Monumental Runner: Ambyr

Name: Ambyr

Self-described age group: 35-39

Residence: Alexandria

Occupation: Special Education Teacher

Volunteer roles in the running world: I love being a Race Pacer for marathons, half marathons, 10k’s and 5k’s.I have paced as many races as I have raced. I also love to be on the course volunteer for races.

Why you run: I run for a lot of reasons. I started as a way to keep in shape, I continued to run because it kept me even keeled during stressful times, and I will continue to do it because I love the people it brings into my life. It is an ingrained part of who I am at this point.

When did you get started running: I started running 10 years ago , and I still remember my first 5k. I was so proud of myself!!

Have you taken a break from running:  Unfortunately I had a forced break during 2018. I punctured a tendon in my foot which put me out for 4 months, and then I moved to the DC area from Pittsburgh, so that forced another break as I adjusted.

Training shoe: I run in multiple shoes. My long distance shoe is the Adidas Boston. I wear Saucony Kinvara for my second long run. Then I also rotate through New Balance Zante and Sketcher Run for recovery and speed work.

Coach or training group: Back in Pittsburgh I had multiple running groups I ran with, but haven’t found one yet here in D.C. But I do have an online coach which keeps me motivated.

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Twisted Branch 100k in Upstate New York. It was a super technical trail with a good amount of elevation gain. But it was also an amazing race, amazing enough I did it 2 years in a row!

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: The most adventurous thing I have done running wise is while training for my second round of the Twisted Branch 100k. I packed up my Labrador, Waylon, and a bunch of camping gear and went on a 6 week long road trip across the county. In 6 weeks we hit 17 states by going all the way to Washington state and back, running a different trail system every day.

Running mentors: The people I look up to most are new runners. They inspire me with their drive and passion.

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is:  I really love running in Georgetown. I love running hills and it has great hills and fun things to see. I also like picking a destination and running to it, for example from Alexandria to the Arboretum was an awesome run because we went through so many neighborhoods. I love old architecture, so anytime I can run through neighborhoods with older homes, I am happy. I also LOVE street art, so keep my eyes peeled for murals, graffiti, and cool structures.

Favorite local trail:  So far it is the Four Mile Run trail. I also run Mt. Vernon Trail and Potomac Yard Trail often. However, as I am starting to explore the different regions, I am excited to find new ones.

My best race was: This depends on the definition of best. Different races could fit into this category. If best means PR, then it is the Hall of Fame Marathon in Canton, Ohio. If by best, it is the one that was the most enjoyed, probably either the Taylor Mountain 50k in Washington State, or one of the Pittsburgh 50k’s.

Favorite local race: To be determined!

Ideal post-run meal: Anything that comes with a side of home fries!

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: I love Honeystinger, they are my go to gel. I like the pomegranate acai.

Pet peeve: People who walk in massive groups and take up the entire sidewalk/trail and don’t move over when they see you or hear you.

Goals: My 2019 goals are to continue to grow my running community here in DC, finding people who take on some of my crazy training ideas. Oh and people who will climb the monster hills I always seem to find.

Your advice for a new runner:  Stick with it!! Sometimes it sucks, but even a crappy run is totally worth it!

Favorite running book: I don’t really have a favorite running book.

Song in your head during a run: This) is embarrassing, but if a random song pops into my head it is usually either a Christmas song or a silly children’s song. (IE: if you are happy and you know, clap your hands!

Have you dealt with a major injury: I tore the labrum in my right hip, and spent a year in serious PT while continuing to train and run marathons.

Running quote: You never regret the run you did.

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:   I am loving the DC area for the variety of options. You can easily find a fast and flat route, or a hilly route, or single track trails. You can stick to trails, or hit the city. There is something for everybody!

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