‘The Faster Pastor’ Takes on Loudoun Racing

By Will Murphy

Running just seems to come easy to Cory Welch. No matter the race or conditions, Welch has dominated local fun runs and charity races posting astonishing times and almost always placing first. Welch was the first to cross the line at the 2021 annual Turkey Trot 5k where he finished in a blazing 16 minutes and 40 seconds, the equivalent of running a 5:22 mile three times in a row as well as running an astounding 33 minute 10k during the annual Run the Greenway race in Dulles.

Welch has been running for as long as he can remember, joining his first organized team in middle school. He quickly ran through the ranks and made a name for himself during his high school years while living in Texas. His talent was discovered by Dallas Baptist University where he ran at the Division II level for four years. After taking a six-year break from running for personal reasons, Welch rekindled his calling after a friend convinced him to take up the sport again.

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift,” Welch said.

Once he was back, he was back. Welch took on every race in his way and faced the challenges given to him head on. In order to qualify for the Boston Marathon, Welch had to drive to Indiana just to find a race to run in. He qualified for the race and went on to run an incredible 2:46:38 time in Boston.

Marathons aside, Welch brings his competitive nature to local races as well and for good reason. His winning time during the Run the Greenway race secured charity money for the nonprofit Tree of Life, which provides food for people in need.

Welch’s service to others does not stop at the finish line. A pastor at Purcellville Baptist Church, he is nicknamed “the faster pastor” by members. He said he believes that every person has a gift given to them, and finding that gift inside will lead to a person’s fulfillment in life. Outside of work and running Cory loves to coach his kids teams and be involved with their lives.

Welch has also given the joy and discipline of running to newcomers through his group F3, a free to join fitness group that meets three times a week. After a humble beginning of roughly 15 people, the group has grown to over 100 strong spread over 3 locations. Welch hopes to create a strong system of accountability and support with this group who meet from 5:30 to 6:15 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Welch believes this support will give others what a friend gave him in order to start running again. As the weather begins to heat up and more people hit the trails, Cory Welch will not be slowing down anytime soon.

Will Murphy is a senior at Tuscarora High School completing his capstone project at Loudoun Now.

One thought on “‘The Faster Pastor’ Takes on Loudoun Racing

  • 2022-05-27 at 1:04 pm
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    A great profile of Cory Welch. Long-distance running isn’t my thing. But I admire anyone who can do it. Also, Tuscarora High has produced a great journalist: Will Murphy. Keep up the good work!

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