Runners

Runners rock.

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No. 133, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I work for the power company here; we work underground. [Collazo] was 37, and in a manhole vault, the cable exploded…he was down there. He survived seven months in the Loyola burn unit. Seventy percent of his body was burned, and he passed away. This kid was like a friend.”

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No. 133

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“[Lenny] had a massive heart attack. They found him in the shower. He was a big guy. They came home, it was out of the blue, two years ago.”

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No. 132

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I am 36, I’ve been running for about three years, and I don’t really have a great story. I just started running because I had young children, and it was the easiest thing to do. I’m a little bit of an obsessive-compulsive person, so when I do something, I do it. … I still feel like every race I learn something new about myself and maybe what I can and what I can’t do. I’ve seen myself be able to do things that I never thought I’d be able to do.”

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No. 131

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I always have a cigar after every race, even if it’s a 5K. I got married when I was 47, and in three years, we had four kids. We don’t have friends that can help us this morning, so my wife is at home with the kids. I did not train at all for this. I’m 30 pounds overweight, I’m 53, I didn’t set foot on the street for the last month, I’ve had two meniscus operations, but I paid my money, so I might as well get tortured. My PR is a 3:05, and I think if I got back down to weight, even at my age, I might be able to get close to that. I did a 3:25 a couple years ago. This time I was gunning for 4:00, and I just blew up at [mile] 18, so I did 4:25.”

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No. 130

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“It’s my first marathon. A friend of mine kind of bamboozled me into doing it. I’ve done a few halves, and I always said I’d never do a full because I didn’t want to train for it, but here we are. I had a good buddy’s wedding that I was the best man at yesterday, so it was a sober reception for me, and I had to get out of there a little early, but I ran a lot of miles for them today.”

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No. 129, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“One of the things I’ve learned from these coaches is that you can learn so much through running that applies to your life. The skills of wanting to be excellent and wanting to work hard and be motivated are skills that you can learn in your work, in your relationships with people, in life after running. You’re building the person you want to be. Cross-country, for me, has helped shape the person that I am today.”

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No. 129, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My main advice [to high school runners] would be to have confidence in yourself, especially at their age, they don’t even know their potential. Not to be scared of working hard and committing yourself to the sport. Continue to enjoy it. In a race, don’t be afraid to say, ‘What can I do today? I just want to leave it all out there.’”

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No. 129

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“As a head coach, there’s so much you need to balance, but the biggest for the athletes is that balance of being upbeat and positive but still having an intense, serious approach to the sport. I’m serious about my sport, so I want you to be, too. But cross-country is so unique, because you get so many different runners from so many different paths. … It’s important in life to have your fun, but then also, some days you have to get down and work.”

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No. 128

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My parents have motivated me the most, because they always said, ‘Do your best. Give your best effort, but always have fun out there.’ Before every race, they make notes of motivation, and I find them in different places. They started it this year, and I feel like I’ve done better because of them.”

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No. 127

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Coach Hart has definitely helped get me where I am now in running. Without her, I wouldn’t be doing cross-country now, because in eighth grade, I didn’t do it. She was my coach in seventh grade, and I didn’t like track, so I didn’t do it in eighth grade. She just made me want to try it again. All the advice she has given me and all her support has helped me do much better than I ever could have dreamed of right now.”

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Nos. 125 & 126

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

L: “One person that’s inspired me is my dad, because he was really good at sports in high school, and I’ve always wanted to follow up on him and be good at something. … His main thing was just do it for yourself. Running is a big mental sport; you gotta be really headstrong when you’re doing it, and he said, ‘Try not to think about it. Just go for it.’”
R: “My middle school coach, Mr. Alspaugh, was the one who got me started with cross-country and encouraged me to run all summer and all year long to do really well my eighth-grade year. He then encouraged me to help lead the team and make other kids better, too.”

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No. 124

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I brought my time down every mile and finished faster than I did at the previous race, only I felt like 150 times better at the end of [today’s] race than I did then.”
“How’s the sandwich?”
“Oh my gosh, dude. Honey 9-grain oat for days!”

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No. 123

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I would say the biggest difference between high school and college running is, in college, everyone wants to be there. You’re doing it because you love the sport. Also, one advice I’d give to high schoolers is, even if you don’t think you can make a team, just try out. D3 running is so much fun; it’s the best decision I’ve made for college. Just being on a team, continuing my athletic career, it’s not much of a time commitment compared to like a D1 program. I can still do what I love and get my degree.”

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No. 122

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Before every race, my dad sends me a picture of Steve Prefontaine and a quote of Steve Prefontaine’s,” one of these runners said. “So I’ll get a text from him the day of every race, and it’s been happening since I was in second grade.”

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No. 121

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

XC season is totally back.

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Nos. 118, 119 & 120

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“There was this kid on our cross-country team my freshman year, and he was really slow, but we all really liked him a lot. He was really quiet, a really hard worker. One race, it was the hardest race of the season—Fremont’s course—he fainted a mile into the race, but he got up and kept running. And then it happened again, and he kept running. It happened another time—he fainted and kept running. He finished the race in like 35 minutes. He fainted three times and still finished the race. We were all just in awe. We just couldn’t believe it. That was super inspirational.”

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No. 82, Revisited—4th Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

Right: “I’m much more of a veteran now, like I understand pacing. The first year, I didn’t know how to pace. I just went out full speed ahead and just hoped for the best and tried to cling on. But now I understand that pacing is a big importance. You gotta distribute it, you know?”

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No. 82, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I go out by myself sometimes [on easy runs], and I’m just thinking through my mind like, ‘Why am I running? What keeps me going for this?’ I’m still really unsure about it. It’s weird—a weird feeling. But I like it. I like running, but at the same time, I don’t. It’s back and forth, like yin-yang. That’s what running is.”

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No. 82, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“During my freshman year, which was last year, I didn’t know anybody since it was my first year coming into high school, and I didn’t have any friends who would run cross-country. It was weird, since it was mostly just focusing on myself. But then I got to meet some of the seniors, who were really kind to me and really cool, really nice to me and everything. I kind of joined their group, and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why I’m still here today running cross-country—because of the team.”

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No. 117

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Turner Sale is the one that really influenced me in running, because my freshman year, it was my first time running, and he really just motivated me. He told me what to do, like how to get prepared for meets and all that. Whenever we had a race, he always pushed me to beat the guy in front of me. One time he was yelling at me [in the final 100 meters], and I beat about three or four guys.”

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Nos. 115 & 116, Revisited

Photo by Will Hewitt

Photo by Will Hewitt

Left: “On the bus rides back, [the Trap House Runners] are hanging out, sitting with each other, talking about our race, giving each other advice, talking about injuries you might have, soreness. It’s kind of like a family among the team. … Couple of guys on the team, this is their first year, so it was the older guys giving them advice; don’t go out too fast your first mile, or make sure you have small steps going up the hill, or how to navigate a course that’s really tough.”

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No. 116

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“The Trap House Runners started like end of June, beginning of July. On one of the team runs, we took a selfie and kind of just rolled with it from there, started calling ourselves the Trap House Runners. We started hanging out, going to Applebee’s, going to movies and stuff. It really helped bring a lot of the guys together and helped get a couple freshmen interested in what we’re doing. The group is growing.”

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No. 115

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Last season, I really wanted to break 17 minutes [in the 5K], but I didn’t run at all in the summer because I kind of thought I would do it without any work. I was just being dumb. And that definitely did not happen. I was kind of mad about that, and then during my track season, I actually worked in the winter, so I finally had a really good track season. I learned from that dumb thing I did that one summer. So now this season, I’m coming back really strong. I ran a lot this summer.”

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No. 114

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“In my freshman year, when I had a really bad race, and after I just came off of like four good races, I was really mad, and [my former coach] was like, ‘It’s just one bad race. You’ll do fine the next time.’ I ended up doing good the next race. [His words] helped a lot. … He didn’t say that much, but when he did say something, it was important.”

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No. 113, Revisited—4th Visit

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

“What does it mean for you to be a Heritage Hawk?”

“It’s a lot. The kids that I saw were put on this huge pedestal when I was so young, and then I started training harder and could get closer and closer to their times, and I started beating them. I always wanted to do better than what I was—I was never satisfied. I still want to do better and get faster and do what I can.”

Check out Mike Sonnenberg’s (photographer) Pure Saginaw and Lost In Michigan Facebook pages. For more of Mike’s event photos, click here.

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No. 113, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

“When my parents got divorced, that’s when I lifted weights and ran and just got the anger out of me. When I finally let it go, I could finally train well, and it was a lot off my chest. Running helped me through that. When I was mad, I would go out and run.”

Check out Mike Sonnenberg’s (photographer) Pure Saginaw and Lost In Michigan Facebook pages. For more of Mike’s event photos, click here.

