Trekking Miles One Site at a Time | The American Word

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Trekking Miles One Site at a Time

Caroline Dowden | 9/19/16 12:30pm
| Updated 9/19/16 1:35pm

Caroline Dowden /
American Word Magazine

It’s no secret that Washington, D.C. is a fit city. In addition to visiting world leaders, lobbyists, and hillterns, there are also thousands of active individuals who take advantage of D.C.’s  running and biking routes and make time to get outside.

When you think of popular sites such as the National Mall or the Smithsonian National Zoo, you can probably imagine a plethora of runners who pass through the attractions daily. How do these runners find the willpower to stay active and to inspire others to do the same? 

Sunday, September 11, marked the inaugural event of The George Washington Patriot Run at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia. With over 2,000 attendees, the Patriot Run included a 5k, 10k and a special free “Fun Run” for children. The event was created to give aspiring runners a chance to make their way up and down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, explore the scenic home of our founding father and honor the 9/11 victims and heroes.  

After a morning of special contributions and plenty of sweat, participants agreed the Patriot Run was a successful way to motivate the athletic people of D.C. to get on their feet and to get out the door. The races were also perfect for newcomers to the fitness scene because they served as a way for newcomers  to kick off the fall year while getting the chance to explore Mount Vernon’s history. 

The sense of community and teamwork at the Patriot Run served as motivation for the participants. D.C.’s very own racePacket series, a program that serves as a running and racing guide for those who wish to stay active in the city, had participating members join in on Sunday morning’s event. Members can also use the program to stay up to date on the latest races. 

Tracy Dzibela, a member from Fredericksburg, VA and a 10k top finisher, expressed the importance of staying active, especially in a city like D.C., which is known for its health and fitness scene despite the fast pace and long work hours. Dzibela competed in the event through racePacket. An avid runner, Dzibela said participating in races is important to her.

“It’s the inaugural (race), so we made sure that we could make it,” Dzibela said. “My motto is, ‘you don’t get anything in life without working for it.’” 

Another participant, Jeff Harry, from Arlington, VA, gave advice for aspiring runners. “I think that a lot of people talk about doing things, and they don’t ever follow through with that,” Harry said.  “I think you should just get out there and do it.” 

The participants in the Patriot Run prove that there are no excuses when it comes to living a well-balanced lifestyle in the nation’s capital. These spontaneous runners of D.C. have done just that, and they encourage others to do the same.