January 17 2018
Renee DeMarsh thrives on extreme physical challenges. She'll soon participate in the 2018 World Marathon Challenge.
FEDERAL BUDGET ANALYST
I have always been extremely career-focused. As an analyst, I have had great success and been promoted nearly every year I’ve been employed. I knew I was a good worker— but never expected I could be a strong runner as well.
A few years ago, my friend persuaded me to sign up for a 5k-mud run. I wasn’t sure I could do it, and I hated every step at first. As I increased my distance to make it to three miles, my training seemed to get harder—not easier. Finally, I started to feel a little bit better and on race day I made it to the finish line.
Soon after that, my friend challenged me to do the run portion of a triathlon relay. I mentioned it to my boss and he was all for it. He thought that it might help me dial it back at the office—to work fewer hours and be a better team player.
To my surprise, he was right. I began to enjoy doing something other than working. Slowly, I became a more well-rounded professional, although I was still hesitant to commit to running as a regular activity.
That changed when I ran my first half marathon in Annapolis. At mile 8, my toes began to feel really funny. I finished at 2:43 and my friend and I ran to get our 13.1 stickers. Soon after, I lost my toenails! I knew that I was officially a runner. Now I am able to let others be the star and to give them credit where it is due, and to gain confidence in myself for something other than a promotion.■