Name: Megan Grimaldi
Self-described age group: Not yet 40, but almost
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Nonprofit research/evaluation
Why you run: To feel healthy, connect with something bigger than me, and leave the messiness of life behind. Being outside in nature, seeing wildlife, and smiling at other runners in the early morning is one of the most rewarding experiences I can imagine.
When did you get started running: After I got my graduate degree. I figured, hey, I’m not going to be spending 12 hour days in the computer lab; I may as well find a new hobby.
Have you taken a break from running: Immediately before and after I gave birth to my son. Trust me, I ran again as soon as I possibly could. It felt amazing.
Training shoe: Mizuno
The hardest race you’ve ever run: I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon just a few days after I recovered from a horrible stomach flu. I also ran that same race when my son was only 11 months old. I was probably more dehydrated after the second one but the first one was touch-and-go.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I used to travel a lot for work, and I would find any random place to do an early morning run. It’s a great way to explore but you have to have your wits – and your phone – close at hand.
Running mentors: Charlie Ban! And Scott Rosenblum. Both were part of a running group that I joined right after grad school, when I was feeling out my place in the world.
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and back down the mall, because holy heck, I live here!
Favorite local trail: The Mall and the Mount Vernon trail
My best race was: A memorable one was the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco, which was challenging but they gave me chocolate on the course and I got to see my husband standing by the ocean at the end.
Favorite local race: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon D.C.
Ideal post-run meal: Corned beef and hash with eggs over easy!
Pet peeve: When people on bikes almost run me over. This happened the other day. Not fun!
Goals: I really really want to do the half marathon in Dingle, Ireland for my 40th birthday, which is of course 15 years away.
Your advice for a new runner: Find a shoe that works for you and stick with it! I love Mizunos and never want to go back.
Song in your head during a run: Oh I love my playlist. Hard to choose, but if I have to: “Antidote” by Swedish House Mafia.
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: Runners in D.C. recognize that everyone is welcome to run. It’s so beautiful to see people of all ages from all backgrounds get together to challenge themselves in a race. From my perspective, it’s a moment in a city that has a reputation for division when we actually all feel united.