Name: Samantha Kirby Cole
Self-described age group: 50-59
Occupation: Physical education teacher
Why you run: Running is my time to reflect on my day and defrag my mind.
When did you get started running: I started running when I was in elementary school. When I was 7 years old I thought my older siblings were super cool. My brothers started running track so I joined too.
Name: Jonathan Terrell
Self-described age group: 55-59
Residence: Washington, DC
Occupation: President of KCIC Consulting
Volunteer roles in the running world: I love to help new runners in their dreams to complete long courses.
Name: Kaitlynn Glover
Self-described age group: F 25-29
Residence: NE D.C.
Occupation: Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Advisor
Volunteer roles in the running world: I’ve volunteered at an assortment of local charity road races over the years.
Why you run: I thrive in high-stress environments and when I have a consistent routine, but I’m an introvert. That combination can sometimes be difficult to maintain for any length of time. Running gives me a time-efficient way to take care of my body and mind, process issues without distraction, and grab a few quiet, conversation-less minutes. Running has also changed the way I look at my body. I’ll likely never be fast enough to be competitive in my age group, but running has made me appreciate my body for what it can do, and has made my fitness goals much less about appearance and much more about surviving a couple hours traipsing through the mountains.
Name: Cody Uhing
Self-described age group: 25-29
Residence: SE D.C.
Occupation: Press Secretary, First Five Years Fund
Why you run: There is no better way to learn about your city than hitting the streets. When I first moved to D.C., knowing no one, I decided it was time to pick a hobby that got me out of my neighborhood and into the city. Since then, I joined a running club and my motivation became running my first marathon. Like many others, that first marathon was all it took. I signed up for my second the next year. This year, I am taking my running home to Nebraska for the Sept. 15 Omaha Marathon, which is also going to be my final long training run for the MCM50K.
When did you get started running: As a high school student I was never fast enough to compete in track, and our small town had no XC team. That said, I still enjoyed the alone time I had when I would go for a run around town. Now I do it for the camaraderie and friendships I have made over the years of running in D.C.
Name: Stephanie Balaconis
Self-described age group: Female 31-40
Occupation: Corporate Digital Marketing Manager
Volunteer roles in the running world: I led a running group in Ohio before I moved to D.C. (shout out to Up and Running)
Why you run: I run because it helps me clear my mind and relax.
When did you get started running: I started running in high school with my dad. It was a way to spend time with him and do some conditioning for softball. He was always a runner and had ran a marathon when I was small. I always thought, “how cool it would be if I could do that too!” So, I started running too.
Name: Ricardo J. Salvador
Self-described age group: 60 – 65
Residence: Cloverly, Md.
Occupation: Director and Senior Scientist, Food & Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists
Why you run: The usual! Fitness, mental sanity, longevity. This is thoroughly for lifestyle reasons, as I don‘t have a single competitive bone in my body, and rarely run in organized events (and then overwhelmingly marathons, for the course support.) I‘d rather run alone with my thoughts—for a long time!
Name: Erika Fields
Self-described age group: 40-45
Residence: NE D.C.
Occupation: Operations Manager for Circa Lighting
Why you run: Fresh air and exercise cures most woes.
When did you get started running: I remember joining my dad for Turkey Trot 5K when was around 10 years old.
Have you taken a break from running: I take breaks all the time. I’m currently trying to get back into a running routine after a break.
Training shoe: Running in Brooks Ghosts right now. I don’t have loyalty to a specific brand or style. Every time I need a new shoe, I get a fresh assessment at a local running store and try something new.
Name: Laura Povlich
Self-described age group: 35-39
Occupation: Program Director at NIH
Volunteer roles in the running world: Event Coordinator for my local triathlon club, District Multisport
Why you run: My motivation for running has changed throughout the years, but I’m currently motivated to get outside, see new and beautiful places, and spend some miles with running friends.
When did you get started running: I started running about 12 years ago to try to get into shape after undergrad. I spent most of my younger years dancing and running seemed like a logical hobby to pick up. My husband also started racing triathlons around that time and I was inspired by the variety of athletes that competed.
Name: Dr. Joseph Spears, Jr
Self-described age group: 50-54
Residence: Brandywine, Md.
Occupation: Associate Professor Sport Mgmt. at Bowie State University.
Volunteer roles in the running world: Help out with races, very active in my church and serving local community service groups for males, youth sports and mentorship outreach.
Why you run: Running, for me, is a lifestyle that influences my spirit, soul and body; it’s as equal to me as a life of prayer.