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No. 113, Revisited

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

Photo by Mike Sonnenberg

“What will be the challenges of running collegiately at Saginaw Valley State, and what are you looking forward to?”

“To handle everything with school, a social life and being a kid, and doing the sport as well—it’s going to be tough. I’ll have to manage it well and grow up. I’m excited to run fast and have a new team and new coach.”

Check out Mike Sonnenberg’s (photographer) Pure Saginaw and Lost In Michigan Facebook pages. For more of Mike’s event photos, click here.

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No. 113

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“[Coach Gary Loubert] is everything. He’s the man. He’s always there for me. Sometimes he’s not happy with what I’ve done, but I can find other ways to make him happy, and he’s taught me a lot.”

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No. 106, Revisited—4th Visit

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“OK, 5,000-meter final, NAIA indoor championships. I ran the race of my life in the prelim, it felt so easy, I PR’d by like 10 seconds. It just kind of came out of left field. So going into the final I’m like, Man, anything can happen. I wanted to give myself a chance to finish hopefully in the top three, maybe even win it if I could. Me and coach had talked about our strategy for the race, and our strategy was to really start kicking home with 600 meters left—it was a 300-meter track, so with two laps to go. I noticed with what was three laps to go, they had two up on the card. I started realizing then that they could ring it [the bell] next time, but I thought they’d get it fixed. There was some lap traffic starting to happen. We came around the next lap, and I’d been consistently closing the gap on the top three guys. By that point, with two laps to go—one on the board—it was about a two- or three-second gap, and I was feeling pretty good. They rang the bell, and all three of those guys took off, and I had to make a call at that moment. I could try to chase them, probably not catch anybody and be totally spent, or I could make things interesting—force a decision. I kind of protected my spot; I went a little bit faster than maybe I would have wanted to. Held on to fourth, and then just kept rolling. I remember looking directly at the guy counting the laps, and I’m exaggerating saying I’ll never forget his face, but his face was definitely telling a story about his internal dialogue as I ran past him. I didn’t know if anyone took off after me. I ran that last lap in a little bit of confusion. I finished the race, and I turned around and saw my teammates going nuts. It sure felt like I won. It was really cool. They ultimately decided to go with the 4,700-meter results. I kind of looked at it as the best of both worlds, because if they would have given it to me, it had an asterisk. And frankly, I think the best I could’ve done in that race was second. I don’t think I could have won. But now I don’t have to handle that, I don’t have to worry about people saying, ‘That’s not a legitimate national title because the officials screwed it up.’ But I still had those moments after the race, and for like an hour it was just kind of floating on cloud nine. When I finished and turned around and saw 20 guys and girls in IWU stuff just going bananas, it was something I will not forget—a really neat moment. … I didn’t know what I was going to do with the plaque—I didn’t know if I wanted to scratch out fourth and put first, or scratch out 5,000 and put 4,700. The coolest thing for me was that I was the subject of a topic that trended on the LetsRun message boards; that will never happen again.”

Neno (speaker) leads the pack in the photo above.

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No. 105, Revisited—4th Visit

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“In high school, we didn’t have a cross-country team, but I really wanted to run cross-country because I loved it in middle school. So my mom wanted to fight for me and give me that chance, so she would take me to meets, and we’d just follow Jordan Dekker’s team around because we knew they’d be there. [My mom] would just be like, ‘My daughter really loves cross-country. Can she run in your race today?’ And they’d let me in, and I’d get to run, and I had so many more opportunities. I got to race at state that year, even though I just randomly entered cross races when my mom found them. She’s not a runner at all—I don’t know if she’s run a day in her life—but she was like, ‘You can do it; we’re going to do this.’ She was like my coach. It was really cool, because she believed in me and fought for me when that could’ve been it.”

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No. 105, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“I had plantar fasciitis for a year-and-a-half, and it’s still not quite gone. But I raced through all last track season and just sucked it up, so then I could go compete at nationals. It worked out really well because we did well and it was worth it. But then I had to take my entire summer off, which I wasn’t expecting to do because I thought I could just heal up in a couple of weeks. So I didn’t do any of my summer training, and it was kind of scary because by the end of the summer, in a weird way, I started enjoying not running. It scared me because I wasn’t training and I was enjoying the lazy life. That’s really scary because I love running, and then to think that I would actually enjoy not doing it was really scary for me. But when I started running again after a month of torture—I was trying to jump back in after no summer training—I loved running more than I had before I was injured. I loved not running, but I loved running more than I loved not running.”

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No. 105, Revisited

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“We were on a Sunday morning long run, and it was like eight miles that day. There were five or six of us, and we had found a new route that month, so we were exploring it on the other end of town. We’re running through a not-so-nice neighborhood, and obviously we’re really used to dogs, but our coach’s daughter, Alyssa, is really good with dogs—she trains dogs—so she taught us that when we see dogs, we gotta stop and just stare them down, and they’ll back away. So we’re running, and all of a sudden we hear all this barking. Three pit bulls and a bulldog come charging at us, and they’re just blazing. We tried to stop and stare at them, but they don’t stop, and we’re scared they’re going to bite off our calves. We’re running out into the middle of the street, then we smacked into a car. Now we’re pinned between this car—which we hit, and the driver was probably really mad at us—and these dogs that are going to eat us. We’re all screaming, not knowing what to do. And now the dogs are like a foot away from us. All of a sudden, this cop comes out of a cop car and starts hitting the dogs with a stick and backing them away. He gets between us and the dogs and saved us. … We haven’t run that way since.”

Julie (speaker) is on far right.

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No. 106, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“Be patient. Everybody that is thinking about running in college probably is pretty successful in high school. No matter who you are, if you’re going somewhere to run in college, you’re probably not going to be the top dog your first year, or even the second year—maybe not even the third year if you have a really good program. You also might come into a situation where the expectation is beyond what you thought you could do. You almost have to turn that off and not worry about it. I’m running things now that I wouldn’t have thought about when I was 18 years old. You have to realize that you’re going to go through the grinder before you get there. But you can still get there, as long as you do those little things.”

Neno (speaker) is bib No. 468.

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No. 104, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“This year, at Wake Forest, I’m running the 5K. The goal is to break 15 [minutes] for the first time. Nothing exciting happens really until the end. I see that I’m going to break 15 minutes—I see 14:55, 56, and I’m just like, ‘I did it.’ So I put my hands up—I was in fourth [place]. Right as I put my hands up, some guy passes me right at the line. That has been one of the highlights, or lowlights, for me—highlights for everybody else.”

Jacob ran 14:57.54. His teammates said the funniest thing about it was that it looked like he was celebrating fourth place.

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Nos. 111 & 112

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Hard work pays off.”

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No. 109, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My senior year at state, I think I was getting interviewed after my 800-meter prelim. There was a couple camera guys and a few people interviewing me, and I was feeling good and talking to them. Out of nowhere, I was like, ‘Excuse me.’ And I just threw up everywhere. The whole night, when I was watching the news, I was like, ‘Please don’t [show that].’”

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No. 110, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Have fun and enjoy it, and if you’re not enjoying it, quit, even if you’re good. What’s the point of doing something if you don’t really enjoy it?”

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No. 107, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Last year, I had a stress fracture. I’m a pretty new runner, and once my season started going pretty well, I went to Christian [NCCAA] nationals and had a pretty good race but got a stress fracture during the race. That set me back. It was the first time in my life since I started running that I had to take an extended break from it. It made me realize the appreciation I have for not only running, but my teammates, my coach, the gift God has given us to run and to be with these wonderful people. I also noticed how invested my teammates were even not just on a running level, but a deeper level than that. It really helped me see the bigger purpose we have, where before it was so focused on running. I could see my teammates as more of people rather than just running mates. It was a blessing in disguise. At the time, I would have seen it as a curse, but now looking back, it’s definitely a blessing.”

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No. 106, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’m not a super extroverted person, but the bigger the event, the more energy it gives me. I’m contradicting myself a little bit, but I like going to the national meets and just watching the performances and then going out there and trying to do it. I think part of that is my competitiveness. But you see somebody do something really well—whether it’s from your school or another school—in the 400-meter hurdles or something, and it’s like, I gotta do something equally as good in my event.”

