Making Strides in Our Community

Washington Spirit  |   April 9, 2024
Making Strides in Our Community Featured Image

How does the Spirit embed itself further into DC sports culture while intentionally engaging with its community members? By showing up! Last month, we partnered with Pacers Running, a local running store in Navy Yard, just a short walk from Audi Field. The goal was to meet our neighbors where they already are. And that’s what we did.


We hosted two consecutive community runs with Pacers on March 19 and March 26 at their Navy Yard store. Maya Stephen, Grassroots Marketing Manager, and Donielle White, Head of Fan Experience, were present at both events to represent the Spirit and logged some miles with a group of roughly 50-70 DMV residents. Despite the cold weather, the group maintained wide smiles, and some even achieved personal records. Shout-out to our season ticket members who bundled up and joined in on the action!


“It was a special feeling seeing a diverse group of community members come together to promote our season. We quickly discovered that many of us shared similar interests and although coming from varying backgrounds, we were able to use running as a vehicle for conversation and connection,” Stephen said.


Just like our club, Pacers is open to everyone! Their website states, “Pacers Social Runs are #ForEveryRun, whether you are seasoned marathon runner, or are a new runner building up to a 5k. Each run offers a social experience where community comes first!”


Following the community runs, the group made their way to nearby bars and continued to mingle. The Big Stick and Atlas Brew Works were buzzing with activity creating the perfect atmosphere for a post-sweat reward. Some were locked in on the televisions, cheering on local teams like Howard Men’s basketball in the NCAA First Four.  Others talked about their upcoming races and the excitement around the Spirit’s 2024 rookie class. The events concluded with high fives and a shared commitment to continue making strides in our community.


Director of People and Culture at Pacers Running, Elyse Braner, commented on this new partnership, stating, “Pacers Running is proud to be a partner of the Washington Spirit, and to promote the empowerment of female athletes. We are excited to share our Navy Yard social runs with Washington Spirit staff and to support and promote a female team in our own backyard.”


We’ll be back for more community runs on April 16th and 23rd. Pacers Running has locations in Navy Yard, 14th St, Georgetown, Alexandria and Clarendon. Join Pacers every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in front of their Navy Yard store for a social run. You just might meet a Spirit fan or two!

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