(The final of three interviews with various runners participating in the 2014 Go! Mile happening June 14th in Burns Park. Register at: RunSignUp)
Marathon girl running fast! Cortney Allison is at home in the marathon, so the Mile is a definite challenge for this effervescent long distance runner. Cortney was too close for comfort in the Boston bombing last year, just a few minutes separated them. Now she’s back running road races, but has also been helping to coach the Mount St Mary’s track team this year.
Go! Mile: Cortney, a quick question about the Boston bombing… has what happen to you there changed your attitude toward running big races, or has it given you more passion for the sport?
Cortney Allison: At first it effected my attitude toward big races. I ran another marathon just two weeks after the Boston bombing. That race was very emotional. It was difficult to focus on the sporting event when there had been such tragedy in my last event. And then during Boston 2014 I found myself wondering during the event if all was well on the course behind me and ahead of me. But other than those instances, I believe my passion is probably stronger. The running community is so excited and joyous at a start line. It is great to be a part of and I think appreciate that energy even more after April 2013.
G!M: You help coach the girls at the Mount, and your son had a great senior year in track for Catholic. Does that give you some drive and insight into running the Go! Mile. How will you compare to your son Jake’s best mile time!?!
CA: ABSOLUTELY! Those teenage athletes have no idea how motivational they are to me. Their perseverance and determination inspire me to work hard at my own running. I will never be able to post times as fast as they can…but I’m not too proud to use an age-equivalent calculator every now and then!
G!M:In the marathon, runners have time to think about things, change pace, look at their surroundings, talk with other runners, take a “break” and get back on pace, and so on. How does that differ in the mile? Do you feel rushed?
CA: The mile is HARD!!! I saw a cross country shirt that said “it’s not how fast you go, it’s how long you go fast”…that’s me. I can run a decent pace for a longer time but short and fast is much more difficult. My Go! Mile trophy is probably one of my favorites since it represents conquering something that really does not come easy for me.
G!M: You won your age group with a speedy 6:27 last year (which was an AR State record for W45-49!! Congrats). Do you know how you will run this year? do you have a time goal?
CA: I think I’m like every other runner…we all want every race to be a PR, don’t we?! I’m not sure if I’m conditioned for a PR, but at least I don’t have any injuries right now…and at my age that’s a gift!…so perhaps I can shave off a second or two this year.
G!M: What makes you more nervous: watching Jake on the track, or you running your own races? Will Jake be watching you!?!
CA: Watching Jake is MUCH HARDER! So much of a race happens in your head. When I’m watching him, I can see how it is going physically but how is it going mentally?…is he feeling strong, frustrated, disappointed, elated?…so stressful as a Mom Spectator!
I think he will be watching me run (or will at least tell me he was watching, after checking the results so he can make sure he can tell me my finish place in case I quiz him!)
G!M: Your son graduated summa cum laude at Catholic High, a huge accomplishment. Knowing the proceeds of this race go to that school, how does that make you feel?
CA: I am so proud of Jake for graduating valedictorian at CHS. It is a particularly impressive accomplishment in a group of such outstanding young men. Catholic High School is more than just a school, it’s a family. The faculty are both excellent educators and perpetuators of the Catholic High traditions that create the lifelong bond of its graduates and, by extension, their families. So, I have an opportunity to participate in the sport I love while supporting a school that is like family…what could be better?!
I love that saying that was on that girls shirt.