DCCS President: Rick Amernick’s Story
Video Interview by Elizabeth Glover, The Catholic University of America Student
Rick Amernick moved to the D.C. area in 1998. He quickly developed an appreciation for the beauty of the city and the attractions around the National Mall- a place that captivates the attraction of athletic-minded people in the area. It was here that the DC Capital Striders was born.
One evening in April, 2006 Rick connected with a few people through meetup.com to run along the Mall. With each passing week, an increasing number of people showed up to run. Within months of starting this weekly run, Rick’s meet-up had established a sizable group of running friends.
From its inception, the Strider’s group has valued volunteer work and charity as a cornerstone of its foundation. Prior to the establishment of DCCS, Rick spent time volunteering in various capacities at local races. He realized that the running friends he met were like minded in this regard; they too wanted to use running, health and volunteering efforts as a way to give back to the community.
Rick signed up for his first marathon, the 2007 National Marathon, at the suggestion of these running friends. Like many runners taking on the marathon for the first time, he suffered a set back with an over-use injury. Eight weeks following his injury, he returned to running and was shocked at the loss of fitness in such a short period of time. This was certainly a frustrating experience that many runners who have dealt with an injury can relate to. Rick used his involvement in the group to keep positive and involved through his recovery, and he used this momentum to move on to even longer distance running.
Rick remembers his first 50 mile run. It was a very challenging experience for him, as could only be expected for that distance. Within an hour of completion of this gigantic feat, feeling the height of this remarkable accomplishment, he immediately looked forward to taking on another ultra-distance race. Rick felt a true connection to a challenge at this level- one that goes above and beyond the distance. It was an enlightenment of the soul.
For Rick, running isn’t just about feeling good; it is truly family for him, and for good reason. Runners have become Rick’s closest friends… brothers and sisters with whom he shares a deep passion and commitment to the sport… people who he genuinelysees himself running with for many years into the future.
You can view Rick’s full interview and running story here.