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No. 110

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My high school coach, we call him Coach Pi. I remember going to Illiana Christian, my high school, and [my sister] played volleyball and basketball, and they had cross-country practice around that time. I’d walk in, and I knew [Coach Pi] was the cross-country coach. He’s not a weird-looking guy, but he just kind of stands out just the way he is. He’s like 55 and wears running shorts, and he’s muscular and stuff—he just stands out. I wasn’t even going to do cross-country, and my mom just told me during the summer while they were at cross-country camp, ‘You should go [to the practice for non-camp runners].’ My mom told me to go, and I just ended up doing it. Even now, and during my whole high school career, [Coach Pi] was always doing things to make it fun. We’d play Ultimate Frisbee sometimes when heck, we could’ve been getting injured. We did football tosses and made running fun. He just did the silliest things, and at the time it was like, What are we doing now that’s stupid? It was so different in college—I like college—but it’s just different. I remember asking Coach [John] Foss when I came [to IWU], ‘So do you guys like, play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee and stuff?’ I could tell he was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ … My whole high school career, [Coach Pi] made it fun for me, and I try to make things fun, and I like when other people try to do that. He loves running, and we took it seriously, but he was never—I mean, we had a lot of interesting personalities on the team, so the fact that he balanced all that is incredible. If you knew all of us, you’d just be like, ‘How did he deal with you guys and make you guys pretty good runners?’ He knows his stuff, and he just keeps it fun.”

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No. 109

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“A lot of people running in college won a lot of their events in high school, so that’s a big difference when they come to college and they’re like, ‘Wait, what?’ I think it’s important for people to realize that winning is important, but it’s not everything. Giving your best really is enough and the best thing you can do. And loving running.”

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No. 108

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I trained all through the spring to get ready for cross-country for my junior year [at IWU]. In high school, I was the top guy on our team, so confidence in high school was huge for me. It propelled me to being the No. 1, and then I came here junior year, and I was all the way in the back. So that whole flip was huge for me and completely diminished any confidence I had, and I definitely struggled through that. But then I learned that [running] is more than just an individual sport, and you can be excited for other people on your team.”

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No. 107

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My advice for someone who wants to run in college is the importance of doing the little things right. It’s something we talk a lot about here. The importance of getting good sleep, of eating well, stretching—those little things can really help prevent injuries, and they can really help long-term create your season and kind of help mold the runner you are. It also gives you more confidence knowing you did everything right. You don’t doubt yourself like, ‘Oh, well maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that before I raced today, or maybe I should have slept more.’ You know no matter what, you left everything out there.”

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No. 106

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’ve gone through several periods where I wasn’t running at all. About three-and-a-half years ago, I started getting an itch to do it again. The loop around my neighborhood is just over a mile, and I always had in my mind that whenever I wanted—until I was like 45—I’d be able to break five minutes in the mile. I hadn’t run a step in earnest in a year-and-a-half or so. I decided one night—I was going through some family problems and just a super stressful time in my life—that I was going to go for it tonight. I’m going to run a mile as fast I can around the neighborhood and see where I’m at. I went out there, did a warm-up lap, stretched a little bit. For 1.1 miles, I ran about 5:50, so nowhere close to sub-five. It was a super humbling moment—I don’t think I was proud of my running at that point, and I had no reason to be. It was like, Oh my gosh, if you gotta do this, you’re gonna have to really invest in it. That moment was a turning point for me. I realized that I’m not getting any younger, and I’m only going to have this time of my life to take a crack at finding out what my potential is. After that, I started taking training pretty seriously. Not even six months later, I ran 1:13 for a half marathon.”

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No. 105

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I gave this advice to a high schooler last week, so hopefully it’s good. She’s injured and she called me. I don’t know her well, but she went to my high school, and she’s like, ‘I don’t know what to do. I’m so discouraged, and nothing’s going the way I want it to.’ I just told her that everybody takes their turn being injured. You just have to have a good attitude through it, because I don’t know anyone who hasn’t gotten injured in their running career. We all take turns being injured, and what’s going to show about you has nothing to do with your running ability. If you can just show your teammates that you have an amazing attitude even though you’re not able to compete right now, that’s going to do so much more than what you would have contributed to the team.”

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No. 104, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

Who is your biggest running inspiration?

“I would say all my coaches combined. We may not realize it when we have them for the time being, but they definitely pour into you. They definitely put all their time and their effort into making you the best, maybe not even runner, but person you can be. I know Coach [John] Foss is big on that.”

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No. 104

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Going into my senior year of high school, I was looking to do really well in the state—hopefully top five [in cross-country]. All of a sudden, during a race, I just feel something pop in my groin. It basically ended my season. I was optimistic about it at first, thinking, It’s not that big of a deal because it’s not even close to postseason. But it just didn’t work out to the point where I couldn’t get back to where I was the previous year. I definitely think that there was a plan that God had for me to come here [to Indiana Wesleyan], honestly. A couple schools backed off as soon as they knew I was injured, and I think that’s why I ended up here at IWU. … I definitely [questioned my future running career]. I didn’t think I was done; I thought that confidence would be an issue. My senior year track season definitely helped, putting me back on the right track to doing well.”

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No. 103, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“FloTrack covers a ton of [NCAA] D1, D2 track and cross-country events, but for D3, it’d be nice to have something—like Hooray Run—something that can cover D3. I think it’d make it a lot more interesting and fun for the D3 athletes, getting that coverage. It could be a recruiting tool and help motivate [runners] throughout the season. I know at the D2 level we were constantly on FloTrack and TFRRS.org. There’s definitely some great opportunity at the D3 level for some of that coverage to happen, and it should.”

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No. 103, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What advice would you give to a high school runner who’s considering running in college?”

“You have to have that mindset that you’re not going to be the best on the team. You might have been the best on your high school team, but you’ve got to go in with the mindset that it’s going to to be a lot harder—the mileage, the intensity, everything is going to be tougher. But you have to have that mindset that, Let’s just push through it. My freshman year might be a tough year, but it’ll be worth it sophomore, junior, senior year. You’ll put in that work, put in that mileage, and it’ll be rewarding by the end of your career. … One thing to look for in a college program is having a good group. I was in the mid-distance group, and one thing that I experienced and was blessed with at both Hope and Grand Valley was the sense of unity within our workout groups. We all were great friends—basically brothers—but when it came to workouts, we were pushing each other and wanted to get after it and get the most out of that workout.”

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No. 103

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“The summer before my senior year [at Hope College], I found out that I had a torn labrum in my right hip. It wasn’t going to be getting any better. It was going to be worse the more and more I ran on it. I had thought that my senior year was in the books. I had a great junior year and was coming off an All-American season. At that point I was like, Well, at least I was able to have that [All-American season] in my career. So I had a hip surgery that fall, but I never really threw my season out of the way. So I kept working and tried to rehab, and all of a sudden, the season comes up and I’m doing well. I would definitely say the hip surgery was the darkest spot in my season, but I was able to overcome it. … After finishing fourth at nationals [in the 800] my junior year, I had it in my mind that I’m going to win the national title next year, I want to be first. But then, when I found out about my hip surgery, it changed my perception on that, and that goal had to change. So my goal ended up being, OK, let’s see if I can run this season. Then it turned into, OK, let’s see if I can make it to nationals. OK, maybe let’s see if I can make the top eight [in the 800] again. My intentions and goals had to change a little bit. [Finishing fourth again] was a relief. It was definitely a relief, because I was like, Oh man, this has been a rough season, but I made it, and it was a great experience. It was a relieving feeling, but an accomplished feeling as well.”

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No. 2, Revisited—5th Visit

photo (42)

Photo by James Rogers

“What do you think of the marathon world record [2:02:57]?”
“I remember when [Geoffrey] Mutai went 2:03:02 [at 2011 Boston], but it didn’t count because it was wind-aided. At the time, that was the fastest marathon. And I remember seeing 2:03:02 and thinking, Wow that’s so close to 2:02, and thinking, That’s stupid fast. To put it in not-runner terms, so people can fully understand it…like, most people can’t sprint that fast. I mean, I doubt the average person could run a 400 as fast as all the elite marathoners’ pace. But let alone, that world record is just like…I mean, that’s gonna stay for a while, I think. There really is no words to describe it. You can say it’s ridiculous, it’s stupid fast, it’s unbelievable—but the fact of the matter is, until you’re there to see someone run that fast for that long in person, I don’t think you can fully understand just how fast that is. Or if you tried to do it even for a little bit yourself. Like go out there and set a treadmill at 4:42 [mile pace], and then just see how long you can do that for. I mean, they’re crazy.”

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No. 2, Revisited—4th Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I was cut from my seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams. Me and Nick Ready were the only two kids to be cut from both teams, both years. At that point, I decided that maybe basketball isn’t my thing. Then after playing basketball this weekend with the boys, that thought was only solidified by me going 1-for-17 from behind the arc. … I’ve been on plenty of long runs when I thought, I think I might’ve missed my calling. Ya know? If I was just a little bit taller, a little bit bigger and a little bit better at basketball. … Nothin’ but net.”

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Nos. 101 & 102

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

I wasn’t expecting to have the opportunity to talk with Ron Warhurst and Maverick Darling on my trip to Ann Arbor, but these two allowed me to listen in on their conversation and ask questions. Beijing Olympics 1,500-meter silver medalist Nick Willis also popped in briefly to do strides on the indoor track.

