Runner Spotlight: Brian Danza

Brian and 3 of his sisters before the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.

When did you begin running and why?

I began distance running in late 2005 after the ’04 presidential campaign to lose a little of stress and pizza induced weight gain. My friends and I decided to register of the 2006 Chicago Marathon as our fitness goal that year. As training progressed we decided to see if breaking 4:00 would be possible on our first attempt.

How did you find out about DCRR and when did you join?

I discovered DCRR in Jan of 2007 when I thought I wanted to run the LA Marathon, and decided that a little more structured training would help, although I didn’t start running with the club until May of that year. I distinctly remember my first experience with the club, it was an early May SLR where we ran Max’s Hills of Arlington route. I was incredibly out of shape, and while I started off fairly strong I quickly got dropped by the front group. Soon Kerry O’Brien and Heather Kapson (Schloss) passed me, encouraged me a little, and then dropped me like everyone else. I think I walked most of the Custis trail back to Iwo.

What are you training for right now?

I will likely run the Richmond Marathon this fall, with the perpetual (3 year) goal of breaking 3:00.

What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in?

I think Boston 2012 was the toughest marathon I have ever run. That year I had prepared incredibly well for the race, and I thought that I could achieve a fairly good time, but starting a race at 80 degrees and running in the sun (most SLR regulars know about my heat and humidity issues) for just over 3:30 really destroyed my spirit, and did a pretty good job of making me sick for a week.

What’s your favorite part about being a DCRR member?

I think the Bunion Derby and Snowball series. While I haven’t been able to run that many of them until this year, it’s incredible that the club is able to host that many free races for members every year.

What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?

Simply that making a logical realistic plan and sticking to it pays off far more than occasionally overdoing it.

What is your favorite route in the area?

In the summer I love running up the Glover Archbold trail, then cutting down the post apocalyptic Klingle road to Rock Creek park then heading back to G-town, this route is shaded and it’s far enough from the river to be a little less humid than other places.

What race day traditions do you have?

Nothing special really: making sure that everything is laid out and ready to go for the morning before I get to sleep.

What’s your proudest running moment?

2009 Chicago Marathon by far, it was my first real attempt at qualifying for Boston, I followed my training plan almost perfectly, and ran nearly 3 minutes faster than my goal. I guess going to the sub 1000 bib line the next year in Chicago was pretty cool too, it made me feel like I had accomplished something.

What’s your life like outside of running?

Meh, uninteresting really… I like to ski, ride my bike, golf, and drink beers.

What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?

Shoes? Seriously though, in the summer it’s definitely salty concoctions of some sort. Whether it’s nuun tabs, powergel (far more sodium than GU), Gatorade endurance, salt stick, McDonalds salt packets, or whatever else will help me replenish my sweat, I will take it.