I. Love. Sundays.
Church services set my soul ablaze for Jesus, laughter-filled fellowship gives me an extra core workout and — of course — long runs set a peaceful tone for the rest of the week. Long runs — during which we usually are stranded with our teammates for over an hour — provide special opportunities for deep (or wonderfully ridiculous) conversations. Long runs inspire new connections and forge strong bonds among friends.
In a perfect world, here are the people with whom Augustana cross country runners would most like to share their Sunday long run:
“I would probably choose [Steve] Prefontaine just to get to hear what his future plans would’ve have been if he hadn’t died and also get some words of wisdom.” — Bonheur Mvuyekure.
“I would choose my high school coach, Rick Toms, in his prime. After running for him as an athlete for six years, I think it would be cool to see what he was like back in his competitive running days.” — Ryley Nelson.
“I would choose my high school coach, Jason Wagoner, in his prime. Growing up, I never really had a role model until I started training with him. He was always tough with me because he knew that I could handle it and use it as motivation. He never gave up on me when I made mistakes; he’d use those mistakes to teach me a life lesson. And his ultimate goal wasn’t necessarily to make me a better runner but a better person.” — Jesus Urtusuastegui
“I would go for a run with Emil Zatopék, polish runner and pioneer of running. [My] main motivation for the long run would be to hear his thoughts on the somewhat unusual workouts he did where he ran holding his breath. Also [it] would be cool to get his opinion on the 100 400m intervals he did.” — Endre Wigaard.
“I would choose myself so I can finally meet the person everybody else does.” — Henry Klitzke.
“I’d choose my dad because he’s my biggest and loudest supporter. He used to run marathons and was the one [who] got me into cross country. After he had to stop running this year because of arthritis in his hip, I can tell he’d give anything for just one more run. He’s also one of my favorite people to be around, and I’d be laughing the whole way.” — Claire Boersma
“Frank Shorter. I’ve talked to him a couple times before. [He] really understood his body and what he was able to accomplish.” — Nick Larsen
“This is kind of inspired by Steph Bruce in the most recent Citius Mag podcast, but I think I would choose my grandpa. In addition to him being one of my greatest role models, I don’t think I have ever met anyone more proud of me and my accomplishments. To be able to talk to him again about life and to hear him tell his jokes and hear his laugh. I think that would be such a fulfilling experience.” — Noah Hanson.
“I think I would also choose my grandpa but for a different reason. Since he passed away before I was born, I think talking with him and seeing what he was like would be incredible for me.” — Logan Burns.
“I would choose my brother. He is the one who inspired me to run and he was always the one to encourage me when I struggled at the beginning of my running days. I’ve ran with him before, but I don’t think I have really just gone on a solo run with him very many times. In hindsight I don’t know if I’ve ran solo with him more than two or three times and I think it would be a good experience to do so intentionally.” — Josh Barrows.
“[I would run with] Bill Nye. Bill Nye loves science, and so do I.” — Sean Heaton.
“Definitely The Flash…then I could go as fast as him.” — Mariah Haight.
“[I would choose] Kevin Hart. That man is hilarious and he’s in shape, which makes the whole long run part of it easier to achieve. Long runs can get tedious on your own, but long runs with great people can be so much fun. Being a comedian can be really daunting and scary as well, which is why I’d ask him for some advice on public speaking — something I’m awful at.” — Julia Lee.
“I would definitely choose a long run with all of [my college teammates], because it’s something I’ve dreamed of doing for years.” — Jackie Turner.
“I would choose Jackie so I could experience her excitement.” — Avery Selberg.