Washington, DC

Name: Molly Ritter

Self-described age group: 33

Residence: Arlington

Occupation: ICU Nurse

Volunteer roles in the running world: Volunteer Cross Country Coach at Yorktown High School

Why you run: With all of the races being cancelled this spring this is a question I have had to frequently ask myself. I run for the way it makes me feel on the good days and the bad. Running has always helped my mind find clarity. The other reason I have stuck with running for over 10 years is because of the wonderful people it has introduced me to along the way.

How has your running changed in the last four weeks: Besides not being able to run with friends/teammates I would say I’ve found new inspiration to run during this very strange and difficult time in our country. Running has allowed me a place to release physical and emotional stress after the long hours at the hospital during the pandemic.

When did you get started running: Junior High School after basketball season…let’s just say I wasn’t coordinated to do much else.

Have you taken a break from running:  I took a year off from running at the end of college and did some triathlons( does that count?)

Training shoe: Hoka Arahi & New Balance Fuel Cell

Coach or training group: Coach Jerry w/ NOVA & Dojo of Pain

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Philadelphia Marathon 2008 (first marathon) It snowed, I didn’t wear gloves, I didn’t bring nutrition, longest run before the race was 16 miles….a lot of learning done that day.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Trying ultra trail running …I agreed to be a pacer for my best friend out in Colorado for her 100 miler at High Lonesome this past summer. When I received the required gear checklist of a COSAR card, emergency space blanket and light source I knew I had really stepped out of the comfort zone.

Running mentors: Rory Bosio ( bc she’s also a nurse and total BOSS), Emma Coburn ( she’s so tough and fierce) , and locally Jess McGuire ( OTQ qualifier) and one of the most dedicated and educated on the sport.

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Down by the Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool at sunrise or sunset….it’s quiet and peaceful.

Favorite local trail:  Western Ridge Trail in RCP

My best race was: Philadelphia Marathon 2013

Favorite local race: Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile….my sister and I run it every year.

Ideal post-run meal: Cheeseburger and an IPA.

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc:  Salted Caramel or Espresso Love

Pet peeve: Cyclists

Goals: Break three hours at Indianapolis Monumental Marathon this November

Your advice for a new runner: Be PATIENT, running is a science and it takes a while to see what formula works best for you. Also, never lose the purpose and joy of why you run or you won’t be in it for the long haul

Favorite running book: Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

Song in your head during a run: Lately I’ve renewed my love for the Black Keys—-Gold on the Ceiling

Have you dealt with a major injury: A navicular bone fracture of the foot which required a cast and crutches for several weeks in high school….lame.

Running quote: Run the day, don’t let the day run you.

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  D.C. is a great place to be a runner for so may reasons including its wide variety of running routes, training groups, resources, and local races. The running community here is competitive but also tight knit. Also, if you can survive marathon training over a sweltering, humid D.C. summer then you’re well on your way to a successful fall.

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