Freshman discovers passion for running

March 9, 2020 — by Angelina Chen and Tiffany Wang

Freshman Elsa Blom pumped her arms furiously, her legs screaming for oxygen, as she sprinted toward the finish line, finishing the Division III cross country CCS Finals in the top 20 runners on Nov. 16, with a time of 20:44 for 2.95 miles.

Blom, who ran cross country for the first time in two years, became one of the fastest girls on the team, consecutively running in the top 30 for most of the meets.

Blom got into competitive running in sixth grade and some of her friends joined the cross country team just for fun, but she began running for fun much earlier. 

“I remember in elementary school, I loved running around and playing tag with my friends,” she said.

At the time, however, she was committed to dance. It wasn’t until middle school track and field that she began to pursue distance running.

“I did one year of competitive hip hop,” she said, “but I stopped because I realized that sometimes I dreaded going to practice, and I didn’t like it as much.”

After quitting dance and getting some encouragement from her friends, Blom joined the cross country team last fall. 

But because she had not run competitively for the past two years, it was a tough transition at first: running three to four miles for five days a week.

Some days when she doesn’t want to run, Blom will push herself through it, because she knows that it is all mental. She always has a mindset of trying to improve every practice. In the end, she quickly became one of the top two girls on the team.

“Elsa always shows up on time and tries her hardest at practice,” said junior captain Jessie Zhou, Blom’s teammate on the cross country and track teams. “Not only do I see her as motivation to be faster as a runner but also to be as optimistic and driven as she is.”

Zhou and Blom will often pace together and push each other to get better. 

“I love spending time with my friends at practice and going to meets,” Blom said. “Running has also helped to relieve a lot of my stress.”

Currently, Blom is running long distance events in track, planning to compete in the mile and 800m. She plans to keep running and improving her times for the rest of high school and even hopes to be able to run in college. 

“Running is something that I really love to do,” she said. “One day when I’m older, I hope to be able to run a marathon.”

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