Sophie Tedesco runs for George C. Marshall High School and started writing for RunWashington in 2018. She wrote this summer about the difference it makes for young runners to see high-quality races up close. Read more of her work here.
Name: Sophie Tedesco
Self-described age group: High School
Residence: McLean, Va.
Why you run: I started running to meet people before starting high school, and I now I run because I love the joy I feel and strength I discover from pushing myself. I also love my team and being surrounded by people with similar goals and drive.
When did you get started running: I started running my freshman year of high school when I joined the cross country team.
Have you taken a break from running: I take a short break in-between seasons, and I took two months off from running last summer because I had tendonitis in my knee.
Training shoe: Saucony Freedom ISO 2
Coach or training group: Darrell General, George C. Marshall High School Cross Country, and Track teams.
The hardest race you’ve ever run: My first ever cross country race was on a sweltering hot day in late August, and after a blazing first mile I completely died. Struggling through the last two hilly miles was probably the most painful experience of my running career. Even my competitors knew I was hurting as people were patting me on the back as they passed me. If nothing else, it was an introduction to the wonderful community and camaraderie running creates.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I started trail running with a teammate this past winter. For someone who had only run on pavement and cross country courses before, it felt like an adventure, but I absolutely love it.
Running mentors: My coach, Darellel General, is a running mentor and inspiration to me because is truly one of the most hard-working and determined people I have met. He has helped me find and harness the same drive and determination within myself.
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Roosevelt Island and the Mount Vernon Trail
Favorite local trail: The Cross County Trail
My best race was: 2017 Octoberfest Cross Country Race. I felt relaxed and focused throughout and ran a personal best.
Ideal post-run meal: A smoothie and a bagel.
Goals: To focus on the positive elements of every run and harness my competitive nature in racing.
Your advice for a new runner: Set goals that excite you and find people whose company make running an activity you look forward to.
Favorite running book: First Ladies of Running by Amby Burfoot
Have you dealt with a major injury: I had tendonitis in my right knee that kept me from running for two months a year, but after focusing on hip strength I have not experienced any other injuries.
Running quote: All it takes is all you got
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: There is a huge variety of terrain and trails nearby, from woods to urban sidewalks, that add fun diversity to running if you are looking for it.