District Running Collective Co-Founder Matt Green’s Perfect Day in DC

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In DC Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.

nine years ago, Matt green and three friends hosted the Midnight On Mars 5K for Green’s 26th birthday. They teamed up with Avery’s Bar and Lounge on H Street, now closed, and promoted the event on Instagram and Facebook. Over 100 people showed up to run.

They turned this 5K into Neighborhood running collective (DRC) in the winter of 2014. What started as a group of less than 20 runners meeting in local bars and restaurants quickly grew to over 50 in the spring. Since then, DRC has grown to 150 paying members and a community of hundreds of runners who show up for weekly events. Runners of all experience levels are welcome to register and participate in three-mile runs on Wednesdays and longer runs on Saturdays. Additionally, DRC offers cross-training on Thursdays for paid members along with other perks such as race training plans.

“Seeing how running can change people’s lives between weight loss, injury, mental health and seeing people become empowered and sign up for a marathon or half marathon when there is at a year old they wouldn’t even think of running five kilometers brings me a lot of pride and joy,” says Green, who runs the weekly races with 15 captains from DRC headquarters on H Street NE.

When Green isn’t lacing his sneakers, he works as a visual information specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he designs graphics and campaigns for the government agency. In addition to juggling work and errands, Green is also a DJ, a skill he has honed during the pandemic. It’s no surprise, then, that the Petworth resident’s dream day in DC revolves around connecting with his community through running and music.

Wednesday is my ideal day of the week because that’s when my week reaches its climax. I have DRC and it’s bump day. I would start my day probably around 7:30. After getting up and getting dressed, I’ll knock The Co-op coffee, and I ordered a regular black coffee, without sugar, without cream. Then I would go home. It’s a great way to stretch and get into the morning. Mornings are my favorite time of day. I think it’s probably one of the more peaceful times because there aren’t many people outside.

Then I would log into my government job, since I work from home on Wednesdays. I was working from my back porch or patio. After finishing work, I would start preparing to go to the DRC for our race on Wednesday.

Along the way, I would stop at Little leaf plant store on S Street NW, for ideas and to see what stands out to me. Then I would stop at Neopol Smokehouse at Union Market and get the BLT salmon with salt and vinegar chips. I would eat outside the market. Usually there are people there that I can talk to.

Then I would head to DRC, which is only a few blocks from Union Market. I took a bottle of wine for a drink after the race at Pursuit Wine Bar and Kitchen, which is opposite the head office. I would get a nice dry red like a Cabernet.

At that time, I will start DJing because people arrive around 6 p.m. I would make my announcements and encourage everyone to go running. There would be at least 100 to 120 people. We would run around the H Street area. Our itinerary may include bypassing RFK Stadium, Union Market and to the Capitol.

Then we can hit Vibe on H Street for post-race drinks and jerk wings. Then at 8 p.m., I say to myself, cool, it’s time to go out. I was going home to get ready for my DJ gig in Capo Deli, where I open for Cheri Nikki, a series of bi-weekly evenings. The friends who weren’t running stopped and we had a party.

I was finishing at Capo Deli around 2am so had a slice of late night pepperoni pizza with green peppers cut into squares of Pizza Duccini. Then it’s time to go home, and that’s the end of my very long day.

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