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Monday, Dec. 7, 2009

Faces at the Lab: Running Around Washington D.C.

By Lyn Hunter

runnersWhile the annual Runaround fun race is a 32-year-old tradition for those of us on the Hill, our colleagues in Washington D.C. aren’t usually able to fly out for the early October event. But that doesn’t keep them from participating.

Erin Claybaugh (left), Phil Coleman (center), and Moira Howard-Jeweler, with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division’s Washington D.C. office, run their own version of the race around the nation’s capitol every fall, along with other office mates.

They run on the same day as the Lab’s Runaround, at the same time (3 p.m. EST), and approximately the same distance, typically along the circuit of the tidal basin.

“I generally smoke the field at our Runaround,” joked Philip Coleman. “Then I trash talk incessantly through the subsequent ‘Buy A Round’ at a local bar.”

But these three don’t relegate their running just to the Runaround. They are avid runners throughout the year, even participating in the occasional marathon and 5K race.

“My ‘career’ peaked with the Maui Half Marathon in 2008,” said Claybaugh, who provides technical support to the Green the Capitol Initiative at the House of Representatives. “At this point, I’m ‘maintenance jogging,’ which I define as reminding my body of the feeling, read: discomfort, of jogging.”

Howard-Jeweler is celebrating her 30th year of running in 2009, and has participated in three marathons.

“I ran cross-country in high school, and then just 'took it on the road' and have been a distance runner since then,” she explains. “It's a terrific way to arrange things in your head.”

Coleman too ran cross-country, both as a kid on a town recreational team and in high school. Every year he runs a 5K race that memorializes his high school team’s coach, Mr. Stuppy.

“I’m not fast, but I enjoy running because it helps keep my sanity and vanity well supported,” says Coleman, “and they both need that dearly.”

All kidding aside, these three use running not only to stay mentally and physically fit, but to help others as well, raising funds for such causes as leukemia and lymphoma research, the Girl Scouts, and scholarships for day care.

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