Name: Don Laub
Self-described age group: 60s
Residence: Cabin John, Md.
Occupation: Retired for now
Volunteer roles in the running world: None in running, although I worked with The Phoenix for some of their climbing and CrossFit activities in Boulder and Denver. The Phoenix is a sober, active community that started in Boulder in 2006 and now serves recovering alcoholics and addicts in 44 cities.
How has your running changed in the last six months: It is more consistent.
Why you run: I love running. It bolsters my emotional health especially given the stresses of the pandemic.
When did you get started running: In my later teen years, inspired by Prefontaine and Lasse Viren.
Have you taken a break from running: From the late 90s to 2007, running didn’t fit my lifestyle very often. Challenging career, more challenging commute.
Training shoe: Mostly Nike React Infinity, but I love my New Balance Fresh Foam Beacons.
The hardest race you’ve ever run: A 5k in Tulsa in 1978. I tried to go out with a bunch of guys wearing University of Arkansas warmups and Kansas Relays Champion t-shirts. Half a mile in, I was sick by the side of the road. I discovered later that these guys set a Kansas Relays record in the 4 x 1 mile.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I signed up with Run the Alps. to run the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt in 2018. The scenery was beyond description, the trails were challenging, and our guides were amazing. Finishing long days in the mountains with espresso and tarts worked for me.
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: The C&O Canal Towpath
Favorite local trail: The Towpath.
My best race was: The 2018 GW Parkway 10 Miler: My first race in 40 years.
Favorite local: The GW Parkway Classic. Beautiful route at maybe the DMV’s best time of year.
Ideal post-run meal: As much as I’d like to say something like a good burger, in practice, it tends to be eggs on pasta or rice.
Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: SkratchLabs matcha tea and lemon hydration/fruit drops
Pet peeve: Not necessarily running-related, but running out of coffee would top the list.
Goals: For now, reduce my ground contact time. When we start racing again, maybe 90-minute 10-miler or a two-hour half.
Your advice for a new runner: Keep at it. Don’t get down on yourself for the bad days; relish the good ones.
Favorite running book: Two Hours by Ed Caesar
Song in your head during a run: whatever catches
Have you dealt with a major injury: A compression fracture of a lumbar vertebra. No bending, twisting, or lifting more than 10 pounds for months. Running post-recovery was never sweeter.
Running quote: When a run gets difficult, I think less about a quote, and more about Eliud Kipchoge smiling when he’s hurting.
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: There’s so much to choose from here! The trails in D.C. and the suburbs are magnificent.