Washington, DC

Name: Emma Miller-Cvilikas

Self-described age group: 25-30

Residence: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: Healthcare consultant

How has your running changed in the last six months: Since the pandemic, I’ve actually been running more. Running really brings a sense of normalcy in my day and we all need a little normal right now. I’ve also become more of a morning runner to beat the heat. That was a BIG adjustment as I am not a morning person. However, I had to adapt since treadmills aren’t available to me.

Why you run: I run for my mental health, for fun, for a challenge, for sanity and really because I love it. The beauty of running is that your relationship evolves over time and running is always there. Even if you step away, you can always come back.

When did you get started running: When I was 13/14.

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Name: Exavier Watson

Self-described age group: 41

Residence: Montgomery County

Occupation: Government Contracting

Volunteer roles in the running world: Was the track meet director for four Tommie Smith Youth Track Meets in Washington, D.C., which brought over 25 youth track teams to D.C.; hosted by former U.S. Olympic track athletes in a full day of track competition and health awareness.

How has your running changed in the last six months:  I have transitioned from running to stay in race shape, to running for the enjoyment of it. Before the pandemic I was racing regularly and my runs and workouts were more intense; whereas now I actually enjoy the scenery and stop regularly to take pictures of things I see.

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Name: Ruth Driscoll-Lovejoy

Self-described age group: 30-35 (ageless wonder according to my husband)

Residence: Alexandria

Occupation: Environmental Policy Analyst

Volunteer roles in the running world:  I used to organize a volunteer team for the annual D’Feet Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk in Galveston, Texas. In DC, I’ve donated more than a few sweatshirts to MCMers for “throw-away” attire. My understanding is that these are collected and donated to charity after the race.

How has your running changed in the last six months: It’s been a lot of feeling like I’m getting somewhere, pausing, and having to start all over! The last race I ran was a half-marathon in November before I started a PRP (that’s platelet-rich plasma) treatment series that halted running for several months. With a stuttering start, I had just been cautiously cleared to begin running and build mileage in March. Over the last six months, I’ve gone from a painfully slow rebuild to being a steady 10K runner being forced to slow down again. The past few weeks, I’ve just been enjoying four-mile runs.

Why you run: I definitely run for balance and my mental and physical well-being and because I enjoy being a part of the running community. I also like to joke that running races is the closest I can get to that feeling of earning an A+ on a test. It doesn’t really matter where I place, but if I’ve trained and I do my best, I make the grade.

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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

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Name: Katelyn Engen

Self-described age group: 24-29

Residence: Kensington, Md.

Occupation: Collegiate athletic trainer

Volunteer roles in the running world: I ran my first race with Ainsleys Angels at the end of 2019, with hopes to do it more in 2020. Now my goal is to run more with them in 2021! They’re a group that organizes runners & chairs so everyone access to road racing. The National Capital Region group is fantastic.

How has your running changed in the last six months: I ran a ton the first few months, recently, since going back to work, I’m running a much more reasonable amount. I’ve found that more than ever, I run for my own well being & mental health, not just because I have a race to train for.

Why you run: Because I am way nicer & more patient on days I run!

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Name: Caroline Peterson

Self-described age group: 34

Residence: Woodbridge

Occupation: Graphic designer

How has your running changed in the last few months: I have been running more miles than I typically do during the summer.  Between more frequently and just higher miles

Why you run: I run for my own mental and physical health.

When did you get started running: I was laid off from work at the beginning of 2013, and I learned about color runs, so I decided to train for a 5k and then just kind of grew from there.

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Name: Joe Snowaert

Self-described age group: 25-29

Residence: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: Program Specialist FCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services

How has your running changed in the last few months: I’ve started running more and diving into some higher mileage weeks. I’ve also been doing a lot more trail running to get out of D.C. and some virtual races. Always thought virtual races were kind of silly, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Why you run: It has changed a lot, but right now I run because I love my running community and friends, my brain works so much better after a good run, and I am really curious what my body can do.

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Name: Alayna Bigalbal

Self-described age group: 25

Residence: Reston

Occupation: Civil Engineer

How has your running changed in the last few months: My running has definitely become more solitary due to the current pandemic and race cancellations. However, I am using this time to build up a strong running base, incorporate more strength training and drills.

Why you run: I run to challenge myself and give myself something to strive for. I love the sense of accomplishment after reaching a goal and then the determination/anticipation of hitting the next one. It is also a way for me to cope with stress and anxiety.

When did you get started running: I started running my sophomore year of high school.

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