Warhurst became the Michigan cross-country coach in 1974 and ended up guiding more than 40 All-Americans and 12 Olympians during his time as XC and track and field coach. He retired in 2010 but continues to coach post-collegiate runners in the Ann Arbor area, including Willis and 3:51 miler Will Leer.

Darling won three straight MHSAA D3 cross-country state titles at Ovid-Elsie and went on to be a multiple-time All-American and Big Ten champion at Wisconsin. He has a 5K PR of 13:27, and I’m looking forward to his progression at the professional level.

After running 8:01 at the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile in 2013, Warhurst talked about his adventure at the same race in 2014:

“I said, ‘I’m coming back, and I’m gonna run seven minutes next year [in 2014].’ … So then, I started training for it. I had two stints put in my heart eight years ago, so in the last week of July, I started getting a pain in my neck again, and I’m going, ‘Dammit, I know what that feeling is.’ And my doctor said, ‘You don’t need a stress test—you’ll know the feeling when you get it.’ … So I’m starting to train pretty good, and I’m getting a pain in my neck, and I’m feeling shitty and thinking, ‘Dammit, I know I can get through September.’ So, it’s getting worse, so I’m training shittier. So I get there and I do it anyway. And I already had an appointment set up with my heart specialist four of five days after the race, so I get there, I’m doing it, I’m warming up. The day before [the race], I’m going, ‘Dammit, I can feel it…’ So I’m running my ass off, and I didn’t feel it, probably because I was thinking too much. About 100 yards out from the finish, here’s [Will] Leer and the Minnesota guys and all the girls, all the pro guys and pro girls, and they’re yelling, ‘Come on, coach!’ So I’m running, and I’m kicking my ass off at seven-minute pace, ya know? I’m in an all-out sprint.

“So I see them hanging around the finish line, and I started to smile and went to flip ‘em off, and the next step—right in front of them—I hit the ground, bang! I’m laying on the ground going, ‘Did I have a heart attack?’ I don’t feel any pain, but my knee is killing me, my elbow is killing me. And all I can hear is, ‘Get up! You gotta finish! Get up!’ Leer’s screaming, they’re all yelling at me. So I get up and I’m going like this, ‘OK, it can’t be a heart attack. I don’t hurt, I’m still going.’ And it’s like slow motion to get to the finish. So I ran 7:42, and I was a mess. I still got a lump on my elbow—it’s all skinned up and shit. … I got back on Sunday, and my appointment was Thursday with the doctor. I didn’t do anything all week; I was too sore and stiff. So I get in there, and they took my blood pressure. I was waiting for them to start telling [I raced]. I walk into his office, and he goes, ‘I understand that you and John U. Bacon are running Boston.’ I go, ‘Well yeah.’ He says, ‘Well I want in.’ I go, ‘OK.’ Then he looks and he goes, ‘What’s this 140 blood pressure? How ya feeling?’ I said, ‘Well pretty good. I got this pain.’ He says, ‘You asshole!’ Because he knew I was gonna tell him. He goes, ‘How long have you had it?’ I go, ‘Two, three, four, five, six weeks…’ He says, ‘Get your ass, we’re gonna go get a stress test.’ So I get a stress test, and then he says it’s blocked and don’t do anything till Monday. So I put another stint in, and I ran with that thing. And now a week later, I’m feeling like a bitch, man, I’m running hard. So I was a half-ass to run that race, and I had half a heart. Now I have a big ass on me, and my heart’s full.”

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No. 100

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“This past summer has been very disappointing for me, because—even though I didn’t have any huge bombs—I didn’t feel that I was reaching my potential, and I struggled with some injury. Overall, I was pretty much just disappointed every time I touched the track in races. So it was a hard summer. But this fall has been really good, and I think one of the big things that’s helped me was working with a sports psychologist. She’s helped me to focus on the right things and enjoy what I’m doing and love myself. I don’t have any races to really show that I’m out of that yet, but I don’t really need to prove it to myself because I know—I can tell that I’m happier and I’m enjoying my training and things are going well. I feel full of hope.”

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No. 99

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My most frustrating running moment was my junior year at Hillsdale [College]. I had suffered a series of three stress fractures between my freshman and sophomore year, so I was out a year of racing. I came back really slowly. My junior year in cross-country, I was still running pretty slow. Hadn’t PR’d in two years. I had raced at our home course—ran the worst I ever finished on our team. And I just felt like my running career was going nowhere. … Immediately getting through that, my coach decided to have me do more of a fun race, a shorter one. Get out there and just feel the point of racing again: to enjoy it. I ended up running pretty well, felt a little bit more competitive, came back three weeks later and finally PR’d by 45 seconds in the 6K. … Since that point, it’s been kind of a steady progression where I keep putting the work in, and I am seeing the results. That’s keeping me motivated. … We do have a tradition at Hillsdale College. It’s called the Cider Mill Run. Our coach [was] Wild Bill Lundberg, who is just a crazy coach, and what he has us do is we run for a couple miles in the woods, and we pick up all the glass bottles we can find. He’s got a pedestal that we’re supposed to put them on, and we’ll get rocks and take turns chucking the rocks. And whoever breaks the bottle gets a free pair of shoes. So this is what we do every year as our fun run the week before regionals.”

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No. 98, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“One of my biggest setbacks in high school would be having a stress fracture from my last season of track. This was going into senior season, big goals ahead. I had already committed to Michigan, but I still had times I wanted to get. … I had a really good indoor season, then two meets into the outdoor season, my shins just completely gave out on me. So I got an MRI, found out I had two stress fractures. So that kinda put a damper on training right away. I got to the Golden Triangle Meet at Saline, kinda like a state meet preview, and I got to run the 8 [800 meters] there—it was the last thing I did before taking a month-and-a-half off. So I spent a month-and-a-half in the pool. I’d get up in the morning and swim with the swim team. Then after school, either elliptical or bike and then get back in the pool. I did that all the way up to the regional meet, so I got to regionals, and I hadn’t been on a track up until like the day before, and that was just a couple of strides. So I got through that, qualified with a time, made it to the state meet. My coach from there had me doing workouts every once in a while. With 200 meters left in the state meet race though, I felt something shift in my shin, and it just gave out on me. So I went from being third with like 250 to go, to dead last. I got a pity clap coming in the homestretch—probably one of the worst moments ever. … So that was my transition into collegiate running.

“I got back for cross-country [at Michigan], and then same thing: double stress fractures again right before indoor started, except it was both legs this time. I kinda rushed back into training because I was really eager about starting college running. I felt like I had a little bit of ground to make up. … It was one of those things where you got to know the pool, the bike and the Ann Arbor swim club that comes in between 11 and 1. I knew their times, they knew me. We were on a first-name basis in the diving well. So that was one of those things where you didn’t really get to see the team very much freshman year, which was difficult. … But with maybe two months left in outdoor, I started training again, so I got to do my base mileage, and the upperclassmen girls were really good about bringing me back. I got to race one meet at the end of the season. It was just an 800, and I literally had not touched a track since doing a race [simulation] 600 indoor back in December. So [Coach] McGuire came up to me before, and in terms of life advice, McGuire is a pretty quiet guy, very few words. And the only thing he said to me was, ‘If you go out and try to lead this in a 60 or 61, I will run out onto the lane and tackle you’ and walked away. So I pretty much went out, sat back the first lap and then picked up the second lap again. Took his advice, and it went really well. I think I got second in the heat and broke my high school PR. So I went 2:14-low, and I was really happy with it for a first race back.”

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Nos. 95, 96 & 97, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

Right: “I want to do a road mile. I want to break 16 in the 5K. I have wanted to break 17 in the 5K for a long time for cross-country, and I did it in my 6K on Sunday. I was so happy when I saw the time. Because that was my high school PR [17:00.2]. And we don’t run 5K very often [in college]. For so long I was like, ‘I can’t break my high school time.’ But I finally did it.”
“Talk about Coach McGuire. What has he taught you that you’ll take with you beyond Michigan?”
Right: “Tough love, don’t feel sorry for yourself, and just work hard. … There’s a level of accountability on the team, and so whenever there’s a period of no leadership and no seniors making sure everyone’s running enough miles, then the team’s way worse for a few years. … He really lets us create our own culture. He knows that even if he tried to create our culture, he couldn’t. You know what I mean? He’s one person, there’s 30 of us.”
Center: “He’s not really that involved in every single aspect of our training. He doesn’t tell us how many miles to run—it’s up to us. We adjust it to how we feel and how our bodies are reacting to it. … [Coach McGuire] is old enough and wise enough to know that this is the best way it works.”

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No. 98

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’m an 800 runner, and long-distance running is not my thing. But I think doing a marathon on every continent would be amazing. I love traveling and meeting new people. It’s definitely something I want to do—it’d be cool to incorporate running to traveling. And then racing a race in each state, whether that’s collegiately and traveling for that, or post-grad. It’d be cool to do an any-distance-in-any-state type of thing. So anywhere from 5K to 10K, half marathon to full [marathon].”

