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Margo Malone on having a running support network

The 25-year-old cross-country runner, previously an NCAA All-American at Syracuse University, stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support your running pursuits.

 

For On athlete Margo Malone, the love of running began in fourth grade when she joined her school’s cross-country team and ran her entire first race with a smile across her face.

 

Margo worked hard to become a 10,000-meter ACC champion and NCAA All-American at Syracuse University. She is now aiming for even bigger goals on the world stage as a professional runner with the Mammoth Track Club, which she joined in February. 

 

We spoke to her to find out more about not only her running goals, but also about how her support network helps fuel her drive to succeed.

 

 

How has your running career improved since joining Mammoth Track Club?

The training facility Mammoth provides - so many great hills and the altitude alone - is just an added challenge and makes you really, really strong. Aerobically, there’s been an improvement in my training. And then also just the approach. Deena Kastor [Olympic medalist and wife of Mammoth Track Club coach Andrew Kastor] is a really good example for the group. She shows us the approach to the sport, and how she was able to accomplish certain things and how we can mimic them.

 

What’s your next big goal? 

To qualify for the World Cross Country Team on February 2nd 2019 in Tallahassee. The top six Americans qualify. That’s my focus for the entire fall.

 

What benefits have you found training with a group? 

I grew up with two sisters who also ran, so I’ve always sort of had a team around me.

 

It just makes it so much more fun to come to practice every day. I’m also much more inspired to accomplish things as part of a group. 

 

For example, Sandie Raines, my teammate, is also trying to qualify for the World Cross race. I can’t imagine anything more special than both of us making it.

 

How did growing up with sisters who run motivate you to go so far in the sport?

 At a young age, it helped me to get out and get excited about the sport. We grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so there were definitely some snowy days. But, if one of us was willing to go out and run, we’d all go. Having a common understanding of what it takes in the sport makes for a really special bond that not many siblings can share.

 

Why is it important to have family who are supportive of your running? 

What we do is a different profession to most people our age. To have your family understand your goals and what you’re setting out to do is really important. Deena and Andrew provide a family atmosphere. It’s so comforting to go over there for dinner and have people looking out for you. Now with the partnership with On, our family is even growing even more in a really good way.

How does Mammoth Track Club’s partnership with On support your training? 

It brings a legitimacy to our club. Having that commitment shows that long term we’re in it to compete on the Olympic and world stage. For people coming out of college, it also adds an enticement factor.

 

What’s been the toughest challenge for you so far in your career? 

I’ve had a tough time right out of college figuring out how to compete at the next level.

 

There’s frustration that success doesn’t come quickly all the time. Sometimes I can get impatient. 

 

But that’s why I feel so grateful to have people like Mammoth Track Club and On that are willing to commit to long-term goals and pursue them the right way.

 

What advice do you have for young women hoping to be successful runners one day ?

You can make it work, and it’s not always going to look the same for everyone. There’s not one way to be a professional runner. You are in charge of your schedule. If you believe in yourself and find people who believe in you, you can make it happen.

 

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