Name: Alayna Bigalbal
Self-described age group: 25
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.
Name: Paul Wester
Self-described age group: 50-55
Residence: Beltsville, Md.
Occupation: Director of the National Agricultural Library
How has your running changed in the last few months: Except for the mask and reducing mileage because of the heat, not much.
Why you run: Fitness and to clear my mind for the day.
Name: Maggie Edwards
Self-described age group: The Last of the Millennials
Residence: Navy Yard
Occupation: Policy and Advocacy Associate
How has your running changed in the last few months: I was training for the Pittsburgh Marathon (which did switch to virtual), so nothing has been super out of the ordinary for what my running looks like in a “normal” spring/summer
Why you run: I run because 1. I like the goal-oriented nature of running and being able to accomplish something new (whether that be a new distance or run a new course) and 2. it keeps me sane.
Name: Nikki Pisha
Self-described age group: 30-34
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Art Curator
Volunteer roles in the running world: I’ve coached several friends and my husband to their first marathon starting lines. It is incredibly rewarding to watch them put in the work and hit their goals.
How has your running changed in the last few months: Honestly, not really. I’ve always enjoyed running solo, so I’ve been doing even more of that. Even though I love racing, I don’t run for the racing. I run to compete against myself and push myself. I usually go out around 5 a.m., so it’s been nice to keep that up and enjoy all the empty trails without having to dodge other runners too. I’m so thankful to have my running to lean on right now.
Why you run: I am an only child, and I need time for myself. Running gives me that. It allows me to push myself in ways that I never thought imaginable and work really hard which is extremely rewarding. It also gives me the best outlet to just be me and get lost in my thoughts. I’ve run in this area for over a decade now, and there is nothing better than running a route I know well and getting so lost in thought that I come back to reality several miles later and realize I’m almost home.
On July 12, Silver Spring’s Shlomo Fishman will be running 40 miles around Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington D.C. to raise money for the Kids In Action programs at the HSC Pediatric Center, providing inclusive recreation services for kids with developmental and physical disability. Find out more and donate here.
Name: Shlomo Fishman
Self-described age group: Competitive Open Male Division
Residence: Silver Spring
Occupation: Wellness Fitness Specialist
Volunteer roles in the running world: My volunteering ranges from being course marshal, to assisting with the City of Rockville youth track meets, and any other roles as needed within the Montgomery County and D.C. area.
Why you run: Running allows me to be the best person I can be. When I push myself during a workout or a run, it allows me to apply it to any challenges or stressors I may face in day-to-day living.
Name: Ryan Bos
Self-described age group: 45-50
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Executive Director, Capital Pride Alliance
Volunteer roles in the running world: Organized a challenging 8K trail and road race off of Lake Michigan, called the Tower Run.
Why you run: To stay fit, mentally healthy, and be able to indulge my sweet tooth for dark chocolate.
When did you get started running: Playing night time team tag growing up in my neighborhood, as early as third and fourth grade.
Have you taken a break from running: Yes. I had some knee issues after high school, come to find out I needed a heel lift in my right shoe because my leg was shorter. More recently I took about 2.5 months off because of COVID-19 and a follow-up condition that had me in the hospital for about 10 days.
Name: Jackie Ogden
Self-described age group: whatever 30 falls into
Residence: Logan Circle
Occupation: Capital markets strategist
How has your running changed in the last few weeks: Learning to manage breathing with a mask is adding some solid lung capacity. Definitely avoiding some of the more crowded paths along the Potomac, where possible! It has been fun to explore some alternative, less crowded running routes through the city!
Why you run: I do it for mental wellness, for friendship and community (shoutout to my beautiful running crew, Knife Hands, @goknifehands) and because I need balance for all of the sweets I eat.
Name: Ciara (Donohue) Adam
Self-described age group: I am 23 so in races, I guess the age group 20-30?
Residence: I live with my husband in Winchester, Virginia
Occupation: I am a registered nurse at Winchester Medical Center
Volunteer roles in the running world: I can’t think of a volunteer role I have had with the running world recently, but I am hoping to look more into assistant coaching/volunteer coaching at local schools when the pandemic clears up.
How has your running changed in the last few weeks: Running the last few weeks has been a blessing. I work 12-hour night shifts in the hospital and when I fit in a run, I am always way less anxious about work. Fresh air has never felt better when you run after being in the hospital all day. New-nurse anxiety is a real thing topped off with being a new nurse during a crazy pandemic. Running is that something I am familiar with and keeps me grounded. In times of uncertainty, it feels wonderful to fall back to the sport I love most.
Why you run: Although I am not running near as much as I used to during high school and college, I find that when I do find the time to fit in good run, I am so much more relaxed and clear-minded. I find (as most people do) running as a de-stressor and I always feel 100% better when I get my feet out the door. It feels so good to challenge your body, feel your heart beating, and just be in your thoughts.
Name: Randall Myers
Self-described age group: Masters > 40
Occupation: Emergency Medicine Physician
Why you run: I enjoy training for, preparing for and competing in races
Name: Trevor Myers
Self-described age group: Grandmaster, not quite older than dirt
Occupation: Anesthesiologist-Dominion Anesthesia, Chief of Anesthesia Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington
Volunteer roles in the running world: Usually and obviously, I’m typically running the medical tent for larger races, but chip in anywhere I can.
How has your running changed in the last few weeks: My mental and physical exhaustion of the past six weeks has made it very difficult to find the energy to get time in, so I’ve returned to my favorite spot on the Potomac River over and over again
Why you run: Running has always been an escape for me, a respite in the storm of life. This has never been truer now, as we fight the scourge of Covid19.