Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2011 Allison Reis
Marshfield High School
Southwestern Oregon CC

An Essay by Allison Reis

"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts..."

Many would say running runs in my family; my sister has always been the most competitive runner, my brother has always been the one who didn't have to practice to be good, and then there was me. I've been running with my brother and sister for years, but I was always the outcast. I would go to cross country practice sporting my "I'd rather eat and throw than run and puke" t-shirt from track. The number of times the words, "I hate running" has been spoken from my lips

I couldn't honestly say, but the number would be rather large. I've never been the best at running, but I don't believe running should be about being the best; running is a mental sport that makes you push yourself till you finish.

A standard track meet usually goes something like this for me, we arrive at our location, and I check in for my three throwing events and try to get as many throws in before the 1500. I must then go up to the shot put, javelin or discus official and tell him or her I have to check out in order to go warm up and run the 1500. Now some officials have been able to hide their surprise well, but there's always the occasional official who give me the, you have got to be kidding me look, because everyone knows real throwers don't run distance events, right? But what the people who give me those looks don't understand is they have just given me motivation to prove them wrong. Rather than get discouraged by their stares, I just think my name is Allison Reis, I'm 5'7", I'm 150 pounds and I'm going to run as hard as I possibly can in order to prove to you I can do this.

I've never personally come in first in a track or cross country event, but I have won a race. The quote Steve Prefontaine said, "A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts..." is truly an inspiration for everyone, because even though I may not have come in first, I've made myself proud of what I've accomplished, because I've done what others thought I couldn't.