitness area will be open, locker rooms, spa, sauna and racquetball courts will remain closed. Family changing rooms and restrooms will be open.

One-on-one personal training sessions are also available, along with online personal training. Costs vary from $36 to $349 for Town of Herndon residents and $48 to $464 for all others. Costs vary based on the duration and number of sessions requested.

Reservations are required to use the fitness and pool areas. Outdoor sessions will take place at the turf field of Bready park.

The center will be open on weekdays only from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. HCC has no immediate plans to reopen the center on weekends.

The town will reassess its hours after a two-week period following reopening.

Facemasks must be worn in HCC, but can be removed when patrons are ready to exercise or swim.

HCC is instituting a number of safety measures in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Patrons will be asked to complete a health screening when entering the facility. Hand sanitizer will be available at the center’s entrance and in the fitness room.

Image via Google Maps

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More Time for Metro Budget Comments — Metro has extended the public comment period for the next fiscal year’s budget by one week. Feedback will be accepted online or by mail through 9 a.m. on Monday, March 9. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Search for Lifeguards Underway — Reston Association is actively recruiting lifeguards for the summer. Information on the position and the application is available online. [Reston Association]

Local Students Compete in International Conference — A total of 226 students from 14 Fairfax County Public Schools were selected as finalists for the DECA International Career Development Conference in Nashville. [FCPS]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Runners can take part in a Halloween-themed triathlon in Reston in late October.

YMCA Reston and CORE Foundation are hosting a Trick-or- Tri triathlon on Oct. 27 beginning around 9 a.m. at the YMCA Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road).

Participants will be tasked with a 10-minute indoor swim, a 30-minute ride on a stationary bike and a 20 minute run on a treadmill. Everyone is encouraged to dress up in a costume, though event organizers ask that people do not wear makeup in the pool.

Registration is $35 for YMCA members and $50 for the public and includes a swag bag full of gear and snacks as well as a free massage and stretch.

Participants will be awarded based on distance in each category, and all categories will be considered equally. There will also be a prize for the best costume.

Those wishing to participate can pick up their packets at the YMCA on Friday (Oct. 25) from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday (Oct. 26) from 9-11 a.m.

Event organizers are also looking for volunteers. Those interested can sign up online.

Image via Google Maps

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A new Reston Sports Council, which includes 13 representative organizations, is seeking to becoming a unified voice for the interests of the local sports community.

The council, which grew out of focus group discussions and meetings by Reston Association’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee in 2016 and 2017,  held its first meeting in February. Members involved the initiative presented updates to RA’s Board of Directors last week.

At the meeting, Jeremy Lee, the newly appointed chairman of the council and a Reston resident of more than 20 years, said the council is an independent entity and intends to speak as a single voice to RA the Fairfax County Park Authority and the county.

Organizers hope the council will also help sports organization — including those that are not formally organized — coordinate the use of RA facilities, consider bulk purchasing, review industry standards, and collaborate to solve shared challenges, according to Laura Kowalski, RA’s director of recreation and environmental education.

Former RA Board Director Jeff Thomas and current RA Board Director Julie Bitzer, who is also the board’s PRAC liaison, pushed for the formation of the council.

Bitzer, who lauded the initiative, said the council will be a productive way to ensure “all sports have a voice” and prevent one sport from dominating conversations.

Larry Butler, RA’s director of land use and planning, cautioned that only Reston-based organizations are allowed to use RA facilities based on RA’s resolutions and by-laws.

The council is in the process of developing its bylaws, operational procedures and website. It plans to hold monthly meetings that are open to all.

So far, the council serves 6,000 constituents involving in local sports, including Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Reston Association will host the 10th annual “World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” at Lake Newport this month.

The event, which is set for Thursday, June 20, is a global public relations event that encourages the worldwide aquatics industry to build awareness about water safety and awareness.

The initiative was started by the World Waterpark Association in 2010, according to its website. It is set for 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

In a Reston Today video, Willa Suter, RA’s aquatics program manager, hopes the event at Lake Newport will be a success.

Video via Reston Today/YouTube

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Registration is now open for kids interested in participating in the CORE Foundation’s second annual Reston Youth Superhero Splash and Dash.

The event, which is set for Sunday, Aug. 18, gives kids a chance to show off their swimming and running skills. Registration is open for children between age 6 and 15.

The pool swim takes place at the Lake Audubon pool and the run course takes place on a nearby section of Reston pathways.

Organizers say the event focuses on “participation rather than competition and making every athlete feel like a superhero.” All participants will receive a medal, goodie bag and other swag. Athletes can also enjoy snow cones and finish line snacks.

