Casandra DeGrauwe Williamson


When did you begin running and why?

I started running in 8th grade on my high school track team. My mom is a runner and she gave me a little "nudge" to join the track team, I am very grateful she did.

How did you find out about DCRR and when did you join?

My husband and I moved to the DC area late fall 2013. I found DCRR online when I was looking for a group to train with for the Marine Corps Marathon. I joined in the Spring of 2014. I convinced a co-worker to go with me to one of the "trial" training runs and I've been hooked since. I remember meeting Big Guy before the run started and he was so inviting, I knew this was the club for me.

What are you training for right now?

The Boston Marathon!

What is the toughest run or race you've ever participated in?

This is a hard one. Tempo Tuesdays are hard because I run with a bunch of fast girls. I'd say most track workouts I run with Rich Mendelowitz and/or Melinda Metz are really tough. I remember over the summer getting an email from Rich saying Melinda and I were going to run 10 x 800 at what I thought was a really fast time with what seemed like no rest at all, but Rich said it would be my last hard workout before Erie. I remember being so nervous about the workout that I didn't sleep the night before. The next morning we ran exactly what Rich said (because he paced us perfectly) and it was the best confidence booster for the marathon. But that workout was HARD!

What's your favorite part about being a DCRR member?

100% it's the people. I have met some of the best people running with the DCRR's and made wonderful lasting friendships. I have been pushed harder than I thought possible and ran times I never thought I'd be able to run.

What's your favorite route in the area?

Arlington Triangle. I love this route! And I just realized you can run it backwards/reversed, BAM, it's like a brand new route.

What's the most important lesson running has taught you?

Be humble. Don't get too full of yourself. There is always someone much faster and better trained than the rest of us.

What race day traditions do you have?

I always wake up really early and drink my coffee, usually alone. And I am really quiet, if you know me, I talk a mile a minute but on race mornings I am really quiet. I have to mentally "get in the zone".

What's your proudest running moment?

Qualifying for Boston. I qualified at the Erie Marathon in September and it was a dream come true, I know that sounds cheesy, but I never thought I would qualify. I think I checked my time online everyday for a week to make sure it was real. It was over 5 months ago and I am still on cloud nine and enjoying every minute of training for it.
My other proudest/coolest running moment was finishing my first marathon with my mom. Both my parents are Marines and my mom ran the Marine Corps Marathon almost every year she was enlisted. In 2011 I decided I wanted to run it with her (on like no training) and I started way to fast and died at the half. But she found me and we finished the second half of the race together. Crossing the finish line of my first marathon with my mom was really special.

What's your life like outside of running?

I have an awesome husband and the cutest cockapoo! We bleed Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange and if it's football season, everything revolves around the Hokies (and we love the Redskins). I'm a fantasy football fanatic. I am also a beach bum, always counting down until the next Caribbean Vacation. I love nothing more than a cold corona, clear water, sand and a sunset. I also love Mexican food and it is a requirement for dinner if I have ran more than 10 miles that day (house rules).

What is one thing you wouldn't run without?

A buddy, I am a social runner and I always try to find someone to run with. It makes every run so much better (Eric Church on my ipod works in a pinch). And my watch, because God knows, if my plan says I have to run 18 miles, I am not running one step more. And the one thing I can not train without is a has to be posted on my fridge. I guess I require a lot.

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The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.