CNW Athlete, Gail Hall shares her experiences and background as a runner.
How did you first get involved in Club?
I was approached to join for Club nationals in 2002 in Rocklin California. Prior to that I was sponsored by other shoe companies and raced representing them (Reebok, Mizuno, then Brooks) My prior successes were on the roads and I tend to be a "rhythm" runner, meaning I can lock into a pace an just grind away...which is why I was so successful in the marathon. (Cross country is very different!) Because I felt I stunk at cross country, I guess I just avoided it. Anyway, I got talked into going that year and we masters women had to run a 10k.
How many times have you run at nationals?
After that experience, I was again talked into going to San Francisco in 2006, then Spokane in 2008 and I've run in every one since. Somewhere along the way I've fallen in love with the team aspect of cross country. Running is a very solitary sport so there aren't many opportunities as an adult to be part of a team. I've had injuries which would have kept me from competing at all but having that "team" element and knowing others were counting on me kept me in the game. I've had to swallow my pride many times for the team. I still think I "stink" at cross country, but today I am able to just enjoy being able to run.
What is your most unusual running/racing experience?
I ran the Saint Sylvester race in Sao Paulo Brazil (12K)on new years eve once, only it wasn't at midnight that year as in prior years, it was at 3:00 in the afternoon (summer in Brazil). I was carted off the course at about 10k and taken to the hospital (that was an experience in itself) then when they released me an hour or two later, they took me back to where they picked me up. I had to complete the course to find the finish! The inability to speak Portuguese prevented me from being able to telling them I wanted to go to the finish. They thought I wanted to go back to the course and complete the race!
One other crazy running experience was how I discovered I might be fairly good at this. I was in Junior High. At a slumber party several of us girls thought it would fun to go "streaking". We thought we were being so bold, but it was very early in the morning, barely light out when we took off naked and giggling and ran around the block. This was probably no more than 1/2 mile but I was the first back by far!