AUTHOR: Wingman karen nitkin
“It really was amazing that first season, going out and training on the NCR [North Central Railroad] trail. You really got to know everybody you were running with. And I stayed.”
This is her third year as Community Coordinator, a volunteer job that involves putting teams together and managing them at group training runs and races. Support from WingMen and from ASA leadership make the workload manageable, says Michele, who is an assistant preschool teacher.
Michele’s favorite race is the Across the Bay 10K. The ASA Athletes start first, so the bridge is empty and the sun is just coming up over the Chesapeake Bay. There’s time to stop and take photos before the elite runners come through. “There’s just something really neat about running on the bridge,” she says.
Michele started running in 2007, when her twin girls turned 2. “I needed to get out of the house,” she says. “I started by just literally running around the neighborhood. I couldn’t even do a 5K.”
But it wasn’t motivating or fun for Michele to run on her own. “With ASA, you know you’re going to have a great time, plus people are relying on you so it makes you want to get out there,” she says. “Running with the group is just so much more rewarding for me than running by myself. I do most of my running with ASA.”
If you’re thinking about joining, she says, give a Group Training Run a try. “We need more WingMen,” she says.