10 Mile: 53:21
Seven years ago, before he became the elite runner we know him as today, Dave Wertz had no formal background in running, and limited his workouts to a little jogging to stay in shape. Fast forward to 2013, and Dave is burning up the track and the roads as one of the top competitors in the Georgetown Running Club (GRC). Along the way, he came a shining star of the NOVA Running Club, a leader and mainstay in the local DC running scene, a husband, and father.
Dave’s running career got started in the spring of 2006, when he attended his first NOVA track practice. He found NOVA through the trusty Google, and the decision to show up at his first practice was made easier by the convenient workout locations of TC Williams and Bluemont Park near his home and office. One sunny spring day, he came out to TC and started his running journey. Dave was initially hooked by the friendliness of the club and the challenge of completing a track workout. Those two factors are still very motivating to him today. From the start, Dave was impressed by the NOVA team; everyone he met was very nice, down to earth, friendly, and enthusiastic about running. In his opinion, NOVA strikes a nice balance between being competitive and being social and fun, and he has always thought that NOVA is a caring group.He thinks that NOVA is a great running club; one where members can shoot for lofty PRs, but at the same time find a sense of community through club happy hours, holiday parties, trail cleanups, and races. Dave met his wife Caroline at track practice initially, but got to know her even better at club social events. They now have a one year old daughter.
As time passed, Dave’s emerging talents caught the eye of NOVA Coach Jerry Alexander, who also coaches the elite runners of GRC. Under Jerry’s guidance, Dave has made the transition to GRC with enormous success. Dave credits much of this success to Coach Jerry himself. He says, “There is no way I would have achieved any of my current PRs without Coach Jerry. I think that Coach plants the seed in your mind of what you might be able to accomplish, and once you put in the work and start believing you can do it, there’s a really good chance you will hit your mark.” Dave appreciates that Coach Jerry really wants his runners to do well, and to that end, offers advice and words of encouragement, and designs workouts that are in line with his runners’ goals. And he does all of this with tireless consistency. Dave has always found Jerry to be a very motivational force in his running endeavors, saying, “Whether I raced well or poorly, Coach always seems to offer words that encourage progression onwards.”
While some runners are more solitary, working for themselves and motivated by an inward drive, Dave gains his motivation and inspiration primarily from those around him, especially Coach Jerry. He respects that Jerry offers a realistic assessment of his fitness level and PR goals, along with endless time and advice. As Dave says, “For any “big” race, as much I want to race well for myself, I know that Coach is pulling for me too, and don’t want to let Coach down. There is definitely a “we” component to my running career.” As he builds upon his stellar running success, Dave continues to set challenging goals for himself. This year, those goals include lowering his 8k PR and running sub 53 minutes in the Army 10 Mile. With such a clear headed focus, appreciation for his success, and the respect for the work required to get there, Dave is sure to meet these goals. NOVA is proud to have helped him find his start and to call him one of our legacies.