Marine Corps Marathon: Vegetarian Army Capt. Wins Women’s Race

Written by Katie Vann

kelly

An estimated 30,000 runners took the streets of the nation’s capital last Sunday to run in the 38th annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), also known as “The People’s Marathon.” Among the runners was Army Captain Kelly Calway of Manitou Springs, Colorado, who took first place in the women’s race with a time of 2:42:17 — making her the seventh-fastest woman to complete the MCM.

Kelly is a long-time athlete, a mother, and, as an Army Captain, she’s days away from being deployed to Kuwait. She’s also vegetarian. We were lucky to catch up with Kelly to learn how she trains and what delicious meat-free meals fuel her runs!

Q: How did you train for the marathon, and what tips can you share for balancing training with busy family and work life?

A: Flexibility is key! Running is definitely a priority for me, but it’s not my whole life. I am a mom and in the active Duty Army, so I have to plan my runs around work and home. As much as I detest rising early, that tends to be the best way to get in my training. I also have learned that it is a careful balance, there are days when work/parenting/health get in the way of a rigid training plan, and it is okay to take a day off or vary your plan.

I strive to always get in my hard workouts and long runs, then consider the other runs “normal” runs, so that if I have to miss one, it seems like less of a setback. I always keep an “emergency run kit” in my car.  I keep a pair of shoes, socks, and weather appropriate running clothes so that I can head out when the opportunity arises.

Q: This win came just a week before you are scheduled to be deployed overseas for your position as a Captain in the US Army. Is it difficult to eat vegetarian in the army? What type of meals do you find?

A: When I’m not deployed, I am able to cook at home and eat just like everyone else. When I’m deployed it does tend to be challenging. Every dining facility is different, but usually the options are limited because it can be hard to find protein sources. I generally have family and friends send me foods to supplement the meals at the dining facility, such as silken tofu, nuts, beans, and lentils. During my last deployment, I perfected my hummus recipe and made it regularly for all of my fellow Soldiers.

Q: What’s your workout schedule like when you’re away from home?

A: My schedule will depend on the mission requirements, but whatever I’m doing, I’m always running. Running keeps me sane!

Q: What’s kept you motivated to become and stay vegetarian?

A: It’s just who I am.  I never feel like I am trying and I never “crave meat” or feel deprived.   I love to eat a variety of food from all different regions. I also really like the fact that I have a lower carbon footprint because of my diet.

Q: Does your daughter enjoy your vegetarian meals? And if so, what are her favorite dishes?

A: My daughter, Hazel, is also a vegetarian and she is an excellent eater! She loves helping in the kitchen and has learned a lot about vegetarian cooking. We have grown our own veggies and subscribe to a CSA so she is very aware of how food is produced.

A few of Hazel’s favorite recipes include: hummus and roasted veggie wraps for school lunches, sweet potato and kale quesadillas, and tofu nuggets with yum sauce.

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