The New Run Commuters – August 2014

Here we are again and summer is nearly over. Wouldn’t fall be a great time to start run commuting? Give it a shot and send a brief email to info@theruncommuter.com telling us about yourself and your commute, and we’ll feature your story on The Run Commuter.

This month, we are featuring New Run Commuters Patrick Benko and Megan Allore. Patrick run commutes through Washington D.C. and documents the daily sights around the capital on Instagram.  Megan started run commuting to keep herself race-ready in between events, and enjoys the community feeling that running through Miami, Florida neighborhoods brings to her.

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Runner Basics

  • Name: Patrick Benko
image

Patrick Benko in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

  • Age: 33

  • City/State: Germantown, MD

  • Profession/Employer: American Public Health Association

  • Number of years running: 20+

  • # of races you participate in a year: 15

  • Do you prefer road or trail? As long as I am surrounded by green the surface doesn’t matter but I find a technical trail run my favorite.

Run Commuting Gear

On Run Commuting

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A typical scene from Patrick’s morning run commute

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

I live 30 miles from my office so I thought my commute was too long for run commuting. Finally, I had a eureka moment when I was delayed multiple times by trains and buses just a few miles from work. I did the math and realized I could actually get to work faster running the last few miles instead of making transfers.

How often do you run commute?

Everyday, to and from the office.

How far is your commute?

It varies, the straight route is one mile but I will extend the morning run to 5-12 miles depending on my training schedule. I use different train stations, modes of travel and routes to keep things fresh. It is rare that I run the same route twice in the same week.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I pack a lunch but I never trust it. Sometimes I worry I am spending all the money I save on fancy Ziploc bags and Tupperware containers. If I was hit by a car I might be messed up but my lunch would be fine.

What do you like most about run commuting?

The long list of reasons I enjoy run commuting is what I love most. I’ve found myself giving different reasons why I run commute and they seem to change by the run and the seasons. 

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

Washington, D.C. has a strong and hearty contingent of run commuters. Some of the military folks have rucksacks that put my little backpack to shame. I see Capitol Hill folks with dry cleaning hanging off the back of their bag. My favorite D.C. run commuter moment was during the polar vortex when I looked up and down the National Mall and the only other people I saw were three other run commuters.    

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Running past an Impeach Obama demonstration

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

If I’m not running to work I’m probably too injured to go to work. Joking aside, I do have a Capital Bikeshare membership which is also great for setting up some fantastic point to point runs.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

Do your homework. That’s a good catchall for planning your route, adjusting for your ability and having the right gear. My least favorite phrase is “I tried that but…” followed by some pitfall we all encounter in our early running days.

Anything else that you would like to include?

As a run commuter you are participating in what many call Active Transportation. I challenge not only run commuters, but also anyone who runs, to be an advocate for using your feet to get places. This means talking about how you get to work with those who drive to put a name and face to the runner on the street. Keep an eye out for opportunities to tell your elected officials that sidewalks and paths are important pieces of transportation infrastructure. And when you do drive set a good example by yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks (both marked and unmarked), staying off the phone and not speeding.    

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Runner Basics

  • Name: Megan Allore
Allore - geared up

New Run Commuter Megan Allore

  • Age: 24

  • City/State: Miami, FL

  • Profession/Employer: Evaluation Manager, City Year Miami

  • Number of years running: 4

  • # of races you participate in a year: 4-6; 5k, 10k, and half-marathon distances

  • Do you prefer road or trail? Road, mostly because I’ve never lived in close proximity to any trails, and I love to just walk out my door and go!

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: Gregory Navarino 12

  • Shoes: Saucony Guide 7

  • Clothing: Race shirts and shorts with a long inseam. I love my Moving Comfort “Work It” short, but I think they’ve changed the style slightly since I got them.

  • Outerwear: None (It’s Miami!)

  • Headgear: Occasionally a cap if it’s very bright or raining

  • Lights: None

  • Hydration: Nathan QuickDraw Plus

On Run Commuting

Allore - gear

All of Megan’s gear, including her pink reusable sandwich bag

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

In March, I had just come off participating in the Florida Storm Series, in which I completed 4 half-marathons in 4 months. I was looking for a way to keep active since I didn’t have another major race in mind until this December. Run commuting seemed like the perfect way to stay motivated.

How often do you run commute?

I consistently run to and from work twice a week, sometimes adding in a third day. I’m aiming to consistently run to and from four days a week.

How far is your commute?

My route is 1.75 miles.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I pack most days. I carry sandwiches or salads since they don’t get too squished or destroyed in my backpack. It’s worth getting a couple reusable sandwich bags; I find the food stays a little more intact since it’s not banging against a plastic container with every step.

What do you like most about run commuting?

Running is the one of best ways I’ve found to engage daily in my community. I love seeing Miami wake up as shops open and people make their way to work. I’m way more present in the morning when I run commute; I’ve already spent 20-30 minutes with my head up waving and smiling to other people on the street instead of spending that time head down on my phone or in a book avoiding eye contact on the train. Running home from work helps slough off any stress or tightness that accumulated while I sat at my desk all day.

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

I’ve seen the very occasional run commuter around town, but I don’t know any personally. Quite a few of my colleagues and friends ride their bikes to work and a few have talked about trying out run commuting.

Allore - commuting

Running past beautiful Biscayne Bay

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

Downtown Miami has a free MetroMover that picks up a few blocks from my apartment. My boyfriend and I recently became a one-car couple, so if I don’t lace up, I’m on the Mover.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

Lay everything out the night before. It is so easy to talk yourself out of running when the morning comes.

Anything else that you would like to include?

Be safe out there. South Florida has a high rate of hit and runs, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists, but the danger is unfortunately not unique to our state. Wherever you are running, be mindful of crosswalks and keep your eyes out for what vehicles around you are doing. If you notice a bad intersection or damaged sidewalk, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local government to help make things safer for all runners, walkers, wheelchair users, stroller-pushing parents, and cyclists.

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By | 2017-02-26T11:34:36+00:00 August 15th, 2014|Categories: General, People|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Josh
Editor-in-Chief of The Run Commuter by night, paralegal by day. Father of three boys. Husband to the world's greatest bicycle advocate. Avid runner. Lover of beer and urban gardening. Can be found running with a backpack around the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. Contact Josh at info@theruncommuter.com

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