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  • Nov
  • 4
  • 2016

Faces of Pacers: Elyse Braner

Faces of Pacers: Elyse Braner

I love running and I have always loved running. As a kid I was not athletic and was very quiet. While I was working on the school newspaper the track coach, who was our advisor, told me spring track was starting the next week. He told me it was not an option to not try out for the team. I could not even make one lap around the track. I was a mess, I knew nothing, but I fell in love with the team environment. The following summer I went to track camp at Stanford and by the next winter I was the top runner on the team. Those were fun days.

In 2006 I moved to DC and had a job with the Bush administration. When the Bush era ended I knew about two things: politics and running. I left politics and I went to work for Lululemon on P Street and started their Monday run club. At the time Pacers Running wasn’t on P Street, but when it opened I began leading the Tuesday/Thursday run groups there. When the Monday run club at Lululemon ended, Pacers gave us a new home and I am eternally grateful for that gift.


This January we will celebrate eight years as a run club; Steve [Laico] has been leading for seven years and I have been here since the beginning. A big factor in our group’s success is consistency; we are here ready to run at Pacers 14th Street on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings and we socialize after the run. It’s free, it’s open to all; you can always count on run club.


DC is a transient area and our group is incredibly welcoming. We plug new runners in to the social angle of the group right away. It helps that when you show up as a new runner up you are not the only one. Our group is so diverse and is an encouraging environment with encouraging people. There are a lot of single people and we spend holidays together, we vacation together- my best friends are in this group. We provide an authentic neighborhood feel within the group and within our community.

We have a routine in place and the routine helps people know the plan. On Monday nights we run 3, 5, or 7 miles from the store and our Monday run is always followed by drinks at Churchkey. With our 3 mile group, there is no one left behind and it’s a perfect fit for a newer runner. Our 5 and 7 mile groups are well-attended and it is truly surprising if you somehow end up running alone. On Thursday nights we do workouts at Banneker track and it appeals to a slightly different group. We certainly have people who come out all three nights to run.


Last weekend I ran my 4th marathon of the year at the Marine Corps Marathon. This is the first time I have run this many marathons in a year but I do well racing myself into shape. I wanted to rebuild and run a lot of miles and now I’m more confident in my base and ready to get faster next year. I am not social during races, but it is fun to show up with people at the start line. I am having a great time out there.

I do love running in my pearls. One of the girls I coach at Girls on the Run asked why I always wear my pearls and I explained it is my signature look. I love that I can show up to the start of a race in my pearls and my fashions sunglasses. I am very athletic and very feminine, I love picking out my running outfits. You cannot base looks on race time.

I love the group, I am grateful for Pacers Running for giving us a home three nights a week. Pacers trusts Steve and I to build what we want and we know that is a gift. I was 24 years old when this all started, we have supported each other through divorces and deaths as well many happy occasions. We work to keep it fresh, celebrate all things together, run club is literally there for everything. The support from Pacers Running is so cool and I love to be part of this community.




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