Washington, DC

Name: Justin Knoernschild

Self-described age group: 30-35

Residence: Alexandria

Occupation: Voter registration & elections.  Have you moved since you last voted? Check on your registration status and vote early to avoid any last minute problems in November

Volunteer roles in the running world: I help time races for Pacers Events, but I really just drive trucks around and setup equipment in the early morning

How has your running changed in the last six months: I put in more miles than normal in the spring to have some sense of normalcy and routine, but the past few months have just been getting out when I have time to relax and recover mentally

Why you run: I love to race and push myself, but it has helped me so much with focus, work ethic and stress relief

When did you get started running: In high school trying to condition for soccer tryouts.  Then I learned I had no footwork but enjoyed racing and the people

Have you taken a break from running: A few times here and there due to small injuries, but no more than a couple months at a time

Training shoe: Current rotation is New Balance 860, 870 and Hoka Arahi, but really anything with moderate stability and an arch

Coach or training group: Old Town fun run group, I don’t do too well following a coach’s training plan

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Marine Corps 2017, went out too fast and hit the wall hard but kept moving forward and finished

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Not so much myself, but pacing a friend at Leadville 100.  Altitude hurts but staying awake for 24+ hours at 10,000 ft with friends makes for some interesting stories

Running mentors: No true mentors, but many training partners who have

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Does everywhere count?  Between the tracks, trails along the river and various loops in DC you can always find a good spot depending on the mood

Favorite local trail: C&O Canal, always nice and relaxing in the early morning and if you get bored with a section you can head further up river

My best race was: Richmond half last year, followed my race plan and hit my goal instead of going out too fast and imploding

Favorite local race:  Crystal City 5K Fridays, a great way to welcome spring and seeing all the faces is always a great start to the weekend

Ideal post-run meal: Anything at the party tent after Marine Corps

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: black cherry shot blocks

Pet peeve: Anyone who is three wide taking up a whole trail, especially when they have headphones in and can’t hear you announce yourself

Goals:  Run a sub-3 hour marathon.  Longer distances have never been my strong suite but they hope me focus on consistency and my weaknesses

Your advice for a new runner: Don’t stress on pace, just try to get out, find a group and distance you enjoy then keep building bit by bit

Favorite running book: I honestly haven’t read enough about running to have a favorite

Song in your head during a run: Hungry Like the Wolf

Have you dealt with a major injury: Some calf strains to remind me I need to focus on recovery more than I used to but nothing major

Running quote: The only good pace is a suicidal pace and today’s a great day to die.  It just makes me think of consistently challenging yourself to keep pushing your comfort zone

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  The variety of runners you will come across.  I have met runners that have gone to Olympic Trials, helped fit brand new runners in charities such as Back On My Feet, but above all so many people who are excited for another runner’s accomplishments no matter the level

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