Monumental Runner: Caitlin Kovalkoski

Photo: Kyle Gustafson/Swim Bike Run Photography.

Name: Caitlin Kovalkoski

Self-described age group: 30-39 F

Residence: D.C.

Occupation: Federal Policy Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Volunteer roles in the running world: One of six DC/MD/VA Oiselle Volee leaders

Why you run: Stress relief

When did you get started running: I hated running growing up, since it was for conditioning and punishment for soccer and softball. But as I got older, I needed a physical outlet for work-related stress, so I started distance running in late 2013 leading up to my first half marathon in 2014.

Have you taken a break from running: Only due to stupid injuries.

Training shoe: Hoka One One Huaka – it was discontinued for several years, but returned around the holidays!

Coach or training group: Informal groups of Volee teammates around Capitol Hill and Summit to Soul’s Wednesday Night Hill Runner group

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Not because of the course, but because 1. I stupidly ran the “Mile on the Beach” the day before for an extra challenge medal, which my calves hated me for; and 2. the heat and humidity there on Labor Day weekend is horrible. I only survived because of the kid that gave me a freezepop at mile 11. I walked right into the ocean after crossing the finish line.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: More like stubborn, but running the Scranton Half Marathon easy on a mild sprained ankle from another women slide-tackling me during a soccer game. Shout-out to the fine doctors at Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic that have dealt with all my foot and ankle injuries over the years.

Running mentors: My Volee teammates and dear friends Courtney and Jackie

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: National Arboretum

Favorite local trail: Anacostia River Trail

My best race was: 2016 Capitol Hill Classic 10K. I set a lot of new PRs that spring, but everything really clicked that day for a 6 min PR.

Favorite local race: Courage to Run 5K – it’s a sweet spot for my interests of running and civic engagement!

Ideal post-run meal: Egg over easy on top of a buttermilk pancake with a side of bacon.

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Tailwind – Caffeinated Raspberry Buzz

Pet peeve: Runners too serious to smile or wave as you pass each other.

Goals: Presently training for the National Women’s Half in May, and if I can successfully register in March, running Marathon Du Medoc as my first marathon this September in France with two Volee teammates.

Your advice for a new runner: Don’t compare yourself to others – in paces, in miles, in days that you run. Find what works for you, and be consistent.

Favorite running book: Confessions of an Unlikely Runner by Dana Ayers

Song in your head during a run: Probably something by Sia, or something Disney-related to keep smiling.

Have you dealt with a major injury: Haven’t most runners? Metatarsal stress fracture of 2017 is probably the most significant.

Running quote: “Make your race a playground, not a proving ground.” – Lauren Fleshman

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  Because it’s always exciting to add on the additional stress of government shutdowns into taper-crazies and race-day-weather-stalking!

Recent Stories

Race pacing for fun and fitness

A break from racing one of my favorite events gave me a chance to help other runners reach their time goals.

Eight local runners will compete in the Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday morning in Orlando.

Running Shorts

St. Albans alumnus wins club cross country championship.

Running Shorts

Locals contribute to NCAA titles, another Trials qualifier, Prince William County moves toward an indoor track and comments are sought for the Capital Crescent Trail.

Down The Stretch Track Fest

Down The Stretch Track Fest is a track celebration!

A distance-focused track meet at George Mason University featuring community-to-pro-level races on Friday evening, May 17th.

New Balance merch, Aslin Beer, music all night, and announcers keeping you up-to-date on the

Run the Greenway

We are just days away from the 4th annual Run The Greenway Race and
spots are filling up fast! We don’t want any Jedi to be left behind at this year’s
5K, 10K, or 800-meter Kids Fun Run, or virtual


Subscribe to our mailing list