Volunteers will be dressed like superheroes. The event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon and made possible through a partnership with the Reston Association.

Registration is $30 and a $10 USAT membership fee. Online registration opened late last week.

Photo via CORE Foundation

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Several of Reston Association’s 15 pools will be closed for the second weekend in a row due to a shortage of lifeguards. The association is working actively to hire more lifeguards and closed some pools this weekend due to safety precautions.

After closures over Memorial Day weekend, all aquatics facilities except Lake Thoreau pool, were open as scheduled during the weekdays. Lake Thoreau’s pool opened Thursday evening after shattered glass was found inside the pool over the weekend. RA believes the pool was vandalized.

The following pools will be closed tomorrow (June 1):

  • Autumnwood
  • Golf Course Island
  • Lake Audubon
  • Newbridge
  • Shadowood

The following pools will be closed on Sunday (June 2):

  • Dogwood
  • Golf Course Island
  • Shadowood
  • Tall Oaks

In a statement, RA’s CEO Hank Lynch apologized for the closures.

“Like many community and recreational associations in our area, RA is trying to meet the challenge of hiring staff for various summertime positions,” he wrote.

RA will host one or two job fairs to hire staff for its pools, typically high school and college students. The organization adjusts its seasonal pool schedule to coincide with the availability of students who are off from school. Interested applicants can apply online.

Photo by Leslie Sogandares

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The yearly triathlon just for kids is back.

The ninth annual Reston Youth Triathlon will take place Sunday, May 12, at the South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).

The triathlon includes athletes swimming in the heated Ridge Heights pool, biking near South Lakes High School and then running on Reston Association paths before finishing at the school’s stadium.

The triathlon is open to kids ages 6 to 15 with different distances for the triathlon’s three parts based on age groups. Registration opened on Jan. 16.

The fundraising “Be Amyazing!” triathlon began three years after “Amy’s Amigos” was founded in 2008 to honor Amy Boyle, who was battling brain cancer.

In past years, the triathlon has raised $125,000 for the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation, which helps social entrepreneurs and small organizations.

The event is coordinated in conjunction with the CORE Foundation.

Photo via Core Foundation

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The Reston Community Center kicked off the more than $5 million renovation of the Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center today (Jan. 2).

Contractor Branch & Associates started the work today on the project, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools.

After the final open swim time ended yesterday, the process of draining the pool began.

That process starts with neutralizing the pool water for several days to allow chlorine to dissipate before slowly draining the water, ensuring that it does not erode stream banks downstream of the pool.

“Draining the water is a controlled process to avoid overwhelming any part of the surrounding environment,” RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon who said that the team will follow strict environmental standards throughout the process.

In addition to Gordon, the project team includes Branch Project Manager Bill Ruschaupt, RCC’s Deputy Director John Blevins and Martha Sansaver, Karen Davis and Geoff Kimmel from DPWES.

Branch & Associates was selected as the contracting firm for the project after Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services opened a pre-bid qualification process in October.

RCC chose mosaic artist Valerie Theberge to create a mosaic artwork installation for the large wall areas adjacent to the pool overlook area.

Gordon said that the new artwork by Theberge — the artist behind the Glade Drive underpass and a mosaic water feature at Dogwood Pool — will “add to Reston’s wonderful public art collection.”

The renovated facility, designed by RRMM-Lukmire Architects, will include a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry, a warm-water therapeutic pool, updated infrastructure systems and a new roof. It is slated to reopen in the fall.

During the construction period, Reston patrons can receive discounted rates, which are offered through RCCs’ partnership with the YMCA Fairfax County RestonReston Association and Herndon Community Center.

Renderings via Reston Community Center

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The results of the 35th annual Reston Triathlon are in the books. The community race, which happened on Sunday, drew contestants and participants despite the rain.

A harmful algae bloom on Lake Audubon, discovered on Thursday, forced Reston Association to cancel the swim portion of the triathlon. As of Monday (September 10), RA advises against touching the water, which has algae that can produce toxins that are lethal to livestock, fish, and people.

