As a runner, I am really into race times, paces, etc. Not that I obsess over comparing myself to others, but it really interests me to see what types of runners are hitting specific times. Like elite club runners finishing sub-16 minute 5K’s, or a 45-year-old running a 1:25 half marathon. It’s really what motivates me and encourages me to continue to set goals. As I think about myself getting older, seeing these runners still smashing times and setting PRs inspires me to keep pushing myself. When I see 60+ year old men and women running alongside me in races, I’m not embarrassed or intimidated because we’re on the same running level, I’m excited to realize that my best is still in front of me (if I want it to be).
Name: Laurance Frierson
Self-described age group: 35
Residence: Adams Morgan
Occupation: Attorney; moonlight artist
Why you run: Hot days when you’re mashing footsteps smooth enough to tickle trees; nights when you are small with the fireflies; and pack running when breathing becomes a language.
Name: Katie Morgan
Self-described age group: Under 30 crowd
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: I work in the environmental advocacy space, currently at Ocean Conservancy
Volunteer roles in the running world: I joined the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club – Rock Creek Crew last year in order to give back to the trails that I run on every week, and have loved it ever since. The club goes out each month and helps repair and restore sections of trail in Rock Creek Park that need a little love – last month we patched up a section of the Battery Kemble trail. We repair wash outs after big rain storms to blow downs from big wind events, general trail maintenance, invasive control and everything in-between. We work with the National Park Service, and it is a fantastic way for me and my fellow volunteers to give back to the trails we love! I’ve learned so much – how to use a pick mattock, dig a trench, position trails to reduce erosion and spot issues on trails I otherwise never would have paid attention to. As an avid trail runner, this is probably my favorite activity outside of running each month, and it gives me great pride each time I run over trails I helped restore.
Name: Jess Micciolo
Self-described age group: Right in the middle of 25-29
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Why you run: I run because I love the feeling of pushing myself and achieving goals I didn’t think were possible when I set them. The joy of breaking a PR makes the weeks of hard training and all of the setbacks worth it.
Self-described age group: Thirties
Residence: Columbia Heights
Occupation: External relations and outreach manager, Trust for America’s Health
Why you run: I love it – both competitively and recreationally – and, it makes me feel good. I also love the outdoors and exploring, so running is a great way to combine the two.
Name: Patrick Hughes
Self-described age group: Too young for masters, too old to beat the college kids
Residence: H Street NE
Occupation: Clean energy lobbyist
Why you run: I have a competitive personality, no matter what I’m doing, and that definitely keeps me working to improve myself. I do my best training when I have a goal race coming up. That being said, running also gives me time to think about things without the distractions of everyday life. I also run to connect with friends, whether it’s my old college teammates or the Argonaut Running Club squad, I love running as a social activity. Running is also a great way to get around the city (I often run-commute to and from work and “run” errands).
Name: Megan Grimaldi
Self-described age group: Not yet 40, but almost
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Nonprofit research/evaluation
Why you run: To feel healthy, connect with something bigger than me, and leave the messiness of life behind. Being outside in nature, seeing wildlife, and smiling at other runners in the early morning is one of the most rewarding experiences I can imagine.
Name: Frank Prusik
Self-described age group: 55-59
Occupation: Business Operations Manager
Why you run: Running has become an integral part of my life. I run to stay fit, both physically and mentally, and I run for the personal challenge. A run at the end of the work day helps me decompress from the stress of sitting behind a desk all day and coping with deadlines. I’ve solved many problems on long runs, other times my problems go away during the run. I also enjoy competing in races to see if I can improve my performance. There’s a great quote from Gail Kislevitz that sums it up, “I don’t know when I made the transformation from running as a sport to running as part of my life. I can’t separate the two.”
Name: Meghan Maloney
Self-described age group: The dreaded super competitive 30s group
Residence: Old Town Alexandria
Occupation: Project Manager
Why you run: Mostly to stay healthy and active, but I just love the feeling of running far and fast
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.