Name: Kristen Serafin
Self-described age group: 30-34
Residence: Gaithersburg, MD
Occupation: Associate Director in Market Regulation Technology at FINRA
Volunteer roles in the running world: I was recently elected as a Board Member At-Large for Montgomery County Road Runners. I also volunteer as the assistant director and pace coach for MCRRC’s Summer Half Marathon Training Program. You’ll often see me at MCRRC’s low key races, volunteering for everything from course marshaling to parking.
Why you run: I find that no matter how I’m feeling, running is always there for me. I can run alone or with friends, on trails or road, fast or slow. The reliability of this sport and a love of being outside motivates me to get out the door.
When did you get started running: In the spring of 2014 I was rushed to the emergency room with pneumonia so bad that I was initially tested for a pulmonary embolism. After years of repeatedly getting pneumonia and bronchitis I was finally diagnosed with severe asthma and GERD. My pulmonologist put me on six different medications and asked me to build up my lung strength through running or swimming. I picked running because I figured that if you stop swimming, you drown, but if you stop running, you just walk. The first day I was well enough to run I made it two blocks, sat down on the sidewalk in Pentworth, and cried. I was wheezing and had to take my emergency inhaler. After a few minutes I decided that the next day I would try to run three blocks. Eventually I worked my way up to a 3 mile loop, and decided on a whim to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon.