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
Runners can take part in a Halloween-themed triathlon in Reston in late October.
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
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
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
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
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):
- Golf Course Island
- Lake Audubon
The following pools will be closed on Sunday (June 2):
- Golf Course Island
- 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
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.
The event is coordinated in conjunction with the CORE Foundation.
Photo via Core Foundation
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).
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 Reston, Reston Association and Herndon Community Center.
Renderings via Reston Community Center
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:
- Sean Pinkney, 34: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
- Jacob Gilden, 30: 2:07:25
- Noah Kennedy, 21: 2:07:30
In the female division, overall winners were:
- Raquel Torres, 37: 2 hours, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
- Ekaterina Pinkney, 34: 2:23:26
- Kristine Wooten, 30: 2:28:18
In the individual age groups, the winners were:
- Sean Pinkney, 34, Male: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
- Jacob Gilden, 30, Male: 2:07:25
- Noah Kennedy, 21, Male: 2:07:30
- Bryan Rivera, 34, Male: 2:08:25
- Andrew Gyenis, 24, Male: 2:08:54
- Raquel Torres, 37, Female: 2:10:17
- Kevin Wright, 29, Male: 2:11:33
- Wiehan Peyper, 32, Male: 2:16:52
- Paul Cutler, 50, Male: 2:18:31
- 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
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
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
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
May is National Water Safety Month, and Reston Community Center (RCC) is kicking it off with a day full of important safety information, as well as help determining what level your child is at with his or her swimming skills, in order to figure out which lessons are best to sign up for.
The RCC Water Safety Day event will take place at the Ridge Heights Pool, 11400 Ridge Heights Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 5.
“We want all kids in Reston to be safe around water; it’s especially important in our community as Reston is justly renowned for the abundance of pools, streams and lakes available here for everyone to enjoy,” says RCC Aquatics Director Matt McCall.
RCC offers Level 1 and 2 swim classes for Reston residents ages 6 to 12 free of charge during the months of July and August. Information on the classes will be provided at Water Safety Day, and families can register their children online via WebTrac. Two- and four-week group swimming lessons are also offered beginning in June. Registration for these classes begins the week of May 7. Families can also sign up for private lessons according to their own schedules.
RCC also works with the Reston Association to offer a Drowning Education Awareness Program (DEAP) throughout the year, including two land-based water safety awareness programs for youth and civic organizations, which are offered free of charge to the community.
McCall says RCC is also working to organize CPR classes off-site. Groups of residents interested in organizing one for their neighborhood can call 703-390-6150 to arrange to have RCC staff come speak to them about the possibility.
Meanwhile, bring the kids to RCC’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) anytime in the month of May to pick up a free water safety coloring and activity book and a water safety pledge.
File Photo: Ridge Heights Pool
During their special budget session Monday afternoon (video), the Reston Association Board of Directors voted to guide staff toward listening to PRAC’s recommendations when setting guidelines for the 2018 pool schedule.
The recommendations are to:
- Prior to Memorial Day: reinstate Monday-Friday weekday hours at the two open pools
- Memorial Day through end of school: ensure there is one pool in each district available by 10 a.m. on weekdays
- Through mid-August: reinstate the “closed day” to just once a week at most pools, as opposed to twice a week
- Mid-August through first day of school: continue to adjust operating hours at certain pools based on member feedback, and continue to reopen additional facilities for Labor Day weekend.
The suggested changes would add $2.88 to the projected assessment rate for 2018, RA staff has calculated. Restoring all of the pool hours that were cut in this year’s schedule would tack on an additional $1.60.
“The recommendation that is before you, by the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, was worked on with staff,” CEO Cate Fulkerson said, addressing a director’s question about concerns with finding seasonal workers for the pools. “Staff believes that it can achieve [these changes, but] it does not believe it can go back to the full-scale set of hours that we had in 2016.”
Members provided feedback about pool hours during listening sessions held by RA directors in May and June. In addition, member feedback on the issue was collected during a feedback session with the Board earlier this month. Fulkerson said about 25 members attended and shared their thoughts.
Director Julie Bitzer (South Lakes District) is the Board’s liaison to PRAC. She said she believes the recommended changes address the majority of comments that were received about the schedule.
‘Fill The Boot’ Campaign Sets All-Time Record — In its Labor Day Weekend campaign to raise money for the Greater Washington MDA and for Hurricane Harvey relief, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue raised $631,278.65. That is the highest total raised by any municipality in the history of the campaign. Half a million dollars from the drive will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, while the other $131,278.65 went to the disaster relief fund. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Pool Schedule Input Session is Sunday — The Reston Association Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee will be available on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon during an open house at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) to collect member input on the 2017 pool schedule, as well as thoughts and suggestions about what should be done in 2018. [Reston Now]
Inmate Dies After Medical Event in County Jail Cell — Detectives are investigating the death of a 53-year-old inmate who suffered a medical emergency in her cell on Aug. 31. The inmate died Thursday at a hospital in Fairfax. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Canned Food Will Be Connected at Football Game — At tonight’s high school football game between South Lakes and Oakton, being played at OHS (2900 Sutton Road), fans are encouraged to bring canned food to be donated to hurricane victims. [South Lakes Student Government Association]
Nuclear Fuel Developer Signs New Deal — Reston-based nuclear fuel developer Lightbridge Corp. has signed a binding agreement with a North Carolina company for a joint venture to commercialize and manufacture a new line of advanced metallic fuel for nuclear plants. [Washington Business Journal]