Sophie Drew: ‘Every run is a building block’

sophie.classicTalk about a strong finish.

As a senior at Haverford College last May, Sophie Drew competed in the 1500 (4:39), 5K (18:01) and 4×800 relay (9:28) over two days at the Centennial Conference Outdoor Championships.

She ran personal bests in all three events and, more importantly, scored key points for her team. “It made me really happy to wrap up my college career on a high note surrounded by my wonderful teammates who’d been there every step of the way,” she said.

A year later, Sophie is working at Virginia Tech, preparing to start a master’s program in the fall and still running fast. And, she’s still competing against college competition.

Sophie, 22, ran the mile (unattached) at two indoor meets at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House last winter, finishing in a blazing 5:11 in both races.

“I’m nothing, if not consistent,” she said

Sophie Drew

Hometown: Grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and moved to Blacksburg in August.

What brought you to Blacksburg? Got a job as a lab technician in a soil biogeochemistry lab at Virginia Tech. The people and the dirt have been lovely, so I’ll be sticking around for a master’s starting in the fall!

When/how did you start running? My friends were on the cross country team in middle school and convinced me to start in 6th or 7th grade. I remember the day that I ran (almost) 2 laps of our 3k home course (with only a couple water breaks) and realized that I didn’t hate running anymore.

Running background? Ran cross country and outdoor in high school, and then cross, indoor, and outdoor my four years at Haverford College, a small (BUT MIGHTY) D3 school outside Philadelphia.

Most satisfying running accomplishment? Maintaining a healthy and positive relationship with the sport and steadily improving through my first decade of running!

Favorite race distance? 1500 meters, outdoors

Favorite workout? Any sort of descending ladder starting with mile or 1k repeats and dropping down to 400s or 200s.

Favorite places to run? The Gateway/Pandapas trails and the killer hills around my neighborhood. Also, the trails in New Hampshire’s White Mountains near my parents’ house.

Who inspires and/or motivates you? My running buddies and the old ladies I see out jogging with their friends in ancient race t-shirts.

Advice for new runners? Record your runs! You’ll be able to look back on all the miles you’ve put in and all the progress you’ve made. On days when it’s hard to get out the door it can be helpful to remember that every run is a building block in a lifetime of the sport.

Worst injury? So far, knock on wood, the worst was a stress fracture in my shin in high school.

Favorite race(s)? The Bridge of Flowers Classic (8K) in Shelburne Falls, MA is one of the hardest races I’ve ever done, and so much fun. There’s an almost mile-long hill in the first half, usually with a cellist and a bagpiper strategically placed on it, and a speedy downhill finish back into town. I also had a blast (until the last mile) of the Hokie Half last fall, and look forward to doing that again.

Roads or Trails? Trails for training, track for racing.

Any running superstitions or rituals? Before races I always eat a bagel with peanut butter and banana, and do my college warmup routine. Also strides that feel like hot garbage are a good omen.

Suggestion for growing/improving our running community? Keep growing the #girlsquad at Track Tuesday and Pub Run!!

Fact many people don’t know about you? I have most of the Orion constellation in freckles on my right arm.

Running goals in the next few years? I’ve got unfinished business in the mile and would also love to push my distance limits with longer trail runs and races! Heard talk of folks running the Triple Crown in one day … could be pretty sweet.

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Former top marathoner Michelle Lowry still running strong in Blacksburg

A thank you to James Demarco and Runabout Sports

Lessons learned from leading a college track and cross country program at age 24 

Jenn Fleming’s comeback story continues with win at Holiday Lake 50K

Blacksburg running legend Peter Dorrell helps build communit

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