Alex Cooke

alexcookeWhen did you begin running and why?

I started the summer after 8th grade. My next-door neighbor was on the track and cross-country teams and he pressured me into joining. I did well my first season and loved the competition and camaraderie of the team, so I kept with it. I didn't run much after graduating high school, but got back into it last year when I was inspired by some old team mates running good times.

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

I found out about DCRRC while looking at local clubs on Strava, and joined July 2018 when I realized the club had the Wednesday track workouts a few blocks from my office. I joined up with the club for 400 repeats one week and then joined the club officially before the Bluemont 5k the week after that.

What are you training for right now?

My goal this year is to beat my high school PRs for the 5k and mile - although I’ve only ever raced the 1600. I'm planning on running a few 5ks, track events, and a road mile over the summer.

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

During cross country and track I would often run until I puked, both in races and tough workouts. A doctor diagnosed me with sports related asthma and told me that was why I was vomiting so often, but it didn’t go away entirely after I started taking an inhaler. I just pushed myself as hard as I possibly could.

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

I like to race a lot, so I really enjoy all the free races included in the membership. It's also great having a nice group to run with a few times a week.

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

Running has taught me a lot about hard work and discipline, but the most important thing it's taught me is the importance of a good plan and managing expectations when things don’t go according to plan.

What is your favorite route in the area?

I love running along the C&O canal, especially further upriver where you don’t see many people out and there aren’t any construction projects causing detours.

What race day traditions do you have?

I'll wake up, walk the dog, have some coffee, and listen to Run the Jewels or other high energy music as I drive to the race. Lately I've been trying caffeinated gum for extra energy and will probably continue to do that on race mornings. Right before the race I'll usually do a short warm up with some strides and a few dynamic drills.

What's your proudest running moment?

This year at Cherry Blossom I was ecstatic to run under 57 minutes to make the qualifying time for seeded runners. Even though the course was 240 feet short, it was still a PR by almost 3 minutes. My other proudest moment was winning the 3200 at the county championships my junior year of high school.

What’s your life like outside of running?

I work as an electrical engineer in Arlington, designing various buildings for the government and military. I like to spend a lot of time with my dog, either at home or at the dog park. I also enjoy going out to bars and restaurants, hiking, reading, going to all sorts of concerts, and enjoying all the DC area has to offer.

 DCRRlogotypeRRCA member

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.