Washington, DC

Charlie Ban

Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

Name: Charlie Ban

Self-described age group: The Oregon Trail Generation

Residence: Cleveland Park

Occupation: Senior writer and digital editor, National Association of Counties

Volunteer roles in the running world: It’s hard to tell where RunWashington background work ends and legitimate volunteer work begins because I always have an ulterior motive, looking for stories worth telling. I used to be on the GRC Board of Directors.

Why you run: I don’t have the discipline to eat well and I like seeing how much longer I can run relatively fast. When that stops, I’ll probably do it to see or enjoy the outdoors.

When did you get started running: In eighth grade, I lost a discus and wasn’t allowed to throw anymore.

Have you taken a break from running:  I had a stress fracture in 2002 and some hip problems in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018 that took me out for a few weeks at a time.

Training shoe: adidas Solar Gide

Coach or training group: Georgetown Running Club, Cap Lounge Marathoners Club, Wild Boar Running… RSVP the Capitol Hill Distance Project.

The hardest race you’ve ever run: The 2010 Chicago Marathon was the first marathon I ever actually trained for, but it was hot, and after 16 miles we lost a lot of shade and by 21 miles I was hallucinating and spent a lot of time sitting behind water stations pouring cups over my head.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Deciding to run a marathon three days before the gun went off. The race was discontinued afterward, so my course record for the Three Bridges Marathon in Charlottesville seems safe for a while.

Running mentors: Steve Taylor, Scott Sehon, Dave Hackworth, Mike Agostinella

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is:  The Patuxent Research Refuge

Favorite local trail:  The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

My best race was: The 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, even though I forgot how long the race was toward the end and figured I’d never PR.

Favorite local race: Probably the GW Parkway Classic, because even when I’m not racing it, it’s still a heck of a run.

Ideal post-run meal: Whole chocolate milk.

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Orange Sport Beans, but as candy.

Pet peeve: Humidity.

Goals: To train and run to my potential in the half marathon, hopefully under 1:10, and to enjoy a marathon as much as I loved the Three Bridges Marathon in Charlottesville six years ago. And to write something that makes a difference.

Your advice for a new runner:  Keep at it for a while – it might be frustrating to not see your work pay off but then someday, everything will fall into place.

Favorite running book: The Perfect Mile.

Song in your head during a run: “You Enjoy Myself” by Phish, because I can imagine the jam lasting as long as I need it to.

Have you dealt with a major injury:  A stress fracture really bummed me out in college and then some hip injuries have interrupted my training a few times in the last few years.

Running quote: “For me, the action is the juice.” – Heat. (I like the grind of running)

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The diversity of personalities in the running community really means there’s something for everyone.


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