NOVA Featured Runner: Alexandra Swiatocha

By | January 27, 2020

From Coach Jerry: Most of you may not know Alex too well, since she lives in New York, but since she joined the club a few years ago (along with her brother Greg) she’s been one of our top women and a solid representative of NOVA at many local DC races. She had a really nice year in 2019, running two marathons, including 3:12:08 on at a hot day in Boston and a 3:10:04 at Rehoboth in December. She also ran a 65:23 at Broad Street 10 Miler in May. Alex has serious talent, with lifetime PRs of 1:23 in the half and 3:02 in the full, but also demonstrates remarkable depth, including running (and winning) ultra races such as the “Icy 8” hour race, completing 47.5 miles in 8 hours (equivalent to running 10 minute mile pace for 8 hours straight). With Alex’s strength, talent, and dedication, I’m expecting additional PRs for her in 2020.

Alexandra Swiatocha


1) What are your PRs (5k, 10K, Half/Marathon, any others?)
5K:18:54
5 mile: 31:47
10 mile: 1:04:55
13.1: 1:23:30
Marathon: 3:02.57
8hr: 47.5 miles

2) Goal race(s) for this year? Other races planned?
-Hopefully I’ll do another ultra-marathon this year.  I’ve also come to like the 10mile distance too though, so I’ll probably train for Annapolis 10 and Army 10 again.

3) What do you consider your best race performance to date?
-Anchorage Marathon of 2010:  Maybe not my current PR race, but it was a 20 minute PR at the time.  I was living in Alaska did all my training running to and from work and usually taking the long way home. Trained through the dark winter, had some way too close encounters with moose and had my brothers there to watch, Doug was biking from spot to spot, and Greg was running along side me.

4) How and when did you find NOVA, and what do you like best about the team?
I didn’t find NOVA.  Greg did, and then Doug, and I just tag along for the races and even though I only make it to a few practices a year when I’m visiting it’s still a great group to go to races with. There’s always someone training for something that you can tag along with.

5) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from Coach Jerry, and/or another member of the NOVA club?
-I’m not sure if it counts as advice, but the reminders from people about how important stretching is throughout your training is always helpful.  I also always like the discussion about what people carry with them during their longer races and how they train with different energy sources for longer races.

6) What thoughts do you have on your performance at the Rehoboth Beach Marathon or other recent races?
Rehoboth was another one of the random races I signed up for because other NOVA people were doing it.  When other people are racing it’s motivation to get out there myself.  And it worked out yet again when a NOVA person, David Cole, was aiming for a similar finish time, so I had someone to run with, even if only for a short time.  It wasn’t a PR race, but it was nice having NOVA company, David and Frank, at the post-race tent!

7) What non-running fitness related (or other) activities do you enjoy?
I like coaching my HS team for XC and track, but I love being able to go out on a hike or run with my dogs through the woods on some trails.  Or forcing my wife to bike along with me on my long runs 🙂