Run Grouper of the Week: Cyrus Donato

Introducing Run Grouper of the Week. A series of regular profiles to spotlight some of our most endorphin-addicted friends and expand everyone’s pace group. Don’t be shy – if Cyrus sounds like your speed, say hi and make a new running buddy tonight!
Hometown: University Place, WA (Suburb of Tacoma, WA)
High School: Curtis High School
College: US Coast Guard Academy
Profession: Marine Inspector
Did you compete in college? high school? 
Yes- I ran XC and track all throughout High School and College.
Typical Run Group distance: 5 mile
Typical Run Group pace: 8:00
How long have you been running?
Since I was 13 for 13 years. (Maybe that is why I am so lucky this year.)
When was your first run group? Why do you keep coming back?
I starting coming around May. Even though I am not very fast and very new- the people are so welcoming and encouraging. It is such a positive environment to run in.
What is your favorite local race?
I am a big fan of the Crescent City Classic. It attracts a lot of high caliber athletes and of course like anything else in New Orleans it has an amazing after party.
Favorite race elsewhere? 
My major local hometown race is the Sound to Narrows. It is a very scenic 12K/5K with lots of hills! I definitely recommend it to anyone traveling/ moving to the Puget Sound area.
What is your favorite aspect of the New Orleans running community?
There is such diversity in the running groups and a very robust racing agenda. The runners down here are the full embodiment of Southern Hospitality- they are a lot of really great people dedicated to their community.
What is your current running goal?
I spent a couple of years at sea which didn’t provide me a whole lot of running opportunities- So I am trying to get back into shape. I am also looking forward to my first half Marathon- The Jazz.
Coolest/strangest run you have ever been on:
When I first moved here I was looking for a running group to join and I somehow ended up at a Hash House Harriers event aka Hashing. I figured something was off when I was the only person stretching while everyone else was either drinking or smoking while wearing a themed costume. It is an interesting experience I recommend everyone tries it at least once.
When you aren’t running, what can you be found doing?
I am coming up on my one year anniversary of living in New Orleans and am still overwhelmed by all of the amazing food! So suffice it to say- you can find me eating.
Thanks Cyrus!
To find out more on run group including meeting times, courses, etc.. Click Here.