Running brings many rewards to Kelly de Benzie

EUGENE, Ore. – One of the things that drives Mylie Kelly to train as hard as she does is the many rewards that running gives her in return.

Kelly, who will be in sophomore at Benzie Central High School in the fall, recently enjoyed one of the best of these awards when competing in the first mile at the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation Outdoor Nationals at famed Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. June 30th.

There, Kelly broke her personal best to finish the race in 5:11, but her experience lasted far longer than a time.

Kelly actually spent a week in the area, a week that consisted of running new trails, exploring national parks and even attending the Olympic trials, where she got to meet several runners.

These are the things she lives and runs for.

“I enjoyed this trip and I love meeting all of these cool people with every race I go,” said Kelly. “I made so many new friends, people I probably would never have met if I hadn’t started this journey. The whole running thing.”

The daughter of two former varsity runners and Benzie Central’s cross country and track coaches Asa and Traci Kelly, Kelly has always been exposed to running, but in the past two years she has stopped running. do it a little reluctantly because she was the child of the coaches. truly understand his parents’ passion for sport.

“I didn’t really understand it before, but it’s, in a way, a drug,” Kelly said. “It makes you feel so good. You feel so healthy. The running community is always so positive, because everyone is supporting each other. It doesn’t matter if you are the slowest runner on the road or if you beat. world records, everyone will support everyone. That’s what I love about this sport. “

In her freshman year, Kelly finished eighth in the State in cross country and in all States in three track and field events, but really, Kelly admits that she is only learning, and the first race. year at Hayward Field was another great learning experience for her. .

“It was a revelation, honestly,” she said. “I’m used to racing and taking the lead, or at least in the lead pack. The fact that I was late at the start was a little strange to me, but I knew all these girls had very fast times so if I could hold on I would be happy.

Kelly also took note of what was going on at the Olympic Trials, after a bit of luck got her and her family to attend.

“We weren’t really supposed to go, then one of the Cadillac coaches texted my dad and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got two tickets. Do you want to come?’ So we went out, and it was amazing to see all the records broken and what it’s like to level up, ”said Kelly. “The men’s 1500 was definitely one of the craziest races I’ve ever seen because you have your favorites. , and sometimes they don’t have their best runs. You have the underdogs coming in and making the Olympic team, which is a huge inspiration. “

There was little time to talk to the busy athletes, but Kelly said she had the chance to have a poster signed by some of the best runners in the world and take a few photos.

These days Kelly is back home and taking a week off to give a few stubborn wounds time to fully heal, but said she would be back soon. Once she does, her training will include a healthy dose of long runs to build endurance on the track, with some tempo runs and hill work, as well as 30 to 45 minutes each day of strength training. .

Kelly will need this work because she has ambitious goals for the fall cross country season.

“I’m really hoping to get into the top 17 consistently and then hopefully finish in the top five in the state,” Kelly said. “It’s a good and reasonable goal for both of them, and I really believe I can do it.

About Ethel Partin

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