1994 Foot Locker Champion Julia (Stamps) Mallon relays preparation tips for the regionals, race strategies for nationals, and running friendships.
Q: Can you please describe some of the most important memories from your FLCC experience?
A: Meeting friends that you will have for a lifetime. The people you meet from around the United States are friends that you will see and compete against for years to come. Despite not running professionally, I still see the same people at different races and championships and we still remain friends. In addition, some of your competitors can become your teammates in college which become your best friends. The friendship and experiences are priceless! Enjoy not only the race but the people around you!
Q: Can you provide some tips for runners preparing for the regionals?
A: Keep yourself calm and relaxed. The work has been done and your goal is to be the top 10 to make the team. Have fun and enjoy the process. It is a competitive field, but as long as you know that you had a smart race and did the best you can, you can never regret your performance.
Q: Do you have any tips for runners who qualify and have one or two weeks of downtime between their regional race and the Nationals?
A: Be lucky that you have the one-two weeks of down time. In California we would have to do all state trials to qualify for states, the state meet, the regional, and then the Nationals. So we didn't have a down weekend before Nationals. Stay focused- give your legs the rest you need for a long season and gear up for Nationals, but try not to stress about the race until you get to San Diego. Remember, this race is no different than a hard workout on the track. You just have to give it all that you have for that day and that is the best you can do.
Q: What are some race strategies for the runners at the National Finals?
Everyone will be excited and ready to go and PR's in the first mile could be set. Don't feel that you have to go out with a bang because you may run out of energy at the end when you really need it. Just stay relaxed that first mile and then start shifting to another gear. At the last mile, don't put anything on the side and put the hammer down.