Christine Myers '19, who didn’t start running on a team until her senior year of high school, showed up at cross country practice her first year at Saint Rose and asked to be on the team. In the years since, the walk-on athlete and criminal justice, behavior, and law major from Altamont, New York, has smashed records in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. Her last year at Saint Rose even took her to the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
When did you start running? My dad used to run when I was younger, and I think that’s what sparked my interest, because I have memories of him pushing me around in the jogger. I’ve always loved running, since I was younger. I just wasn’t that good at it. All throughout high school, I struggled immensely with depression, and running was essentially my way out of the darkness. I’ve kind of used it as an outlet over these years to find a sense of strength within myself. I put so much energy and effort into it because, for the first time, I felt like I had something in my life. It was never intentional to get as fast as I have become and break the records. It was just a means to run happy and find myself. Depression manifests itself in a different way for everybody. It’s one of those things that never 100% goes away, you just learn how to battle back. Running has taught me how to battle back.
So, what’s your training regimen? I average about 65 to 75 miles a week. I run seven days a week, and one day a week, I cross train, and I also strength train three to four days a week. After track, I have plans to run a marathon in the fall, and I hope to hit the Olympic B standard in that. (That’s 2:45:00 for women in the 2020 Olympic standards, by the way. Her first marathon was the Lake Placid Marathon in 2017, when she finished in 3:58:09. In 2018, she won the Lake Placid Half Marathon – 13.1 miles – with a time of 1:27:07.9)
What helps you dig deep during a race? I always remind myself I’m not doing this just for me. I’m doing this for other people who have dealt with the things I’ve dealt with. I’m doing this for the other girls behind me in the same singlet. I’m doing this for my family, and my friends, and my coaches. For me, if I’m not on the ground at the end of a race, I cheated the people that I’m fighting for. Every race, I promise to give everything I have.
What advice does your coach always give you? Don’t go out too fast, and believe in yourself.
What was it like to compete at the NCAA Championships? t was honestly like a dream the entire time. Even on the plane ride there – and even when I was on the line – I couldn’t believe that I was in that moment. I didn’t do as well as I hoped to, but just to go was such an honor. (Myers finished 130th out of more than 260 competitors).
Will you always be a runner? I have a tattoo on my back that says “run,” so I feel I’m kind of obligated to forever be a runner, since I put ink on my body.
What’s next for you? I’m going to be attending law school in the fall. Currently (Spring 2019), I intern at the Albany DA’s office, and I’ve been there for a solid year, and I got that internship through some of my professors here. After having worked in the DA’s office with so many wonderful attorneys, it’s just opened my eyes to what I want to do. I would not have had that opportunity had it not been for this college.
I feel like my experience with Saint Rose athletics kind of describes what college is supposed to be, because I walked onto the team. I wasn’t fast, and the speed and everything else came later, and I feel like that’s what college is – kind of finding your place and developing yourself as a person. My biggest advice for running, for school: Strive to be happy.