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No. 97

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My darkest times have been both of my freshman years. In high school, my freshman year, it was my first season running cross-country, and I played soccer at a pretty high level, so I did both at the same time. I was on a state runner-up soccer team, as well as being an all-state cross-country runner. It was a tough balance, and it was my first year of high school. I remember one day in the middle of the season just going out for a normal run with my senior captains and all my best friends, and I just remember breaking down, crying, stopping, and I just curled up in a little ball. I look back to them picking me up and pushing me through it all, teaching me that everything is gonna be all right. I correlate that with my freshman year here, because I had similar leadership in our captains. I had some pretty awful races my freshman year. It was just as similar, even though there wasn’t soccer involved. College is hard, classes are hard, training at this level is really hard. So those two freshman years were hard.”

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No. 96

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“The harshest [running] times are when you go into a race and you’re really fit and really ready and really excited, and you just run awful, and there’s no reason why. You question everything. You question your talent, you question your preparation, you question if you’re cut out for it, you question if you’re mentally tough. You just question everything, and it’s really hard to bounce back from those [races] more so than injury. You just have no idea why it went so horribly. It’s hard to go into the next race after that happening. How do you get your confidence back? How do you feel ready to race again? Those have been the darkest times, but I’m lucky because Coach [Mike] McGuire has invested a lot of time and energy and resources in me, and helping make sure I’m prepared. So usually when that happens, I’ve been able to either get stronger the next year from it or get stronger the next race. It’s just been a huge learning process.”

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No. 95

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My biggest setback is my sophomore and junior year when I didn’t make nationals in outdoor. I had been making it in indoor since my freshman year, so it was always my expectation to make it. It was in the 800, I didn’t make it sophomore year, and then I thought for sure I’d make it junior year in the 15 [1,500 meters]. I was really, really stupid in my race. I was forced to the lead in the 15, and I just didn’t realize how much that would affect me, even though I wasn’t running that fast. It still tired me out, and I just died at the end. I was really devastated, so the next year I just tried to be smarter with my racing. I got a lot better the next year and made it to nationals. … The DMR [distance medley relay] is such a Michigan tradition. Everyone wants to be on a leg eventually. There’s always so much hype about it, and we usually take a team to nationals. A lot of times it’s a priority over an individual event, just because it’s so much fun and there isn’t a [DMR] in outdoor. We always try to qualify in the DMR. Some days it has come down to the last-chance meet having to do it, and then we decide after that what we’re gonna do. Like my senior year, a lot of us qualified individually, too, but we decided that that was the year we thought we could really win it, especially since after the last-chance meet we had the No. 1 time in the country. So we were just gonna focus on the [DMR]. And it was so fun to go to nationals. The relays are just so fun.”

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No. 94

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I was injured my sophomore cross-country year and my junior year, so I went two consecutive cross-country seasons of battling injuries, trying to help out my team to win Big Tens—it’s always been a back-and-forth battle between Michigan State. It’s been really, really tough. For some reason, I train too hard in the summer after track season, and I end up getting injured in cross-country. I think the hardest moment for me was my junior year when I ended up fracturing a bone in my foot after just months and months of trying to avoid that. And I did that at Pre-Nats, and the following weekend was Big Tens, and our team ended up winning [Big Tens]. It was really bittersweet for me, because I wanted to be a part of it, but I was so happy for them. And at the same time, I was like, ‘Gosh, you don’t get a championship every year.’ We’ve been battling the last two years, and we’ve gotten beat by Michigan State the last two years. I think my teammates wanted to share it with me, but at the same time, it’s different when you’re not in the race or you don’t get to run. After that, I was hungry—I wanted to help the team, I wanted to be a part of a championship. Finally last year, my senior year, I was healthy, and we almost won the Big Ten meet, but the biggest thing was that we got fourth at nationals. That was really, really incredible. That’s almost as cool as winning a championship. It was nice to finally share that with my teammates.”

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Describe that feeling of being fourth at nationals.”

“You know what, we got done, and we were so cold and so defeated in a way, that we were like, ‘Wow, that wasn’t good. Man, it was so tough.’ We’re all just freezing cold, and we got out, and everybody was like smiling and so happy, and we’re like, ‘What happened?’ And then we hear we got fourth, and we’re like, ‘There’s no way we got fourth.’ And we ended up actually getting fourth. We just were ecstatic—that’s what happens when everybody finishes a race and feels like they couldn’t have given anything else. It was defeating because we all were so tired, and we felt like it didn’t go well because it was one of the hardest races that we had ever run. It was 19 degrees, there was ankle-deep mud and water the entire race, so when you get done, you don’t know how you did, because the times aren’t fast, you feel like you’re drowning the whole time. … To share that with your teammates is something that you never forget. It’s hard to explain what it does feel like. It’s unlike any individual thing that I’ve ever accomplished.”

“What’s still on the running bucket list?”

“I don’t have an outdoor season anymore, but I specialize in the steeplechase, and I ran 10:02 last year. I would do anything to break the 10-minute barrier. I’d also like to go to USAs this year. I do think I’m going to give it another run.”

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No. 93

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My darkest running moment was from my sophomore year during track season. I had a really bad ankle sprain. I was working out and going over the barriers, and on the water jump on one of the intervals, my foot was just twisted there, and I came down on it and sprained it really bad. Everyone thought it was broken, but luckily it wasn’t—it was just a very severe sprain. So I had to go through about six to eight weeks of rehab. I was in a walking boot, on crutches. Eight weeks later was when I was able just to start jogging, very light jogging. During that month-and-a-half to two months, it was pretty frustrating because I was just out of the loop, and it was hard to see the end of the injury. What kept me seeing through it all was continuing to be on the rehab and making sure I was doing everything I possibly could to get better and as fast as I could. I would try to put myself into team situations or events and just talk to people as much as I could. Without running, without practice every day, you don’t get that aspect as much. … Coach [Mike] McGuire is very supportive, and he’ll tell you to listen to your body and make sure you’re not overdoing it our pushing too hard. He doesn’t want [an injury] to get worse, obviously. He’s very encouraging, and he believes in you, which is the biggest thing that helps you get through something like that.”

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I definitely want to do a half marathon officially in a race. We do [13.1 miles] in a long run every week, but I’d like to do a half marathon race. After that, I want to do a marathon. Eventually, I would like to do at least one triathlon and one Ironman. This is kind of the sequence of events that I eventually want to get done. I want to do all those things at least once, and then after that maybe see if I like one particular thing or the other. I definitely still want to have that competitive edge when collegiate running is done.”

“I’m a high school senior, I’ve narrowed my college decision down to Michigan and three other schools, I want to run. How would you pitch Michigan to me to convince me to come here for running and academics?”

“I could relate, because I was down to Michigan and a few other schools, and what really sold me was the academics here and just the history and the tradition of all the athletic programs—especially women’s cross-country in general, and with Mike McGuire being such a highly respected coach. To be an athlete under him, I knew I’d be able to reach my potential, and he’d be able to turn me from being an average high school runner to a pretty good collegiate runner. I’d tell a high school senior to look at the history and all the runners he’s coached and what he’s done.”

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No. 92, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’ve been running ever since sixth grade. Running is the purest form of sport—it’s just mind over physical exhaustion. It’s all about willing yourself. There’s no other sport where it’s just as simple as beating the next guy with your feet. … [Running] is just such a simple thing, and to do a very human, simple thing, like running down by the dunes or running by the lake, you just feel one with nature. I love it.”

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No. 92

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I was going into my freshman year of high school. I was running downtown Grand Haven, and I had one of those cutoff sleeveless shirts that was just ratty. It was a really ugly shirt, worn-down. We ran through the mud in the woods, so I’ve got mud caked all over my legs. I sit down—I got a rock in my shoe—so I sit down outside one of these downtown buildings. I take off my shoe, and I got a big hole in my sock. My shirt’s just hanging all over the place. I’m dirty and sweaty. And I’m sitting against this building, and this woman comes up and hands me a dollar and walks off. She thought I was homeless. I kept the dollar.”

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Nos. 90 & 91

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

R: “I really like Alexi Pappas, mainly because she’s just different. Not many people know her; she’s not too big. She’s not like Mary Cain. I know that she’s friends with Jordan Hasay, and I really like Jordan Hasay, too. I just really like their friendship. And I like how [Alexi] does the steeplechase.”
L: “My inspiration is my boyfriend. He’s here today to race. He got me to keep running, because I wanted to quit.”