The overall winners in the male division were:

  1. Sean Pinkney, 34: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
  2. Jacob Gilden, 30: 2:07:25
  3. Noah Kennedy, 21: 2:07:30

In the female division, overall winners were:

  1. Raquel Torres, 37: 2 hours, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
  2. Ekaterina Pinkney, 34: 2:23:26
  3. Kristine Wooten, 30: 2:28:18

In the individual age groups, the winners were:

  1. Sean Pinkney, 34, Male: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
  2. Jacob Gilden, 30, Male: 2:07:25
  3. Noah Kennedy, 21, Male: 2:07:30
  4. Bryan Rivera, 34, Male: 2:08:25
  5. Andrew Gyenis, 24, Male: 2:08:54
  6. Raquel Torres, 37, Female: 2:10:17
  7. Kevin Wright, 29, Male: 2:11:33
  8. Wiehan Peyper, 32, Male: 2:16:52
  9. Paul Cutler, 50, Male: 2:18:31
  10. Ryan Luczak, 17, Male: 2:18:31

Neil Medoff and Rich Uhrig also received an award for perfect attendance. They attended every Reston Triathlon for the last 35 years.

Photos via Reston Triathlon/Facebook and Brian Kent

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The renovation of the Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is on track to begin in January. The center’s roof will also be replaced, adding an expense of roughly $300,000 to the overall $5.5 million budget.

Construction costs have been driven up due to last year’s hurricane seasons, which created labor and material shortages and the impact of the Trump administration’s actions on tariffs. According to the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, construction costs have increased between 16 and 20 percent.

Despite changes in construction costs, the project is expected to remain on-budget, according to Leila Gordon, RCC’s director. Expected cost increases will be absorbed by using $45,000 previously allocated to replace the building’s hot water heater and year-end surpluses.

“Our reserves profile will remain well in excess of $1 million for both FY19 and FY20,” Gordon said.

Thus far, the pool will remain open until construction begins. Patrons will be given information about the project and other swimming options in September.

Gordon said she is confident the pool will offer a “modern, mechanically efficient environment” to serve patrons for the next couple of decades. Reston patrons can use the Herndon Community Center by paying 10 percent more than Herndon residents — a decrease from the usual 25 percent upcharge.

The Board and staff remain convinced that this renovation project is going to be of great benefit to the community – nearly doubling our present service capacity for different aquatics programming and service options,” she said.

Construction is expected to be complete in October of next year.

Renderings via Reston Community Center

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The first annual Reston Youth Splash and Dash will offer kids between the ages of 6 and 15 an introduction to a triathlon with a combination of swimming and running.

The event, presented by CORE Foundation in cooperation with the Reston Association, will take place on August 26 (Saturday) at 8:30 p.m. in the Lake Audubon Pool.

Organizers indicated the purpose of the event is participation rather than competition. An “aquathlon” combines running and swimming.

Participants will receive a goody bag and medals. Snow cones will be provided by Kona Ice. All proceeds from the event will benefit “Kids Helping Kids,” a program that creates opportunities for low-income youth to participate in triathlons. Participants will determine how to fundraise, whether through a personal fundraising company and by creating a lemonade stand.

Children who are five years old will participate in a 50-meter swim and a 1k run. Participants between the age of 6 and 10 will take part in a 100-meter swim and a 1k run while participants between the age of 11 and 15 will take part in the 200-meter swim and 2k run.

Registration is open online.

Photo via USA Triathlon

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The Reston Masters Swim Team will host the 31st annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim on Sunday at Lake Audubon.

The swim has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1988, according to the team’s website. In 1999, it was named in honor of McDonnell, a founding member of the team who was on the committee that first organized the swim. McDonnell died from lymphoma in 2016.

Reston Masters is excited to host the 2018 U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) Middle Distance Open Water National Championship,” said Reston Masters President Brian Evans. “Our 2-mile swim is the kickoff race of the USMS championship series and we are ready to deliver a top-notch, well-organized experience for JMLS competitors.”

Up to 200 swimmers will vie for national champion status. Swimmers take part in a two-mile open water loop around Lake Audubon. This year, two visually impaired swimmers are competing, along with a young woman trying to qualify for the U.S. Special Olympics

A practice swim will take place on Saturday.

Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Lymphoma charities. In the past, recipients have included Herndon-Reston Fish, Inc. and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

More information about the event is available online.

Here’s more about the event from the organizers:

Swimmers of all abilities compete every year. This year’s field includes elite swimmers like 66-year old Shirley Loftus-Charley, a USMS All-American and All-Stars champion and record holder, who is competing in her 31st consecutive JMLS.

Swimmers in the 30-34 year age group will be watching out for distance swimmer and triathlete Shannon Greene. Shannon has placed first in the 1-mile race three times, and has taken first in the 2-mile twice.

“You can expect to see some fast swim times,” said Evans.

One swimmer is hoping to score a qualifying time to compete with Special Olympics USA, and two visually impaired swimmers are also taking on the challenge.

Competitors will swim counter-clockwise around buoys over a 1-mile course. Those swimming the 2-mile race will make the trip twice.

Photo by Ryan Dawson

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