Washington, DC

Name: Paul Wester

Self-described age group: 50-55

Residence: Beltsville, Md.

Occupation: Director of the National Agricultural Library

How has your running changed in the last few months: Except for the mask and reducing mileage because of the heat, not much.

Why you run: Fitness and to clear my mind for the day.

When did you get started running: May 2009

Have you taken a break from running: Since May 2009, not really.

Training shoe: New Balance 1080v10 (RED)

Coach or training group: College Park parkrun

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Vermont City Marathon, May 2010

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I am not terribly adventurous, so deciding to run a marathon in 2010 was pretty adventurous for me!

Running mentors: Kara Drake (a friend who inspired me to start running), and Kara Goucher and Hal Higdon

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Around Lake Artemesia and on the Paint Branch Trail in Prince Georges County, Md.

Favorite local trail: Paint Branch Trail (College Park parkrun course)

My best race was: Each one that I have finished

Favorite local race: Azalea 5K in University Park, Md.

Ideal post-run meal: Plain steel-cut oatmeal

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Salted Caramel GU

Pet peeve: Running with earphones

Goals: Run at least a mile everyday until Thanksgiving 2020 … I am on day 246 (07/30/2020)

Your advice for a new runner: Just start and keep at it.

Favorite running book: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Song in your head during a run: None, see pet peeve above 🙂

Have you dealt with a major injury: No (knocks on wood)

Running quote: “It’s not so much that I began to run, but that I continued.” – Hal Higdon

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The plentiful trails and beautiful parks and historical sites; friendly people; and except for a few weeks here and there, consistently decent weather.

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