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No. 89

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I brought a flag just so that, when my teammates were running by, they could see that and know that we were out there supporting them.”
“Did you make the flag yourself?”
“Yes I did.”
“Out of what?”
“A few years ago I ran a 5K—my town has a little festival, and they had a 5K, so I turned [the race’s] shirt inside-out and made a flag out of it. The pole is a broomstick.”
“Who would you say is your biggest running inspiration?”
“My sister really got me to start running. She was the first person in our family to really start running, and everybody else in my family after her just kept running.”

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No. 88

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“After Portage, we had team bonding. The girls went and had a sleepover at a girl’s house, and then the boys decided just to do their own thing. First what happened is we tried to go scare the girls—it didn’t really work. We really didn’t do much, and we just kinda said, ‘Oh hey, what’s up?’ and left. After that, we went back to the other guy’s house, and I left, but the other guys slept over. The next morning, they woke up, and their cars were just covered with tampons. They were all over the street, in everyone’s yards. This kid got a whole bunch of paint chipped off his car.”
“So when you next saw the girls team, how was it?”
“It was really upsetting. We made some fake threats that we were gonna call the police, just to see what they would do. We still haven’t gotten them back yet. Tell them to watch their backs.”

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No. 87

Photo by Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press

Photo by Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press

“Balancing grad school and marathon training has been very tough this semester, but in the end, I think running is what helps me get through the tough school days. It gives me a break from studying, and I can let out any frustrations on my run.”
“You finished first on Sunday, but what do you think you can do better in preparation for/during your next marathon?”
“In prep for my next marathon, I hope to do more strength training and build up my mileage a little more in order to cut my time down. During the marathon, I will try to listen to my body more and worry less about my mile splits.”

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No. 64, Revisited

Photo by Noah Litwiller

Photo by Noah Litwiller

“I lost my shoe during the first 200-400 meters of the race. Finished in 27:18.”

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No. 86

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“From my understanding, ‘tunas’ are little inside jokes that have happened on runs and at races. We say tuna when we do butterfly stretches. The captains will go, ‘Tu!’ and then everybody else will say, ‘Na!’ Basically, we have a bunch of those. … We had this tuna we made one day—it wasn’t super drastic. We were running out that way, toward 160th, I think. And Michael Perry, a kid who was a senior last year, was running, and there’s like a plastic caution stick next to a fire hydrant. He tried to jump over it, and he landed on it and broke it off, in half. He was standing there holding it, and everyone ran past him and was like, ‘Oh my gosh! What have you done?’ And later that day, we had a tuna. The captains yelled ‘Perry!’ and then everyone else yelled ‘Stick!’ for ‘Perry Stick.’ That’s the best part, because anybody else who hears that is like, ‘What on earth does that mean?’ … A tuna is something that happens, like an inside joke that we talk about only when we’re doing butterfly stretches.”

[Note: Tunas go back a long way—possibly to the early 2000s—in Grand Haven XC history. Will Hewitt, GH’s assistant coach and a former GH runner, contributed to this quote.]

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No. 85

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I like running because it’s a challenge. I’m not like a super competitive person, but I like racing myself to get better times. I just joined cross-country last year, so I’ve definitely gotten better. It’s really fun to get better all the time. … I try my best, and especially joining cross-country, it’s helped me realize I can go farther, and I can do things better.”

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No. 84

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’m not super talented, and especially right now, I have the most insane school schedule ever. I’m in the marching band, so yesterday’s schedule was wake up, march for an hour, go through school, run like eight miles. … I guess what it comes down to with me and running, especially in races, is I just push myself to my absolute limit. And I literally go to the point where how much farther can I go, how much can I push myself, and can I actually be amazing? … One thing I tell myself during races is run till I vomit, because that’s how I know I pushed myself to the absolute limit.”

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No. 83

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My favorite thing about running is when you get out there, and it’s just run your own pace, peaceful. No cars around you. No noises.”
“So I assume your favorite running terrain is the trails?”
“My favorite running is on the trails. … I like Hofma Park.”

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No. 82

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“If you’re determined to do something, do it, and don’t hold back on it. … My teammates are fun, energetic and just a great group of guys to be around. Honestly, that’s the other half that makes it fun to run—it’s the people that you’re with.”

///

No. 2, Revisited—3rd Visit

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I used to get really bummed after a bad race or a bad workout. Now I keep in perspective that some people don’t even get the opportunity to have any race, let alone a bad one. I am so thankful to be part of such a fun community that celebrates the fast and the slow, the pros and the leisure joggers, the old and the young, the new and the experienced. I am humbled by the hearts and legs of the people around me, both on my team and in this world.”

///

No. 81

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s been the toughest part of the transition from high school running to college running?”
“Mostly the daily physical abuse from Tim Simon.”

[Tim Simon is one of his XC captains, and he actually appreciates Tim.]

///

Nos. 78 & 80, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I threw up three times after the race today.”
“And I know you’ll run tomorrow. What’ll make you put in the miles tomorrow?”
“Yeah, I’ll run tomorrow. Definitely. I have to push harder and not let it happen again.”

///

No. 80

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“This was about the time I started getting into cross-country. One morning, I was in Ohio staying at this hotel. And my mom gets up, and she’s been dieting and stuff, and she’s like, ‘I’m gonna go to the weight room, and I’m gonna walk on the treadmill. If you need me, I’ll be in there. I’ll just let you keep sleeping.’ Then I was like, ‘Wait, I’ll come with you.’ So I got up and ate breakfast at six in the morning. Right after I ate breakfast, I went to the workout room. And I thought there was going to be squats there, and I enjoy doing squats. … I get down there, it’s one of those corner machines—those things are confusing. I see a treadmill. I’m like, All right, whatever. My mom gets on a treadmill, she’s walking, I get on one, I start walking a bit. Mind you, my breakfast was 400 calories. I turned it up, I started running. Next thing I know it’s 10 minutes. Keep running, OK, now it’s 16 minutes. It’s 6:20 in the morning, and I’ve run two miles already. I keep running, and I run like five miles that morning, and it’s not even 6:40 yet. And I burned off 1,000 calories, and my breakfast was 400. So I went and had a second breakfast, and it tasted delicious.”

///

No. 79

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’ve started around 800 races and meets—cross-country and track. This is my 18th year. … When the meet is over, I don’t have to run to the locker room or my car. I’ve only had a few people tell me that my start was bad.”
“If you could give one piece of advice to high school cross-country runners, what would it be?”
“One? Ah, well, it’s important to know the course. And for the coaches, it’s important to know the rules.”

///

No. 78

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“This summer in July, in Charlevoix, Michigan, I ran the Jeff Drenth 10K. I had been suffering from an IT band problem, and it was giving me knee pains in my right leg. I was doing great, and I was making goal pace, until the fifth mile. Then I got knee pain, and I struggled through it for another quarter-mile. And then I was just completely frustrated, and I had to walk for about 30 seconds. So I just decided to take my shoes off because I felt that they were the reason why I was having the problem. I ran the last mile with no shoes. It was great, too, because it was wet, and they were pretty much water-logged anyhow. I was just running in long, shin-high socks. Just basketball socks. … I came in, and my mom was like, ‘What’s he carrying?’ I had a shoe in each hand. I came across the finish line like that. And I still won in my age group.”

///

Nos. 76 & 77, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“It was during the summer of 2013, and we just started—we didn’t even know each other, did we? It was seventh-grade year for us. We wanted to join cross-country, and they said they were doing a ‘square’ that day. And we had no clue what it was. It’s a six-mile run. So we were nervous, and we ran together, and, well … Almost about halfway through—or we thought it was about halfway through—it wasn’t. It was one mile in, and we died. We just stopped. We were walking. We were so out of shape. … We also got pretty lost. Our coach comes around to see who’s still running and picks us up, and we got picked up. And he’s like, ‘Why are you still out here, ya losers?’ He was kidding, he was kidding. … It was our first impression of cross-country, and it wasn’t a good one.”

[They told me the “Square” is not a fun run. It’s not shady, it’s hilly. Then they told me about the “Megasquare”—a nine-mile run.]

///

Nos. 76-79

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I love being with friends.”
“Running gives me a peace of mind. It can be relaxing.”
“It’s just fun, and it feels good.”
“I like to eat.”
“The faster you run, the faster you’re done.”
“Even if you have to stop and stretch, keep going.”

///

Nos. 73, 74 & 75

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“[Steve Prefontaine] just wanted it more. He wasn’t afraid to lead. If he wanted to win it, he was gonna win it.”
“What do you love about running?”
“It’s just so much fun, and you get to meet a bunch of really great people, and it’s a great community.”
“What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?”
“Run your own race.”
“As for the teams we’re facing, just go and get them. Be better than them.”
“Do you remember what got you into running?”
“When I was younger, I had a really mean, bad baseball coach. He made me end up quitting that sport, and my sister ran, and I said, Well, I don’t want to deal with him as a coach, so I might as well try something else. That’s what got me into running. So if it wasn’t for that guy being the way he was, I wouldn’t have gotten into running.”

