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  • Apr
  • 28
  • 2016

Social Running at Pacers 14th Street

Social Running at Pacers 14th Street

When Boris Espinoza decided it was time for him to move into a new place in DC he had two goals in mind, he wanted his new home close to:

  • A Whole Foods
  • A Running Store

His proximity to a running store was less negotiable then his access to a grocery store. Lucky for Boris, he was able to secure a place that met both of these criteria and he feels like he won the lottery. We met for a run at his neighborhood running store, Pacers 14th Street, for a weeknight social run and interview about what makes the sport of running, and Pacers Running,  special to him.

Boris has been a runner for 9 years, has run 6 marathons and ran his first sub-4 hour marathon at last fall’s Marine Corps Marathon. Hearing Boris tell it, finishing MCM in 3:59:08 is one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. The thing is, Boris does not seem to have a boring life.


Left: Running the 2013 Jingle All The Way 8K | Right: After finishing the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon

Boris knew he worked hard for every second in that race and the fact that he accomplished what he had worked so hard for was cause for celebration for Boris and everyone that knows him. That is what running friends do: they get it, they support the big wins, as well as all of the miles along the way.

When your main real-estate criteria involve close proximity to a running store clearly the activity of and the community of running are very important in your life. Boris says his whole social network is comprised of friends he has made through running. He travels to races with his group, they runs international marathons together, they attended a wedding in Vegas , the ceremony took place mid-run, of course, and they have run 7 or 8 Ragnar Relays together. Next up is the Madrid Marathon. Now that Boris has slayed the 4:00 dragon, running Madrid will be for fun, no big time goals, no pressure. He does not feel the stress to beat the clock he has felt during other marathons. My money is on the fact that Boris will run a faster race than he expects due to his newly adopted mindset.


Last year, Boris was prepared to run a sub-4 hour marathon in Paris. During his taper he had some extra time on his hands when taper madness reared it’s ugly head. In an effort to make everything perfect for his upcoming marathon he went out and got his first pedicure. Boris opted for the pedicure designed to remove all callouses from his feet; essentially he went to the start line of his goal marathon with virgin feet. His marathon ended in the medical tent and the pictures of his feet will haunt me for the remainder of my days. Note: no pedicures before a race, especially ones that promise full callous removal.

After the miss in Paris, Boris took a trip to Denver with friends from Peru. While there he went out for a short run and found he could not complete it. Panicked, he got on the scale and did not like what he saw; he knew he needed to lose weight. When he returned home he joined his team to run Ragnar DC. He was the runner for the first leg of the relay and 1 mile into the 200 mile relay he badly sprained his ankle. Panic was back, Boris wanted to run and loose weigh and now he found himself in a van sidelined by injury. When he got back home he began to diet while recuperating from his injury and he began to lose weight. Once his ankle healed he headed back out and this time made a big change with his footwear.

Before running Ragnar, Boris went on a social run and tried out Hokas. On that run he became a believer and bought a pair to wear after the relay. He was so pleased with the balance of the cushion and the feel of being pushed to move faster in his new Hokas. Boris was accustomed to his legs feeling shredded after longs runs or other challenging efforts and had suffered from a string of injuries. That feeling and those injuries were gone after finding the right footwear. Running in Hokas, loosing weight, recovering more efficiently from long runs all helped Boris run faster. He reports he has converted his friends into running in Hokas too and is just ran a PR in his new Claytons at Cherry Blossom.


The last change that Boris made before running Marine Corps was hiring a coach. He witnessed fellow runners in his group get faster and stronger and the common thread with their collective improvement was coaching. Boris is a student of running, he learned as much as he could, read all about it, but having someone else give him feedback on his mileage, his efforts, and workouts truly pulled it all together. They worked on nutrition, targeted workouts, adding more miles to his weekly totals. With his recent weight loss, his Hokas, and dedication to his goal, Boris beat the clock that had been on his back for years. Boris has a new mantra, “Happiness has a first and last name, it is Personal Record.” His own race times continue to drop and he has his sights set on another PR in Chicago this Fall.


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