DC Front Runners Washington, DC's LGBTQ+ Running & Walking Club

Member Profile – Jeremy Garrett

Profession: Contracting Officer
Member Since: March 2011
Favorite Route: Reverse Iwo Jima
Hometown: Arroyo Grande, a small town on the Central Coast of California.

Meet Jeremy Garrett

Jeremy Garrett had been running on his own for several years, when he began searching for running groups. That’s when he stumbled upon the DC Front Runners. “I wish I had joined sooner because I have found running with others to be much more enjoyable,” says the seasoned runner. 

​With 25 marathons under his belt and a goal to net at least 25 more, you can find Jeremy at most Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday runs – as well as the long runs on Sunday. He recommends training with others and getting to know fellow runners. He said he’s found inspiration in this DC Front Runners family. 

Question and Answer with Jeremy

Why did you join the DC Front Runners?  I came across the club website while searching for running groups on the Internet.  I wasn’t necessarily looking for an LGBTQ running group but that was certainly an added bonus.  I was very impressed with the DC Front Runners’ website because it had all the information I needed to learn about the club, and I was sold.  I actually signed up before I attended my first run to help make sure I would follow through and attend a run.

What were your first impressions of the group?  My first impressions were all positive.  I was a little nervous, as most people probably are when going to a new group for the first time, but everyone was very friendly and welcoming.   I remember my first run was on a Saturday morning and there was a big turnout even though it was pretty cold. Several of the people I met that morning would eventually become close friends of mine.    

You’ve run A LOT of marathons. Tell us about this marathon-running itch of yours.  Yes, I am trying to run a marathon in every state, and I have completed marathons in 25 different states so I am halfway done.  For me, it is all about the journey, and I am taking my time and enjoying it! I have traveled to some exciting places that I may not have visited if it were not for this goal.   There are so many beautiful places in the U.S. I especially like visiting National Parks and several of my marathons have been in or very near national parks.  It has been a way for me to combine two passions: being physically active and traveling.  I’d also like to eventually run a marathon on all 7 continents, so I am now beginning to mix-in some international ones.

To a person running his or her first marathon, what advice do you have?   I am definitely not the best person to provide actual training advice so I will say to make sure to enjoy the entire process.  Take the training seriously because it is a large commitment and hard work to prepare for a marathon, but it can and should be fun too.  I have found that having a training partner/friend can be very helpful to staying motivated even if we have different paces or are training for different marathons.   For example, we may run a portion of a long run together or plan it so that we finish our long runs at the same time so that we can get brunch/lunch together afterwards even if we ran different distances/paces that day.   It is a great way to help keep each other accountable and also be encouraging/supportive of one another. 

What advice do you have for race day?   I would also say prepare as best you can for race day but don’t expect everything to go perfectly as there can be many variables with weather, travel, and race logistics that are beyond your control especially for a 26.2 mile race.  Don’t get too discouraged if something is not going as planned on race day. Instead, try to adjust and move forward and it may end up being a fun race story in retrospect.   This is at least the mindset that has helped me complete my marathons, usually with a smile on my face and almost always wanting to do another.  

What are your non-running hobbies?   Winery hopping, kayaking, hiking, tubing, happy hour/dinner with friends, and occasional late night out on the town – all of which I have done with other Front Runners at one time or another.

What advice or recommendations would you give to other people joining Front Runners?  Keep coming back and stay for dinner after the weeknight runs or coffee after the Saturday morning runs if you can.  I am a reserved person when meeting new people, and it took me almost three weeks of going to the runs before I actually stayed after a run to socialize even though everyone was always so nice.   I decided to stay for dinner one night after a run, and I am so glad I did because that is when I really began to connect with people in the club and make friendships.  I know with work schedules/commutes it is not possible for everyone to stay after or even attend the regular runs, so I would also recommend trying to attend some of the social events such as the monthly happy hours or marathon/anniversary/holiday parties.   We also typically meet up at Starbucks after circuit races that are held downtown so that is another way to meet-up/connect. There will usually be several people wearing DC Front Runners shirts so it is pretty easy to spot us.   

Do you have a favorite Front Runners memory?  I have a lot of great memories over the years so it is hard to single out a favorite.  I always enjoy going to Williamsburg when I can for the half-marathon/5k that is in February and usually on the race circuit.   I have gone several years and there are some years where it is a large group and other years where it is a smaller group but it always ends up being a blast.   I particularly enjoyed 2013 when it was a smaller group of about 10 and we ended up staying in a roadside motel that maybe didn’t look so nice but it ended up being very comfortable and a fun place to stay.   We ate well the entire weekend and the race is held on a beautiful course through the William and Mary campus and surrounding area.   It was a great road trip with a lot of laughs.

What do you feel about the club’s generational mix?  It is a major strength of the club.   We have a great group of good-natured people and I am inspired by members of all different generations in the club for both running and non-running reasons.   There are not a lot of places where I regularly get to interact with people from several different generations, so I am grateful for the club in that regard.  Overall, members get along and appreciate/support each other and I think that is in large part due to the generational mix.    

Interview by Justin Fritscher. January 2018.