Sandie Raines was an All-American and two-time Big 12 champion while at the University of Texas. Since graduating over a year ago, she’s faced major hurdles in losing her father and having to overcome the first injury of her career - IT band tendinitis.
But the 23-year-old, who can run 5,000-meters in 15:48, has never been in a better place to pursue her ultimate goal of becoming one of the world’s fastest women in the 5K.
We caught up with Sandie for a closer look at how she balances her running goals.
How did you become a member of the Mammoth Track Club?
Coming out of college, I was thinking about running professionally. But I wasn’t sure. So I took a couple months off running completely. I went on a long road trip up to Portland, backpacked in Yosemite, camped in the Redwoods, and drove up Highway 1. Then I started running again. I wanted to keep competing. I reached out to some running groups, and one of them was Mammoth Track Club. I came to visit, and I met [2017 New York Marathon Champion] Shalane Flanagan, ran with [US 20km and 10 mile champion] Sara Hall, and went to [marathon legend] Meb Keflezighi’s retirement party. It was incredibly magical. It was fall when I visited about a year ago, and it was stunning here. I just couldn’t say no, so I moved out to Mammoth in November 2017.
What are your short-term running goals?
I’m in the middle of fall road racing right now. I’m preparing for the USATF 5K Championships in New York (taking place Saturday, November 3) after having a little bit longer break due to my IT-band injury. My main focus for this season is to make the U.S. team for cross country in February.
I’m building strength and expanding with distances. My focus for joining Mammoth Track Club was to be a 5K runner on the world stage, so my goal for 2019 is to make that world team in outdoor track in the 5K.
What are your long-term running goals?
I think my long-term goal, like everyone on the professional level, is to make an Olympic or world team. The point at this level is to be the best. The focus at the Mammoth Track Club is Olympic development. That’s my long-term goal, but that’s not where I’m at right now. And I’m ok with that. I love where I’m at right now. My long-term goal is to be up there in 2020 or 2024 and do it right and be consistent.