Rock N Roll DC & #DRCcheersquad

Race Morning- Runner, Greg Jackson:

“It was a cool Saturday morning and despite my nerves, at 6AM I got a call from a fellow DRCer to make sure I was awake and ready to take on the RockNRoll Half Marathon.  When we arrived to the start, the first faces I greeted were 4 other soldiers diving into this early spring race.  At the starting line, I recall having to cut my phone off because of all the good luck texts and the buzzing of the DRC #Cheersquad GroupMe as folks arrived at mile 11 to cheer us on.  

For me, running has always been more of a solo activity where I tune out the world to some of my favorite trap songs, audio books or smooth jazz, but through DRC I’ve joined a village of ‘non-runners’ that coincidentally run all the time…  And here we were, about 7 of us at the starting line among 18,000 runners from all over the world.  Along the course, there were so many people running that every step I was passing or getting passed by someone new but with every stride I found myself keeping an eye out for my fellow DRCers.  From drafting Tay at mile one to pacing with Carolina at mile 4, the group of 18,000 felt very small and more like a walk down my street of neighbors.  At mile six we faced one of the toughest miles I’ve ever run and the repercussions of that hill threw me off for about 3 miles.  But as we approached mile 11, I was anxious to connect with our DRC #Cheersquad on H Street, so I dug deep to push through for the family.  To my surprise, there were over 20 people with the DRC #Cheersquad!  With their music blasting, DRC gear branded, I found the group full of smiles and energy as we approached.  

 

 

The Cheer Squad Experience- Von Williams

“If you don’t run….you must CHEER” and that’s exactly what we did! After receiving upwards of 75 messages from the #Cheersquad all details were set. When I arrived on H Street (Mile 11) the #CheerSquad was beyond hype. I felt an instantaneous euphoric high when I saw the crew. Bullhorns, cowbells, confetti, music, and our DRC flag – it’s a celebration!  Celebrating all the marathon runners – especially our crew members. It was amazing to see the sea of runners that filled the street – young girls and boys, older men and women, American soldiers (running with the American flag), and even a few guest appearances from Spiderman and Chewbacca.

With a cowbell in my hand stamped with the DRC sticker, I got to work alongside my Crew. Generously giving out encouraging words, high fives, water bottles, and confetti showers to as many runners that ran across our paths. This party got real, real quick! “You can do it”, “You’re almost there”, “Only a few miles to go” – you would immediately see the runners faces light up like it was the first day of school and you knew you’re outfit was on point!  It was instantly gratifying when you’d see the runners frowns turned into smiles, or their walk turn into a light jog, even when their hung heads lifted. You could just feel the transfer of energy from us to them.

We were tracking our own DRC crew members, so the anticipation grew among the group when we knew someone was quickly approaching.  We had to give them that extra special crew love. One after another, we would see the crew’s eyes light up as they approached mile 11 – only 2 miles to go.  

 

Finishing the race strong– Runner, Grey Jackson

Despite being exhausted, it was a blast passing the crew, as I was hit with confetti, greeted with water (which I threw back on them in excitement) and sent on my way by Cliff with the big DRC flag!  Miles 12-13 were hard fought, but I felt like I had the whole team behind me every step of that final push.  At the finish line, I quickly saw some of our fellow DRC folks and after sharing battle stories, we took a great group photo.  After the race, we met up with the larger fam for a great brunch at Red Rocks on H street.  I’m sure I had a few too many mimosas, but who better to celebrate a boozy brunch than my DRC running fam! After a heartfelt toast from one of the founders Matt, we all went on our merry way with our eye on the next big race…will you be the next one we celebrate!?!

 

About Von:

I started running with DRC in 2014.

I wasn’t as active as I knew I could be, so I wanted to challenge myself and reintroduce a familiar habit and a onetime love – running. In advance of running with DRC, I had the opportunity to meet some incredibly dope individuals who were running with the DRC crew. They would independently (and sometimes collectively) say what are you doing Wednesday? No matter my response, I’d here “Come run with us” at the Coupe.  After hearing discussions about the routes, the after run challenges, fellowship, and equally the “turn up”. I decided to at least check it out – their energy was too contagious not to.  

