When did you begin running and why?
I began running when I enlisted in the Navy just after graduating from high school in 1991, but I really didn’t run (jog) farther than an occasional mile or two back then. I ran my first long distance race, the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, FL in 2002. I discovered then that I really enjoyed the challenge of the longer race and decided to step up my training. In 2003 I once again ran the Gate River Run and managed to cut 20 minutes off my time from the previous year. From then on I was hooked!
How did you find out about DCRR and when did you join?
I was introduced to DCRR by a former member, Kevin Hacker. He and I had trained together previously when we both lived in Chicago. Kevin relocated to DC a few years ago and we kept in touch via Facebook. When I learned that I would be moving from San Diego to the DC area in September 2011, I reached out to Kevin and he raved about this great running club he belonged to, DCRR. I expanded to a family membership last year because my nine year-old step-daughter, Amy, LOVES to run and it has become something special that the two of us will do together. Amy’s excited about running with DCRR again this summer and is hoping to win her age group in the Bunion Derby.
What are you training for right now?
I’ll be running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon this spring. In a couple months I’ll begin training for the NYC marathon in November. I’ve been waiting four years to gain entry to the Big Apple and I’m really excited about running it for the first time.
What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in?
My toughest race was definitely the 2007 Chicago Marathon! The temperature was hovering at the 90 degree mark and the air was super humid. NOT fun! In the last six miles of the race I was being passed by people walking while I “ran”. Fortunately, I was able to finish before the officials stopped the race and diverted runners still on the course to the finish area.
What’s your favorite part about being a DCRR member?
My favorite part of being a DCRR member is the friendships and connections I’ve made during my time here. I really enjoy being able to spend time with like-minded, friendly people in so many ways: SLRs, races, volunteering, happy hours…. It’s awesome!
What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?
Running can be an extremely positive experience for anyone; it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to qualify for Boston or finish your first 5K without walking. While I can be a bit of a running elitist at times (ask my wife how I feel about spectators wearing Boston Marathon gear), I’ve learned that the back-of-the-pack types can enjoy running just as much (or maybe more!) than people pushing super hard for a time goal.
What is your favorite route in the area?
My favorite route is the Capital Crescent Trail (out and back). It’s nice to have a gentle downhill (on the way back), some shade and plenty of water fountains for an 18-20 mile SLR in the summer.
What race day traditions do you have?
My most notable tradition is to make a “race dummy” on the floor the night before a big race. I’ll lay out everything I’ll wear or need on the floor: shorts, singlet (with bib), socks, shoes, Gu, Body Glide, sunscreen, band-aids, Garmin, and warm-up clothes. That way I don’t have to think too much when I’m stumbling around at 5 in the morning. If I’ve got everything off the floor, I know I haven’t forgotten anything!
What’s your proudest running moment?
It’s tough to choose just one! I really have two. First, qualifying for my first Boston at the 2006 Chicago Marathon. Chicago ‘06 was my fourth marathon and I’d trained very hard all year leading up to it. I was thrilled that all that hard work paid off! Second, pacing my step-daughter Amy for the Diva 5K in Myrtle Beach last year (when she was eight). That little firecracker was able to run the entire way without walking once! I didn’t run that far until I was in college. She’s an animal!
What’s your life like outside of running?
I’m a Human Resources Officer in the US Navy working at the Pentagon and a part-time Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, both of which are very rewarding. I’m quite active in my church, too. Between those four things, there isn’t a whole lot of white space on my calendar! When I do have down time, I like to catch a Nats game or go to concerts in the summer (Dave Matthews is my favorite).
What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?
Easy, my Garmin. I’m pretty sure I’d rather go without my running shoes than without my running watch!