emily ward

ambassador Member Since: 2011

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hometown richmond, virginia


Do you have a quote that guides, inspires, or embodies your training/racing/life?
The writings of Dr. George Sheehan, the great running philosopher, have been a huge inspiration in understanding how running allows me to personally grow and positively influence nonrunning aspects of life.

“We are educated collectively, but educate ourselves individually.”  - Dr. George Sheehan

Why do you run?
There could be a drastically different answer to this question each year!  Just as I have evolved and grown as a person, my reasons to lacing up my shoes each day has changed.  In high school and college, it was to prepare for competition and train to be a contributor and leader on my team. The thrill of elbow-to-elbow jockeying approaching a narrow trail with fifty other girls cannot be matched.

Post collegiately, I have worked with a coach to tackle the longer distances.  I am motivated to discover my limits of physical ability, mental focus, and self discipline in training and in racing. The competitive aspect is still there, but it is more inward.  While I miss the team aspect, it is cool to think I have this intense motivation to figure out what I am made of for no one else but me.

I now also enjoy the process as much as the “end” result (racing).  My daily run is my constant amidst days of stress, sorrow, joy, frustration, contentedness, and travel to new surroundings.  It is my hour when I think of nothing and just be completely in the moment, but without actually trying.  I don’t try to sort things out, make big decisions, or create a to-do list.  I hop off the curb and go.  I look around and let my thoughts come and go with the breeze and often return having sorted things out without ever intentionally thinking.  It is my “free-form” hour and my day is incomplete without it.

What is your favorite place to run?
Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond, VA); National Mall (Washington, D.C.)

Running gear you can't live without?
Anything with a pocket, sunglasses.

What is your favorite local running store?
Road Runner Running Store – Carytown (Richmond, VA)

What is your favorite post-race treat?
A crisp German Kolsch.

Where would we find you when you're not running?

  • On my porch thinking about life or reading the newspaper
  • Backpacking or exploring a new country
  • Riding my road bike down by the James River
  • Playing backgammon with my mom
  • In my kitchen baking something involving peanut butter
  • Meeting friends for brunch at Perly’s in downtown Richmond

Complete the sentence: If I was stranded in a hotel room with one movie and one book, they would be…
Zoolander (because it always results in lots of laughing) and The Autobiography of Mark Twain (because it will force me to finally read this 600 page behemoth….and I am sure I will laugh, too)

emily's favorites

Race Distance 10 miles, hands down.
Workout 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1 mile hard with 1 minute rest, 2 mile cool down
Pump Up Song "Forever Young" Youth Group