Savannah Hubbard and Stacey Kelleher run 5K races for the women’s cross country team throughout the fall, and both decided to double that distance halfway through their season.
The teammates ran in the 39th annual Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women on Oct. 12, a 6.2 mile race that starts on Beacon Street, crosses the Charles River, and loops back for a finish on Charles Street. The race was first held in 1977 and has taken place annually since.
Hubbard, a junior visual and media arts major and captain of the team, first competed in the race last year, and said she ran with both Kelleher and her mom this year.
Hubbard said running in an event this distance actually helps her performance, rather than hindering it.
“People don’t realize that speed is super important but distance is also just as important because it makes 5K’s so much easier,” Hubbard said.
Head coach John Furey said the long distance run will help Hubbard and Kelleher more than just physically with the team’s upcoming meets.
“Racing a 10K adds mental toughness,” Furey said. “In the short term, they might be a little heavy, but overall, it’s definitely going to make them stronger and mentally tougher.”
Furey added that seeing the two put in extra work was a testament to their mindset towards the team and the sport.
“It just shows the dedication and the commitment to be better, and it also shows their love for running,” Furey said. “It was a fun run, and there’s a really good mixture of community members. It really speaks volumes about them.”
Hubbard said her training throughout the year helped her performance in the race, but the change in distance required a change of style.
“It is in the middle of the season, it’s something we could kind of build up to,” Hubbard said. “This race was literally twice as long as the races we usually run, so you have to pace yourself more than normal.”
Kelleher, a freshman voice performance major at the Berklee College of Music who runs for Emerson through an NCAA-approved consortium, said this was her first time participating in the event. Kelleher said one of the highlights of the experience was seeing Molly Huddle, a professional long distance runner who holds the American record for the 5000 meter race.
“She was the champion [of the race] and it marked her 19th national win, so it was cool to watch history being made,” Kelleher said.
Kelleher said that the 10K was a good chance to work with Hubbard and get some practice in for the season.
“It was a really nice way for us to bond together and have fun,” Kelleher said. “[Hubbard’s] a great captain and a great person in general.”
Hubbard said she cut off 15 seconds per mile from last year, running a total time of 46:34 and beating her previous mile time of 7:45 with a 7:30. Kelleher finished with a time of 58:39 and a 9:27 mile.
Furey said that he expected Hubbard to perform well in the event, given her results so far through this year’s team meets.
“I know Savannah ran a really good time, which doesn’t surprise me,” Furey said. “She’s been training hard all summer, and she’s had her best 5K time; and that usually translates well into the 10K time.”
Furey said that he was supportive of the two taking part despite the team having a meet this past Saturday as well. He said on most occasions runners aren’t able to take part in these types of events given the team’s weekly schedule, but Columbus Day provided a break that allowed the two to attend.
Kelleher said the running wasn’t the only satisfying part of the day.
“It was very inspiring,” Kelleher said. “It was for women’s health, and it was just really nice knowing that everybody there was promoting healthy lifestyles and just dedicating their days to that
Assistant sports editor Hannah Miller, a member of the women’s cross country team, did not edit or contribute to this report.