Olivia Vande Pol’s life requires a lot of dedication. While being a sophomore in high school is hard enough, she manages to do so and run cross country as well as track for Loy Norrix High School.
When she’s not inside laboring over her average 5 hours of homework every night, she’s out training in hopes of setting new personal best times in any upcoming meets. While most people complain about running one mile in gym class, she says going out and running 7 or 8 miles is nothing.
“Just keep running,” Vande Pol said.
She started running in the 8th grade when a group of friends convinced her to, and found a new love. Vande Pol does admit that there have been some difficult times in her running career, complete with shin splints so bad that walking is not an option and tripping in front of large crowds during races. She describes running like this,
“I just feel like I wanna die, but it’s a good feeling,” said Vande Pol.
Nothing has ever stopped her, or lessened her motivation to be the best runner she can be.
At the end of the day the thrill of achieving personal records (PR) and placing well in a race makes every hardship hardly memorable.
“Me and running have a love-hate relationship, because when you’re running, it’s really hard. But when you get a PR, the hard work pays off,” Vande Pol said.
Her personal record one mile time is 6:30, two mile time is 14:10, and 5k (3.1 miles) time is 22:32, these being some defining moments in her running career.
Vande Pol has some lofty goals, when she is older she hopes to complete marathons and triathlons. Outside of running, her interests gravitate towards the artistic. When asked what she wants to do as an adult, she responded photographer without missing a beat. Vande Pol also told how often times while running she has seen things that she would like to photograph. She is particularly inspired by the trees and the way they blur and blend together while she is running past.