///

Nos. 70, 71 & 72

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Perry. It was out in the middle of nowhere, by the side of a highway. It was right next to a mobile home park in the middle of the woods. I mean, it was all uphill and downhill. And it rained the night before, so it was all mud, and we were crawling up and down the hills. This one hill, we went to the bottom, and it’s all mud, and you have to get on your hands and knees to crawl back up. … No one PR’d that day. We just went there and had fun.”
“Did your coach give you any advice before the race?”
“Use the hills. Use the hills to your advantage. Yeah, and he said just be careful not to fly off into the bushes. … After the race, we went to that [muddy] hill and did it a couple more times, just crawling back up it.”

///

No. 69

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Traverse City West and Central have like 50-inch TVs in their hallways.”
“So what made you start this exploring of schools when you got to the meets?”
“We had to go to the bathroom. We don’t like going in the Port-a-Johns, so we went into the school to the bathroom. We just expanded off of that.”
“Is there something you have to do before every race, like a routine?”
“We can’t be negative, whatsoever. We have to do pushups if we are.”
“I always have to wear compression shorts. In those short shorts, I don’t need to be blinding people.”
“Gotta work on the thigh tan in the summer, ya know?”
“Yup, that’s my next project.”
“Do you like your home course?”
“Everything but the hill.”
“I like it because we practice on it, so we’re conditioned for every other place that’s out there. No one has a hill that bad, so we’re ready for whatever.”
“No hill like the Ogemaw hill. What keeps you running every day?”
“I did it yesterday, so I can do it again today.”

///

No. 68

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

This group finds substantial fun in growing together as teammates. A couple of them run cross-country to prep for wrestling season. I was given a couple inspirational quotes:

“Pain is weakness leaving the body. When I start to hurt while running, I think, Hey, that’s weakness, and it’s leaving my body!”
“Sweat is fat crying.”

///

Nos. 66 & 67

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I don’t like when people pass me, but I definitely like passing people.”
“I like the view on the trails.”

///

No. 2, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, I worked as a camp counselor for third-fifth graders. I got up every morning at 5:30 to get my daily 10 [miles] in, but I would also use camp games as additional mileage. I convinced several kids throughout the summer that I was an Olympic 5K runner about to leave for London—this was in 2012. I would usually outrun them, but occasionally I was caught, and when that happened, I never heard the end of it. They thought it was the coolest thing in the world to catch an ‘Olympian.’ It worked out for my benefit, too, because I got some wicked speed training that year from outrunning little kids!”

///

No. 65

Photos by James Rogers

Photos by James Rogers

Several quotes from this group follow. Oh, and this is five out of nearly 60 girls running for the same high school.

“I love being with the team.”
“We like competition. We won a state title in 2012. That was my favorite running moment.”
“There’s a lot of good energy, especially when everyone’s competing at and for the same distance.”
“Even when you’re physically dying, you don’t let your team down.”

///

No. 64

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“During my senior year when we broke our school 4×800 record, I got to anchor that team, and when I got the baton, I knew we were cutting it really close. So, I took it out hard. I came around, and coach was screaming at me: ’54, 54!’ I had never gone nearly that fast before, but I’m like, All right, well, just gotta keep going now. I get around 200 meters left, and I hear my principal yelling, ‘You’re a beast! You’re an animal!’ That gave me the confidence to just keep going. Finished the race strong, we broke the record by a second—7:58.73. Coach had me splitting a 1:54.8 on his watch, and that was by far my fastest. It was a good race.”

///

Nos. 61, 62 & 63

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Last year at this meet [the Spartan Invite], there was us three and two others. She was running, and one of our other girls tried to jump and pull her pants down, and she fell, and she fell. And she was running behind them and trips over the two that fell. I was running and saw them all fall, and I was laughing so hard my knees gave out, and I fell. Our fifth girl turns around and looks at all of us laying on the ground, and all she says is, ‘Get off the ground.’ … It was our cool-down, we had just finished our race. … I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard.”

[Note: There was a lot of pointing and “she” claims going on during the story, so I thought I’d clarify that yes, four girls were down.]

///

No. 60

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My two cousins have cerebral palsy, and they’re my biggest supporters. One of my cousins can’t walk at all, and it’s our goal to do a race together at some point. We don’t have a racing strategy for her yet, but I would love to do one with her, like a road race. Hopefully start doing those when we’re older. … Any time I’m in a race and I’m dying, or thinking about how much my legs hurt, I just think about how lucky I am to have legs that allow me to run, and I praise God. … They’re 21. They’re like my older sisters.”

///

No. 59

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Before every race in high school, our coach would tell us to run the first mile with our heads, the second mile with our hearts and the third mile with our balls. It wasn’t before just one race—it was before every race.”

///

No. 58

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“If someone were to claim cross-country is a soft sport, how would you respond?”
“It’s the most difficult sport. You’re literally killing yourself until the end. You’re pulling everything out of you, mentally and physically, from start to finish.”

///

No. 57

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I was in Greece, and I went out for a run, it was a cloudy day. Maybe like five minutes in, the sky just opens up, and it starts pouring. I was doing a route around the Acropolis. Normal, normal running day. So it was pouring, and I decided to go for a little bit longer, just because it was fun to be running in the rain. And there’s this super, super busy street that you usually can’t get through because there’s so many people and it’s just crowded. You can’t even go through on cars—it’s all packed. But since it started pouring, everyone cleared out to the side. So it was me, running in the rain, on the street by myself, and everyone on either side just starts cheering. ‘Yeah! Way to go!’ I felt awesome. And I was going around the Acropolis—it was just the best moment.”

///

No. 56

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s been the biggest difference so far between high school and college cross-country?”
“I’d say running with people every day—from freshmen to seniors. Having people to run with all the time has been great. It feels comfortable.”

///

No. 55

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“How fast would you run an 8K in a suit?”
“I’d run a decent 32-minute 8K. If you want me to look good while doing it, then maybe a solid 40 minutes.”

///

No. 39, Revisited

Photo by Graham Hoppstock

Photo by Graham Hoppstock

“What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?”
“A few years ago, my dad told me to run for myself—not for him, and not for someone else’s goals, but to fulfill my purpose. That sounds self-serving, and both my dad and I hold humility in high esteem. However, since then, I’ve built my training philosophy around that mantra—running for myself. Constantly I’m finding new motivations, new records and new allurements to push myself as I run. What my dad instilled in me is an ability to set a goal and strive resolutely to achieve it.”

///

Nos. 52, 53 & 54

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

These three guys are a few of the most enthusiastic fans I’ve ever seen, cheering on the high school runners with abundant passion. I asked them what they love about running: “We get to eat after, and we get to drink lots of water.”

///

No. 51

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Give me one word to describe this team.”
“Insane family.”
“That’s two, but I love it.”

///

No. 50

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?”
“You’re only as good as you let yourself be.”

///

No. 49

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

Superman with the hammer said, “I just love running, from down deep.”

///

No. 48

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Do you guys have some sort of team mantra?”
“Hammer time!”
“What’s one of your favorite things about cross-country?”
“We eat fruit snacks when the running is over.”

///

No. 47

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What keeps you coming back each year to coach?”
“One thing is when they get fired up about something they thought they didn’t want to do. Like today, when they all finished the repeat miles—that was awesome. … It’s fun to watch the love develop.”

///

Nos. 43-46, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

I asked this group to tell me what they love about cross-country. Several answers follow…

“With camp week, we all get closer together.”
“We laugh about everything.”
“Even if you fall, you laugh about it.”
“People encourage you constantly.”
“No cuts.”
“Coaches still encourage you, no matter if you’re running 22 minutes or 28 minutes.”
“Lots of memories, and it’s fun.”
“Keep your eyes on the prize, your eyes toward the finish. It’s like life, keeping your eyes on the ultimate prize.”

///

No. 46

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My dad ran a marathon for every kid, and one for my mom. I’m the youngest of nine. So 10 people, 10 marathons.”

///

No. 45

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

When I asked her who her biggest running inspiration is, she pointed at one of her teammates and said, “She is! She pushes me.”

///

No. 44

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?”
“Never slow down when you’re getting near the finish line.”
“Are you confident in your kick now?”
“Very much so. That’s what I rely on.”

///

No. 43

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s something you like about running?”
“I feel terrible saying this, but the feeling of when I’m done. You know, to be able to say, ‘I did this, and it feels good.'”
“What’s something running gives you that maybe another thing in life doesn’t?”
“Like other sports, I don’t know what I would do without running.”

///

No. 42

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I think running is the best way you can test yourself daily. … I sometimes imagine myself as a wolf. It’s a primal feeling, and we are primal beings. A lot of people run as a physical activity, to get in shape. For me, it’s more spiritual exercise. … To endure as a human being is what running is all about. Our sole purpose is to go.”

