Khalid is the 2022 President of FRWSD, currently serving his 5th term on the board [2nd as ‘22 President of FRWSD] and continually gives back that same kindness and warmth to visitors / new members of the group. He shares his passion for the club and how his engagement led to him serving on the Board.
Tell us about your experience in joining the group
I joined the Front Runners Walkers San Diego in 2017, right after Glenn, my partner, and I moved to San Diego, in hopes to meet new people and make friends in our new hometown.
I grew up playing soccer, where I learned the value of being a part of a team, but I was not out to my soccer buddies. I didn’t feel comfortable being myself and thus I couldn’t get too close to many of them. When a friend of mine (Rick) told me about Front Runners, I thought this could be a great fit! I liked to run; I did that every week as part of my soccer training.
The first person I met was Matt Allen, the 2017 membership co-chair. He was so welcoming and super nice to me; then I met Ken, Ruben, Denis and Luis, who instantly made me feel part of the group. I came back for the next weekday run, and I received the same warm welcome from many other members.
The warmth that the group shows to newcomers is one of the things I like about this club. I think it is our trademark. They made me and others feel like a member of a big family.
What is your favorite thing about being part of the FRWSD family?
There are so many inspiring individuals in this club. To name a few: Andy Kleinke who runs ultramarathons and recently completed a 257 miles race; Denis Desmond who has completed 50 marathons and is still going strong; Andrew Suozzo and Jerry Buckley who are in their mid-70s, and run half marathons and marathons faster than many others and, of course Debbie Chaddock, who did not let Parkinson’s disease stop her activities and still leads our weekly stretching sessions…. my favorite thing about FRWSD is the people.
Have you participated in any memorable events that you’d like to share, and what are your goals for the future?
A very memorable event is my first half marathon, The San Diego Half, which I ran three months after I joined FRWSD. This has been eclipsed by the Boston Marathon, which I never even thought about running, let alone completing in under 3 hours!
Where in San Diego is your all-time favorite place to run or walk?
We’re so lucky to live in this beautiful city where there are so many places to run, but my favorite place to run is definitely Mission beach and around Mission Bay, which offer beautiful views of the water and amazing sunsets!
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Besides soccer and running, sailing is one of my favorite things to do. I love being on the water and hearing the sounds of the wind and water as it flows past the boat!