Runner Spotlight: Molly Barrie

Molly, in blue, embodies the “community” spirit of running – even in her race pictures!
Molly, in blue, embodies the “community” spirit of running – even in her race pictures!


I met Molly through the Women’s Training Program, a running/walking program coached by women, for women. Molly is the director of this amazing program and she has inspired and motivated countless women, including me! If she had a motto, it could be “no woman is left behind” – she makes sure everyone feels welcome and has someone to run or walk with, no matter their pace.  
When did you begin running and why? In 2002, shortly after I completed cancer treatment, my brother Brian was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was a marathon runner, and due to his illness, he couldn’t run his annual 26.2. My sister suggested we run it for him. To humor her, and thinking it was a plan we would never execute, I said “Sure!” Then we discovered the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program and realized we could raise money toward curing Brian’s disease while achieving our/his marathon goal. There was no backing out after learning that!
What is your proudest running moment? Crossing the finish line of the 2003 Marine Corps Marathon was exhilarating. Brian told us to hold a little back so we could finish strong and I think I did him proud. I actually passed people! And how many people start their racing career with a marathon? But my proudest moment came when heading back to the metro afterward. A participant was walking in front of me with her shoe untied. Not only was I able to bend over to tie it for her, I stood up again with no help!  26.2 and still moving!
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? 2015 will be my first Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. I hope it won’t be my last!
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Running through Washington DC is a thrill no matter what time of year. Running through Washington DC with 15,000 fellow running enthusiasts under the cover of fluffy pink clouds must pretty close to heaven. The race is so well known and well-loved that it was on my “must do” list
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I am not fast enough to win, so my race goals are always the same. Have fun and finish strong. I would love to finish the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in 1:50 or less with at least one person behind me and a smile on my face.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? I don’t really have a running mantra, but I keep an internal conversation going with myself most of the time. Take it out slow. Breathe. You can do this. I thank the race volunteers and cheer on anyone having a tough time. I ask volunteers if they think I will win. Their reactions are priceless. I high-five anyone who offers their hand and laugh with the people holding the best signs.  It keeps me going until the finish line.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Community. I participate in twice-weekly group runs from Potomac River Running in Reston. On the weekends, I run with a Reston Runners group we call the BFFs for Best Foot Forward. And in the spring, I coach the Reston Runners Women’s Training Program. So yes, community sums up running to me. There is nothing more affirming than running with people who accept you, support you and push you when you need it.
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I have been admiring the Bright Cherry Impact Capri. Cherry Blossom race. “Cherry” capri. I think it works!
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? I love the fact that many colleges use dance marathons to raise funds. Lots of funds. Indiana University’s Dance Marathon brought in over $2.6M in 2013. That’s a lot of boogie woogie!


Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrichKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

About Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

Elizabeth is a writing mom on the run and was one of two Social Runners from 2012-2013. Originally from Maryland, Elizabeth now runs up and down the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where things (like rivers) come in threes. She loves triathlons, has published three books and has three sons! She runs her own writing business and finds that a good long run is often the source of her creative ideas. Elizabeth loves being married to a great runner who was a finisher at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.