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.

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Name: Shannon O’Neil

Self-described age group: 25-29

Residence: NE, DC

Occupation: Attorney

Volunteer roles in the running world: I’ve previously volunteered as a coach for Girls on the Run, and when I’m not running them myself, I can often be spotted spectating my heart out at local races.

How has your running changed in the last six months: I’ve battled a couple of injuries and basically given up on running with other people, but I’m also more grateful than ever for the days that I’m able to start my morning with a run.

Why you run: To experience something bigger than myself. Sometimes that’s the thrill of a race, or the camaraderie from a group workout. But sometimes it’s just getting to see the sun rise over the Anacostia River.

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Name: Chris Denno

Self-described age group: 30s? Mid 30s? … Late 30s 🙁

Residence: Suitland, Md.

Occupation: Special Assistant at the U.S. Census Bureau

How has your running changed in the last six months: Covid running has been unique, that’s for sure. My main running groups have met less frequently, so I’ve been relegated to the treadmill a bit more. That said, I have been fortunate to still have a small core group of people that are safe and responsible enough to continue to meet up. I had been training for two marathons in Fall 2020 (Bmore and Philly), so I had been in great shape. I’ve mostly been trying to maintain and not fall to far behind (the Covid 15 is real!!).

Why you run: I call running my asphalt therapy. Running literally saved my life and I continue to do it to maintain my sanity, especially during these sideways times. It is a great way to both spend time outside with some friends, but also spend some time alone, with few distractions, really focusing on yourself. Running gives you back whatever you put in, and you can push yourself as much as you want. I also run so I can maintain my beer and bread consumption, which is obscene.

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Name: Michaela Guerin Hackner

Self-described age group: The “faster as a master” crew

Residence: Arlington, but soon-to-be Bozeman, Mont.

Occupation: Design director, Upwork

How has your running changed in the last six months: For the past six years I’ve trained for triathlon and road races pretty much year-round in hopes of getting faster and hitting milestones like completing an Ironman and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I achieved both those goals, and at the start of the pandemic I was about a month away from running the Boston Marathon for the second time. That was postponed and well, most of life was postponed. So, while I started out doing challenges like the Yeti 24-hour Ultra, I quickly made the decision to give my body a much-needed break and take all goals off the table. That’s turned into running for fun and making time for other kinds of outdoor activities, like 15-mile hikes and cross-country skiing. We’re in the process of moving across the country to a place that is covered in snow, but my plan is to resume training more regularly once we’re settled again.

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Name: Josh Lasky

Self-described age group: “No longer spry but not yet seasoned” aka 30-39 (I’m 36)

Residence: Kingman Park

Occupation: Managing Director and Chief Strategist, LINK Strategic Partners (communications and social impact consultancy)

Volunteer roles in the running world: Member of the Board of Directors, Climate Ride

How has your running changed in the last six months: My running during the pandemic is mostly about maintaining my mental health. Running has created a much needed calm, focused space away from Zoom calls, my Twitter feed, and the non-stop 24-hour news cycle.

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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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