Meet Emma Allison: marathoner, college student, creator of @live_think_run, and real-deal athlete. Emma, the protégée she is, started running at just three years of age (we all started a little late, huh?!) when her mom told her to “run around the house and burn off that energy!”
After making history as the fastest preschooler Atlanta has ever seen, Emma started running seriously in middle school. Throughout middle and high school she competed on both the track and cross-country teams and participated in countless road races (Peachtree Road Race athletes represent!). Determined not to sacrifice her passion for running in the transition to college, Emma joined the Furman Running Club. While running with the program she brought home several wins and met Railroad’s head coach, Hayden Cox. At the time, Hayden was coaching the Running Club, competing on Furman’s Division I team, and a full-time student.
Emma credit’s Hayden for her success in her continued running. She notes “it was hard to juggle college and running, and I wasn’t sure how to do both without help.” Hayden, she claims, has helped the two achieve perfect harmony.
Mostly, she attributes this equilibrium to Hayden’s own balanced approach to coaching. “On some days,” she says, “if I call him and he can tell I’m having a really off-day, he’ll adjust the mileage to fit. On others, if he can tell I’m maybe just not as motivated to run, he provides the no-nonsense response I need to go hit the pavement.” Their friendship has been holding strong for 3 ½ years, and now is reaching new heights as Hayden prepares Emma for her upcoming marathon, the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon, on April 25th.
This isn’t Emma’s first rodeo (or marathon). She completed the Publix Atlanta Marathon her sophomore year, but is hoping to top her previous performance this spring. Right now she’s bouncing back from injury, and is following Hayden’s plan tailored to help her do just that. She will have some double-days, some long runs, and of course some rest built in as well. In all, she’s looking to taker her mileage to about 55 by the end of her cycle.
The statistics aren’t enough to give you a complete picture of this running. Here are some lightning-round questions we asked Emma in the home-stretch of the interview:
Spirit Animal: Elephant
Post Run Meal: Pasta
Go to Snack: Gummy Worms
Ideal Distance: 6k, however she hinted that her answer might soon turn into marathon—April 25th, we see you!
To conclude, we asked her the question many of us ask ourselves when we set out for a run on a rainy day, or maybe when our legs feel just a tad heavier than usual…why run? Emma had an inspiring answer. “Yes, I run to stay in shape. But more than that, I run to keep sane. To relieve stress, to process the good and bad, to help confront my emotions.” She claims the release of energy she feels on a run after a long day is like no other, one she can’t seem to gain through other activities.
We couldn’t be prouder to have Emma as a part of the Railroad team, and we can’t wait to cheer her on in all her future endeavors #AllAboard!