My 1600m & 3200m records still stand at GHS...I want to change that.
Here's the gist: I will reconnect with my hometown high school to mentor/assist coach a few willing girls to break my long-standing 1600m & 3200m records….and of course have fun and create some good female athlete ambassadors in the process! I want these girls to know that no matter where you come from, you can achieve great things and go as far as you'd like!
Background: From 1992-1996, I attended Gillespie High School, a small, rural town in Central Illinois. I discovered – by sheer happenstance – that I had an affinity for running. Historically, distance running is not necessarily a top tier sport in much of the USA as most of the attention goes to the typical team sports of football, baseball, basketball, soccer and the like. But this did not dissuade me. I participated in basketball, soccer and softball as well as track & field and even cross country. My distance running ambition was encouraged by several of my track coaches, Joel Blevins, Andy McGovern & Jack Burns. Jack was willing to learn, along with me, the intricacies of training and racing Cross Country events all while travelling the state to participate in events.
By the time I finished high school I held several school records in distance running, most notably the 1600m (my favorite) and 3200m runs. My ambition and “good words put in” by my coaches also helped me get a full scholarship to run at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). This continued to catapult me forward in running and endurance events until I became a professional triathlete in 2008. Needless to say these early years of running and encouragement from my high school coaches put me on a wonderful life path of competing internationally against the best athletes in the world, travelling the globe, introducing me to countless people and cultures and taught me life lessons of the value of hard work, dedication and commitment to a process.
Now it’s time for me to pass the torch to more young ladies that embody the same ambition, drive, lighthearted attitude and willingness to commit to a goal. I (along with Coach Jack Burns) want to provide these young ladies with the tools and encouragement they need to set and meet their own goals – and hopefully in the process BREAK my 1600m and 3200m records!
Objective: To create a collaborative, inclusive group of young lady runners who are willing to commit their time, energy, ambition and creativity toward reaching personal goals, promoting running as a healthy lifestyle AND - in the process - breaking my Gillespie High School Track and Field records in the 1600m or 3200m runs.
Check back here for updates to the program, when we choose the girls for the program and new partners that are getting involved!
We want to thank the following brands for supporting our girls and believing that little things make a BIG difference! If you want to take part and get involved in this effort, contact Lisa here! We would love to have you on board.