///

No. 41

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Running has given me a supportive family. … With cross-country, I’ve learned that being in packs strengthens you so much, and you can go so much farther.”

///

No. 40

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“BURR!”

///

No. 39

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What did you learn from your freshman year of collegiate running?”
“I learned the power of rest and the necessity—and inescapability—of sacrifice. Some days you need an hour nap to run to your capacity. And other days you can’t stay out until 1 a.m. with your friends because you have a workout in the morning. But through my running ventures last year, I also learned the majesty of running—how pretty it can be, how enlivening it can be, and how, sometimes, the best part of running is just running. Just keep your feet moving.”

///

No. 38

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Give me one word to describe this team.”
“Ballsy.”

///

Nos. 36 & 37

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s your favorite part about cross-country season?”
“Bus rides.”
“Why bus rides?”
“Running is stressful, but bus rides aren’t.”
“Getting to see new places in Holland, and especially runs when you end in Lake Michigan.”
“What’s something that gets you out the door to practice every day?”
“We’re depending on each other to be there, as a team. Our teammates keep us going.”

///

Nos. 34 & 35

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?”
“However fast you’re running, run faster.”

///

No. 33

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What’s something about running that gets you out the door every day?
“It’s a great way to calm myself.”
“Who’s your biggest running inspiration?”
“Steve Prefontaine.”
“Why Pre?”
“Everything was in his face and people said he couldn’t do it, and he did it.”

///

Nos. 28-32

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

I asked this group of eighth-graders to tell me (1) the best piece of running advice they’ve received and (2) what they love about running. A few answers for each question…

(1) “Don’t eat right before you run.”
“Pace yourself. Don’t sprint at the start.”
“Don’t give up, just keep running.”

(2) “You just go out and run, and nobody’s judging.”
“Staying fit.”
“It’s all you out there. It can be peaceful.”

///

Nos. 26 & 27

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Would you say your son enjoys running?”
“Ha, it keeps him away from the tablet.”

///

No. 25

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Please tell me about the hammer.”
“I call it Mjolnir Jr. We found it randomly on a run through the woods, and it’s been our team hammer ever since. The football team once stole it, but the cross-country team stole it back.”

///

Nos. 22, 23 & 24

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What was the toughest part of the race today?”
“The heat!”
“So the heat was tough and it wore you down, but what’s your favorite thing about cross-country season?”
“Team bonding. I’m having teammates over tonight for a bonfire!”

///

No. 21

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Do you remember what got you into running?”
“Well, my friend and I would race each other, and we’d always want to beat each other.”

///

Nos. 19 & 20

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What would you say is the toughest thing about running?”
“Hills…”
“Does your coach like hill repeats?”
“Yes. The Wickes Park hill.”

///

No. 18

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I can’t wait to run with the high schoolers.”

///

No. 17

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Who is your biggest running inspiration?”
“My mom. She ran at the University of Detroit.”
“Do you have siblings who run?”
“Yeah, I have two brothers, and they both run. One is in sixth grade, and the other is 6 years old. The 6-year-old can already run an eight-minute mile.”
“How can you inspire your brothers to keep running?”
“I can help them out with their running and tell them things I have learned.”

///

No. 8, Revisited

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What do you write in your log every morning?”
“I write the mileage, time of run, pace, course. All streak details.”
“What was one of the reasons for starting your running streak?”
“I wanted to become a better racer, and I realized how quickly you get out of shape without commitment.”
“What advice would you give to someone who’s considering starting a streak?”
“There can’t be any excuses. I’d also advise they run first thing in the morning; there’ll be less excuses, and it doesn’t interfere with anything.”

///

No. 16

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“Let me tell you about the time I ran a five-minute mile. I was in 10th grade, it was 1970. My friend and I were going to school together, and we checked the time: It’s 8:25, and school started at 8:30. We were wearing our dress shirts, ties and leather dress shoes. Our route was 14th Street to Perkins to 15th to Annesley. The school was on the corner of 20th and Annesley. We’re booking it. The nun’s office overlooks the street, and we saw Sister Mary through the office window looking pretty stern. Also, we didn’t have backpacks, so my books were in one hand and my sack lunch in the other. Sister Mary saw us enter, right at 8:30 as we slid across the linoleum floor while the bell rang. She didn’t say anything. She knew how hard we tried. You should’ve seen my kick.”

///

No. 15

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I see running as a platform, not only for me to pursue a passion of mine, but also to reach people and impart wisdom I’ve learned so far in my running career. I want to be a light to others.”

[Abbey D’Agostino—a seven-time NCAA champ at Dartmouth—is now running for New Balance under the guidance of Mark Coogan.]

///

Nos. 13 & 14

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

Right: “My brother is the biggest reason why I’m running. He just graduated from college. … I’ve learned to just keep at it. Running allows you to stay fit and make good connections.”

[Note: Both run at Heritage High School, and the team recently returned from its Rifle River cross-country camp—39 guys were at the camp. In the summer, Monday through Friday is optional conditioning, but about 30 guys attend each session.]

///

No. 12 + Joana’s Miles 5K Trail Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

The first annual Joana’s Miles 5K Trail Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run took place yesterday morning at Imerman Memorial Park in Saginaw Township, Michigan. I attended the race to do work for Hooray Run, but I left with much more than that.

An excerpt from The Township Times: “All proceeds benefit the Joana D. McKeoun Memorial Scholarship, which is administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation and awarded to a graduating Heritage High School senior each year. It was established in 2013 in honor and memory of Joana McKeoun, who graduated from Heritage High School in 2010 and passed away on October 4, 2013 after a five year battle with brain cancer.”

I was able to talk with Joana’s mother, Tina Walsh, and Joana’s boyfriend, Adam. They were grateful for the enormous turnout and the $3,000+ raised. Joana ran cross country at White Pine and Heritage.

For the second annual race next year, HR will look to do a longer feature. It’s for a great cause, and it’s a family-friendly atmosphere. The previous two photos posted on HR were taken at the race. Photographed here is Adam, the aforementioned boyfriend of Joana.

“A group of nine of us are running the Chicago Marathon in October. Each of us will raise $1,000 or more for the American Brain Tumor Association. … I hope runners leave [this race] inspired and remember that running is a privilege.”

///

Nos. 10 & 11

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“What was the best part of the one-mile run?”
Right: “I got a cupcake after I finished.”
“Do you think every race should give out cupcakes after you finish?”
Right: “Yes!”

“This was your first race and you both like running, and do you have a favorite sport?”
Left: “Hockey!”
[Prior to this question, his mom told me he plays all kinds of sports. He couldn’t hold back his smile when he expressed his love for hockey.]

///

No. 9

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I’m walking on to Baylor’s cross-country team. It’s my last year in Waco, my senior year, and I thought it’d be worth a try. I know some girls who have taken two or three minutes off their 5K PRs while running there, so I’d like to see what I can do.”

///

No. 8

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“How many straight days have you run at least one mile?”
“10,588.”
“How many total miles have you logged during your streak?”
“Let’s see… 50,923. I started on August 13, 1985.”
“What’s been your biggest running-related setback during the streak?”
“When I tore my hamstring in May of 2012 during a church softball game. I tore it on May 7 and could only run a mile a day through May 26. … I didn’t think I’d race again without properly treating it. … I just ran a marathon this past June.”

///

Nos. 6 & 7

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“How long have been working here [at Runners]?”
Right: “About a year.” / Left: “Just since March.”
“What’s a high about this job?”
Left: “I love helping people when they’re starting a new running program. I like being of assistance when they’re trying to recover from an injury.” / Right: “Yeah, helping people with injuries and helping them find the right shoe.”
“What’s your go-to pair of shoes?”
Left: “Mizuno Wave Creation.” / Right: “Brooks Ghost.”
“If you were customers and you could buy three things in this store, what would those three things be?”
Left: “A brand-new sports bra.” / Right: “A new pair of shoes.” / Left: “Compression socks.” / Right: “Yeah, really any piece of compression gear.”

///

No. 5

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“I work 60-65 hours a week as a landscaper.”
“How many miles a week are you running?”
“I try to run 30-40 miles a week. I’ve run 12 marathons, and I’m running my 13th one in October, the Detroit Marathon. … If you start training for a marathon, I recommend a Beachbody program. You burn 1,500 calories in 45 minutes.”

///

ZACH ZANDBERGEN, JAKE LAZAR, MATT ROLAIN — Nos. 2,3 & 4

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers / L-R: Zandbergen, Lazar, Rolain

“It was low key one of the coldest runs we’ve ever been on, but the company kept it warm.” – Zach Zandbergen

///

JOSH KAMMERAAD — No. 1

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

HR: “Why do you even consider running outside in weather like this?”
JK: “I hadn’t thought of there being any reasons not to run outside, and it doesn’t occur to me to think of alternatives unless someone else suggests it.”

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