Name: Dave Beltz
Self-described age group: 50
Residence: Arlington, Va.
Occupation: Federal Government Manager
Why you run: I run because I love it. It is a great stress reliever, easy to do almost any time of year, and if you don’t enter races, a cheap form of exercise. I also really like the running community – at races, online, and just out on the local running trails. We’re all in it together, and I like that feeling.
Name: Amanda Pinzon
Self-described age group: 25-29
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Public school teacher
Volunteer roles in the running world: Girls on the Run coach at my school!
Why you run: I run because it makes me feel powerful and makes me push myself. I’ve never been the most competitive person, but I do love setting new goals for myself. Even on days when I feel lazy, I finish my runs feeling happier, healthier, and fulfilled for the day.
When did you get started running: I started my freshman year of high school when I joined the cross country team. I had always enjoyed running the mile in middle school and felt like running was the only sport I felt comfortable doing. Spoiler alert, I threw up after my first practice. But it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This is when my love of distance running began (back when I considered 5k distance!). That team holds a special place in my heart.
Name: Marc Wolfson
Self-described age group: Men 65-69 (and looking forward to “aging up” to the 70-74 age group in November!)
Occupation: Retired Coast Guard Officer and civil servant for a total of 42 years of federal government service
Volunteer roles in the running world: I’ve volunteered for numerous MCRRC races at water stops, course marshal, and finish line announcer. I have also served as a pace group leader for the Baltimore Marathon several times
Why you run: I love the way running makes me feel physically, mentally and emotionally. My training runs are often an exercise in what I like to call “moving meditation.” Racing is the icing on the cake. Its an opportunity to gather with fellow runners and celebrate the sport that brings us together.
Name: Sara Burback
Self-described age group: 33
Residence: Washington, DC
Occupation: Nonprofit, international development sector
Volunteer roles in the running world: Leader of D.C.’s Christ City Church mission team to Israel and Palestine, where nine team members completed the half marathon.
Why you run: I run to process my day. I run to set goals and realize I’m capable of more than I think I am. I run to bond with my sister and nephews when I visit them. I run to exercise my right to movement. I run because I want to set an example that girls and women can do this, and there is power in our numbers. I run because it is act of nonviolent resistance. I run because it is an embodied metaphor of overcoming, endurance, and being a bad-ass when facing new and ongoing challenges. I run because it’s a way to explore the world. I run because I love the friends I have made in the running community. I run to tell a different story.
Name: Tyler Kameh
Self-described age group: 20 somethings
Residence: Falls Church
Occupation: Cardiac Technician (think EKG’s and stress tests)
Volunteer roles in the running world: I am a volunteer/mentor with Teens Run D.C., an awesome D.C.-area non-profit that facilitates youth mentorship and healthy habits through running. I also try to volunteer at local races when I can. I hope to pace in local races to come.
Name: Laura Cloher
Self-described age group: 35-39
Volunteer roles in the running world: Girls on the Run coach, fun run leader for the former Pacers Running store in Silver Spring, 3x pacer for Parks Half Marathon, coach for XMP (Experienced Marathon Program)
Why you run: Running makes me feel alive and is a wonderful stress reliever.
When did you get started running: I started running my senior year of high school to get into better shape. I made a goal by the time I turned 30 to run 5 marathons and I surpassed that goal by 12, running a total of 17 marathons (three were 50K’s) by the time I turned 30!
Name: Mike J. Grinnell (@MikeJGrinnell)
Self-described age group: My head says 20’s, but my last race told me I was the second fastest in the Master’s Division
Residence: West Springfield, Va.
Occupation: Design and Construction Consultant
Volunteer roles in the running world: Water bottle holder/ iPhone DJ for my wife and daughters in their races
Why you run: It’s a great way to stay in shape and long runs serve as great therapy for anything going on in your life.
When did you get started running: I was late to come over to the sport. As I got into my 30’s I needed to find sports that didn’t take a toll on my body as much. That’s when my friends Amy and Kate invited me to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach with them. Immediately after the race, I swore I was done. Now here I am.
Name: Meg Ryan
Self-described age group: F 35-39
Residence: Takoma Park
Occupation: Designer at darbstudio, mother, creative maven
Volunteer roles in the running world: I started a local running club – Takoma Park Road Runners – this past fall to bridge a connection to many of my fellow neighbors I would pass along our footpaths and trails. Since my return to running last spring, I was excited to grow my running community all over again and feel a sense of camaraderie in numbers. I also co-captain the spring running club at my daughters’ elementary school which aims to get kids ready to participate in the TKPK Safe Routes to School race in early May. We work on the basic FUNdamentals of running but most of all its exciting to see them enjoy racing each other down the field.
Why you run: I believe the majority of the reasons remain the same but now as a mother of two little energetic girls, it’s added new meaning. I run as meditation (never been a sit down “ohm” type). I run to reclaim my time and embrace the power of me. I run to be a stronger, more positive and supportive member of my family. I run to challenge the extent of my capabilities and of course, we all love the fact that here in the district the journey is sometimes best done on foot.
Name: Brad Byrnes
Self-described age group: Pre-Masters (almost 40)
Occupation: Federal Police Officer and former head XC coach at Bishop Ireton HS
Volunteer roles in the running world: I’m one of the few that can claim membership in the old Pacers Ambassador program. That was a long time ago and I haven’t volunteered a lot since then…that needs to change. I did coach the Boys on the Run program at the Grace Episcopal Elementary School for 5+ years which was a lot of fun.
Why you run: Mostly to race and compete against others but I’m always challenging myself as well. As we get older, beating our old selves becomes more and more of an obsession. Running is also my time to decompress and escape for a bit.
When did you get started running: I tried every sport in the book but nothing really caught on. A high school friend suggested I come out for the track team so I did that my sophomore year. I ran my first XC season that fall of my junior year and the rest is history.
Have you taken a break from running: My first two years of college I really didn’t run much at all and instead spent more time with weights in the gym and playing rugby. The rugby guys liked me because I had endurance and didn’t drink which meant there was at least one sober player at our matches.
Self-described age group: 35-39
Occupation: Special Education Teacher
Volunteer roles in the running world: I love being a Race Pacer for marathons, half marathons, 10k’s and 5k’s.I have paced as many races as I have raced. I also love to be on the course volunteer for races.
Why you run: I run for a lot of reasons. I started as a way to keep in shape, I continued to run because it kept me even keeled during stressful times, and I will continue to do it because I love the people it brings into my life. It is an ingrained part of who I am at this point.