My 2016 running goal is to become a more consistent and holistic runner; progressing not only physically but mentally.

 

About Greg:

I’ve been running with DRC since the early spring of 2015.

As a survivor of gun violence that was handicapped for six months, running for me is an empowering reminder of how far I’ve come in my recovery from a near fatal incident.  Running is also one of my favorite forms of cardio, because it allows me to find a unique inner solitude in this busy city of ours.  

My 2016 goal is to effectively integrate running into my weekly fitness routine and to complete at least 5 races longer than a 5K.

 

DRC Ladies Celebrate International Women’s Day

 

IWDRUN_Group

 

“How can you support the woman standing right next to you?”

This was a question that was asked by our very own captain, Ashlee, at our recent DRC Formation Run. The event was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The idea of global runs to celebrate IWD was actually started VoltWomen (Make sure to check out their Tumblr page!). Its purpose is to help women reach their physical goals through running and to overcome the mental obstacles that may come with that. Because DRC is all for positivity, it made sense to partner up and show support (because who doesn’t want to be a part of something that dope? Duh!).

 



As a fitness enthusiast and avid supporter of DRC, I had to be a part of this special event. I was even calling some of my friends out on Instagram to make sure that they would come (It’s all about accountability folks!). I’m glad to say that most of them came out and they had a blast!

What’s more fitting than to host this type of event at a woman-owned business? JRINK Juicery was so awesome for allowing the use their space before and after the run. There was even a little table that was set up with DRC stuff and gift bags that were sponsored by Chelsea Collective for each lady runner that participated. I’m looking forward to heading out to their store in Tyson’s corner to check them out!


Before we started, we went over some announcements and got to take some cool photos (what’s a DRC run without some official head shots, snaps, and pics for the ‘gram?). Soon after, we headed to the White House to start those miles. Ready…Set…Run! In usual DRC fashion (or formation), we had the music blastin’. This time, however, we rocked out to girls’ anthems sung by none other than Beyoncé and Cyndi Lauper, and Nicki Minaj just to name a few (Shoutout to our other lady captain, Jasmine for the tunes!) Speaking of captains, I was really glad to see that some of the guys volunteered to help pace us. They really helped us to keep going!

During the run, I saw smiles, support, and enthusiasm. What I didn’t see? Women tearing each other down. DRC is a family and we’re all about community and uplifting the person next to us. We finished those miles strong and that’s what matters most.


Once we got back to JRINK, we closed the night out with JRINKmosas and cupcakes (Everything in moderation!). After I mingled and purchased some juice, I left with the satisfaction of being part of something great. I’m looking forward to the next DRC event geared towards us ladies!

Just like with running, it takes perseverance and mental strength to move through the world as a woman. Don’t be afraid to sweat out those edges or ruin your makeup. Roll up your sleeves and woman up. Life is waiting for you to conquer it!

So again…What can you do to support the woman standing next to you? Make sure she gets to the finish line. Be her cheerleader when she’s trying to smash her goals. Be open and smile. This goes beyond running and International Women’s Day. It’s how we should strive to live as women. Running is only one way. 🙂


Who run the world? Girls! Why? ‘Cause we slay!

See more photos here

By Latosha Thomas
Running the District since: 2015

I #RUNDRC because of the accountability, commitment, and enthusiasm of the group. If I miss a week (which is rare), I feel like I’ve missed out on something big.
My first DRC event was the Broccoli City 5K in 2015. A friend of mine encouraged me to sign up. After talking to some of the captains (Carlos and Jason), I decided to come to the weekly runs.
I’ve been running with DRC since April 2015 and have enjoyed every bit of it. In addition to the Broccoli City 5K and other DRC events, I ran my first half marathon in Miami this past January! In 2016, I plan to run the Brooklyn Half and Navy/Air Force Half. I’d also like to improve my running form and speed this year.

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