Washington, DC

Name: Megan Schoffstall

Self-described age group: 30

Residence: Montclair, Va.

Occupation: Stay at home mom to four kids, part-time admin for Honorable Service Realty

How has your running changed in the last six months: I went from training for a mile on the track to training for a 50k!

Why do you run: To challenge myself

When did you get started running: I’ve only been running for two years. I started running after seeing my husband run his first marathon in Richmond in 2018. Seeing all the runners cross the finish line that day was so inspiring. I ventured out one evening with my sights set on four miles, not actually sure I would be able to make it back home. Well, I made it back home, and I’ve been running ever since.

Have you taken a break from running: No

Training shoe: Hoka Speedgoats for the trails. Hoka Clifton 6 for road.

Coach or training group: I train with Dairy Queen Track Club (DQTC) in Dumfries, Va. and my personal coach is Alec Villiva, who is also part of DQTC!

The hardest race you’ve ever run: I haven’t run many races. 2020 was my second full year for running, and since everything was canceled, I didn’t get a chance to race much. I did, however, try something new. I trained for the mile on a track. That was very difficult, as I had never done anything like that. I ended up running a 6:10, which I’m very proud of. I do know I have a sub-6 in me though. I learned so much through that training, and it made me a better runner.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I haven’t signed up yet because registration isn’t open but my most adventurous decision will be to sign up for the JFK 50 this year! I honestly cannot believe I’m at a point with my running that I feel confident enough to sign up for that distance!

Running mentors: Alec Villiva and his wife Kenzie. Alec and Kenzie both ran in college, and Alec was a cross country and track coach at Mary Washington; he’s so knowledgeable and tells you exactly what he thinks. They have both pushed me way out of my comfort zone many times and have shown me what I am capable of.

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: C&O Canal (I’d love to run the full length of the canal one day). Prince William Forest Park. Fountainhead Regional Park.

Favorite local trail: I run in Prince William Forest Park several times a week! I love that we have so many trails pretty much in our backyard!

My best race was: I ran my first trail race, No Mans 25k put on through Athletic Equations, in March 2020, right before everything shutdown for Covid. I went in not really knowing what to expect, and I ended up placing second overall.

Favorite local race: I really loved the Army Ten Miler! The course was great and the support was phenomenal.

Ideal post-run meal: Coffee and a breakfast burrito

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: I’m a big fan of Spring Energy! I love that it’s real food and the flavors are great! They just released a new flavor called Awesome Sauce and I think it might be my favorite. Another fuel that I always use is Tailwind.

Pet peeve: My biggest pet peeve is when someone is wearing earbuds on the trail.

Goals: I have several goals! I’d love to run a 50k, a 50 and 100 miler. Currently, I’m training for the Grayson Highland 50k in May, and I’m planning on signing up for the JFK 50 this year!

Your advice for a new runner: My advice to a new runner would be to just keep showing up. Day after day, just focus on showing up. Not every run is going to feel great. Some days will just be getting through that run. Other days will be the best run of your life. But you won’t have those great runs without also showing up for the mediocre runs.

Favorite running book: Sky Runner by Emelie Forsberg

Song in your head during a run: I prefer to listen to running podcasts while running: Ginger Runner Live, Billy Yang and Trail Runner Nation

Have you dealt with a major injury: No

Running quote: “Run Often! Run Far! Run Short! Run Fast! Run Slow! But never run away from the joy of running.” – Emelie Forsberg

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  This area offers something for every runner! Great running paths, such as the W&OD and the C&O Canal. Prince William Forest Park isn’t a far drive for great trails. And if you don’t mind a little bit longer of a drive, the mountains aren’t too far either! This area also has a great running community.

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