Name: Brian Kapur
Self-described age group: 31
Occupation: Operations manager at a dental office and freelance journalist
Why you run: I run for the physical and mental health benefits. It helped me reverse several health problems and lose 65 pounds. In addition, the thrill of pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible.
Name: Rachel Clark
Self-described age group: 27
Residence: Logan Circle, DC
Occupation: Digital consultant
Volunteer roles in the running world: The occasional volunteer shift at one of DC’s parkruns.
Why you run: It’s been hugely important in maintaining my mental health. It’s one of the times when I do my most productive thinking about problems or opportunities at work or in life. And I love going on a long run and then being able to murder a brunch and call it “recovery.”
Name: Thong Tran
Self-described age group: 41
Volunteer roles in the running world: Volunteer with local groups such as Trottin Oxen and DC Capital Striders
Why you run: I currently run as an outlet to stress, anxiety and depression. But I started my current foray in 2015 when my cholesterol was through the roof. I signed up for my first and supposed one-and-done marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. 2016, to help me lose weight and get my labs under control (I’m no longer on any cholesterol medications!)
When did you get started running: I ran in high school, both cross country and track, at the suggestion of my 10th grade PE teacher.
Have you taken a break from running: After high school I really didn’t run until seven years ago, my coworker asked if I wanted to run a half marathon with her (Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. 2013). I signed up, she canceled lol. I remember getting to the point where the half and full split and thinking…those guys are crazy, I would never do that! Then I stopped running until my cholesterol labs came back bad!
Name: Justine Bello
Self-described age group: 30s
Residence: Kingman Park, Washington DC
Occupation: Conservator at the National Park Service
Why you run: I love working hard: it brings me joy and satisfaction. I am my best self when I run.
Name: Lisa Johnston
Self-described age group: Almost a Master
Occupation: Environmental Scientist
Volunteer roles in the running world: Run club at my girl’s elementary school
Why you run: loaded question, could write a novel on this topic, but for today – I run for self therapy and to set a good example for my girls (8 and 12)
When did you get started running: eighth grade track (like 1,000 years ago)
Name: Bobby Huang
Name: Julie Lawson
Self-described age group: 41
Residence: Takoma, D.C.
Occupation: I am the Director of the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City, which means I work with agencies and advise Mayor Bowser on environmental policy, particularly on trash and litter. Before this, I was founder and executive director of Trash Free Maryland. I love the Anacostia River, Chesapeake Bay and oceans!
Volunteer roles in the running world: I loved coaching for Girls on the Run, and especially their middle-school program, Girls on Track. The girls inspired me every day.
Why you run: Over the years, the reasons have varied–fitness, clearing my head, burning off my dog’s energy. The reason I keep at it is because it makes other things I like to do, like riding my bike or hiking, easier and more fun.
Name: Jason Lufkin
Self-described age group: 37
Residence: Capitol Hill
Occupation: Management consultant specializing in risk advisory & business transformation
Why you run: I spent a lot of time thinking about my Why statement. It’s simple though – I run because it gives me joy.
When did you get started running: I started running in 1996 leading up to freshman year cross country after my parents had forced me to sign up for a fall sport. I remember wearing basketball shoes to my first practice and thought the one-mile warmup was the entire workout.
Have you taken a break from running: I ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track all through high school and then into my freshman year at the University of Maryland. The transition to training at the collegiate level was difficult though and I found myself completely burnt out after the fall 2000 XC season. The break from running lasted until 2015 when my wife convinced me to sign up for a 10K with her. That race reignited my passion for running and racing.
Name: Erin Cunningham
Self-described age group: I’m 30
Residence: Capitol Hill, D.C.
Occupation: Sometimes server, sometimes host, sometimes junior manager at Chloe, a restaurant in the DC Navy Yard.
Volunteer roles in the running world: I’ve never volunteered! Making a mental note to do some volunteering this year.
Why you run: I was inspired to start by my mom, who’s been running longer than I’ve been alive. She’s finished 32 marathons! I was never super athletic at any point in my life, always active to an extent, but that really dropped off during my twenties. Eventually I got the itch to start doing something and running seemed like a good idea. It’s also helpful for me because I work in a high stress environment and it’s a great way to relax, almost meditative.
Name: Nate Rathjen
Self-described age group: slowly admitting I’m not a recent college grad anymore (25)
Residence: Historic downtown Leesburg!
Occupation: IT guy
Volunteer roles in the running world: Treasurer, Loudoun Road Runners
Why you run: What’s not to love? It’s free. I love exploring on foot. I meet awesome people. It’s a really time-efficient way to stay in shape. Also, I’d be lying if I said part of it wasn’t being able to eat whatever I want. Food’s a big motive.
When did you get started running: Actually, it all started when I ended up on UVA’s club quidditch team in 2012, my first year there. If you’re wondering what that looks like as a sport, combine basketball, rugby, and dodgeball, move the whole thing outside, and you’re close! Later that fall someone started group runs to work on the team’s conditioning, we became training partners, and the rest is history.