Four years ago Lucious Anderson started jogging along Benning Road in Northeast Washington. Dodging speeding cars, small children and a testy dog or two didn't bother him as he lengthened his morning exercise jaunts from a half-mile to 15-mile runs.
"I needed something simple to do. I wasn't a swimmer, a golfer or interested in any other sports so I just started jogging," said Anderson, a 35-year-old math instructor at the University of the District of Columbia. "Jogging was simple and I could get maximum physical exercise. Each day, I'd just try to run a little farther.
"At that time, the jogging boom was in full swing. I started talking to people who were into distance running and ran more. A friend of mine, Roy Watlington, is an accomplished distance runner and he and I worked out a lot together," Anderson said. "Distance running started to fascinate me. It's very self-satisfying."
Anderson's fascinations led him to dozens of distance races, including the Boston, New York and D.C. marathons. The Eutaw, Ala., native performed so well that last year he was named the most improved runner of the year for '81 by the D.C. Road Runners Club.
Anderson would surely be the talk of his math classes if he finished among the leaders in the District's second annual 15-kilometer Home Town Run Sunday. More than 2,000 runners are entered in the run, sponsored by the Washington Urban League. The run begins at the District Building, winds through downtown, along Connecticut Avenue through Adams-Morgan, into Capitol Hill and ends back at the District Building.
Will Albers, winner of numerous local distance runs, including last year's Home Town Run in 47:55, will be back.
Among the others expected to participate are Fairfax's Bruce Coldsmith, an all-America while at Kansas, Gaithersburg's Tim Gavin, Silver Spring's Jesse Garves, Arlington's J.J. Wind, Rockville's Bob Stack and Washington's Henry Barksdale. Washingtonian Robert Hirst, who finished second last year, was expected to run but has not returned from a business trip to Europe.
"There are a lot of good, competitive runners in the race," Anderson said. "I finished 11th last year with a time of 51:49. I'm shooting for 49:00 but I don't think that will win. I would be very satisfied to finish in the top 10.
"It's a nice course, not too flat, not too hilly. This is a relatively short race for me. I'm used to running longer distances and this 15K is a hard race. You have to combine endurance with speed, but I have both."