Member Spotlight

August
2020
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Parker Stokes

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

 

A: I have lived the majority of my life in Maine, NY after moving from house to house during the early stages of my life. I graduated from MESCD in 2019 and currently attend Georgetown University (C ‘23). I don’t normally work
over the summer so most of my free time is invested into running and recovery. Rightly so, because college training has been pretty intense thus far.

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Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I’ve been running since 8th grade. I started off playing soccer, with mediocre foot skills but superior endurance compared to most of my teammates. I got rather tired of the sport fast, though, and began to pursue other types of competition. Eventually a couple of my friends convinced me to join the modified cross country team (given my tall and thin stature, it makes perfect sense as to why they thought I would be good at it). I went to my first practice and, as they say, the rest is history.

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Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone? Trails or road?

A: It depends. Right now I’ve been content with running alone, but having a training partner is always great. I like being alone for runs sometimes so I can listen to music and find a good tempo, but having someone there for a workout is something I definitely appreciate. Also depends for roads vs trails. Trails are nice for easy runs and long tempos (if they’re flat), but tarmac is nice because there is better footing and more responsiveness.

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Q: What is your favorite distance or race or running gear?

A: I usually tend to float around the mile, 5k, and 3k steeplechase. As for favorite running gear, I like Nike Infinity Reacts, Next%, and Pegasus 37s. I will also occasionally wear Hoka Cliftons as well. Gatorade is my go to after a run, as well as a clif bar. I also find Nike clothing to be really comfortable while running, so a majority of my running wardrobe is made up of their stuff.

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Q: What's the most rewarding thing about running and how do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: The easy answer is winning and competing, but I think the best part about running for me so far are the experiences and opportunities I’ve been given. I’m a part of one of the best teams in the nation, going to a school I never imagined I would go. I’ve been all over the country because of running, and I’ve made some (hopefully) life long friends. The feeling of not wanting to run anymore makes its presence to me all the time, especially now. I have no races to look forward to in the near future, so I find it difficult to have a reason why I run at this point. The only thing I can really do is stay hopeful that I have an outdoor season, and think of the team I would let down if I decided to stop. Or, in the worst cases, I’ll text someone else telling them I’m going to run tomorrow morning, so I can force myself to
show up and run with them. Also, being in good shape feels really good, so if I stopped running I would be in terrible shape and honestly feel worse in
general.

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Q: What is your favorite running memory and any goals for the future?

A: Going to Nike Cross Nationals the first time my junior year was a great experience. I met some of the best runners in the country and got to get a taste of life on the other side of the country (to a certain extent). The race was super stressful, but rewarding of all of the hard work I did to finally get there. In the next year, I hope to go to the Olympic trails for the steeplechase. My coach and I think it’s a realistic goal, so for now, I’ll stick with that. I also hope to go to the NCAA cross country championships as a team next season, whenever that may be.

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Q: Who inspires you most?

A: I’m terrible at answering this question. Every memorable person I’ve come into contact with has inspired me in some way-- be it their running skills, work ethic, genius, or even their ability to stay calm and be confident all the time. But if I had to narrow it down to a couple of those people, it would likely be my parents. They’re both extremely hard working people, and continually inspire me to be a better person every day.
Pre was also a pretty cool guy and good at running so he is someone I look
up to as well.

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Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

 

A: Please please please give it a chance, if you think you’ll enjoy it. The first couple of weeks of full time running is going to hurt really bad every day. Even the easy ones. But after a while you will see results, and fast. Your first race will be scary, overwhelming, and difficult-- but in hindsight you’ll realize it was a great amount of fun. Find some teammates with the same drive/work ethic and relative skill level as you, and you all will become successful and achieve your goals together. Make realistic goals you guys can all achieve individually and together, and in no time you’ll be crossing them off and setting bigger ones and bigger ones until you retire.

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