Ficalora: What is the motor that moves the world?

Kristen Levy has a shin problem where the muscles are ripping off her bone. Despite that, she’s one of the top three runners on the St. John’s cross country team.

“Kristen, why do we do this?” I asked her.

She laughs. We just finished a running workout in the rain.

“Dominique- I love track,” she says sarcastically, but she means it. “I run because I feel alive when I push my body and challenge myself. There is nothing that makes me feel more at peace than the solitude of a long run. That is why I run.”

This got me thinking – why do we run?

Tara Normandin; St. John’s cross country:


A: “I’m competitive. I run for the rush. There is nothing like seeing all of your hard work pay off…I put all of my energy into running-Oh yea, and I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t be able to live without spandex.”

Tarashon Brooms; St. John’s cross country:


A: “Track is one the best sports. It’s any man’s game. You set a record today and tomorrow it’s already broken. Track is the hardest sport because even though you are on a team, you are mostly an individual. It’s all you. No time outs. You’re either ready or you’re not.”

Sean McDermott; Duke cross country:


A: “Running is a sense of personal achievement. It’s time alone – like a stress reliever- but its also social. I love my teammates more than anything, going on long runs with the guys -there’s nothing better than finishing a grueling workout with teammates, except the showers, of course. Running is a great way to keep in shape: thin and skinny – just how the ladies like it.”

Evan Raggi; Fordham track


A: I feel free when I run and I compete because I love to win. I love the satisfaction-it’s about confidence.

Shanie Spence; St. John’s track and field:


A: “When it’s hot outside or the rain is falling or the snow is freezing…there is adrenaline pressing you and throbbing pain seems to circulate throughout.

“You’re thirsty-for something…suddenly all the troubles of your day the past week or hour are insignificant. The rhythm of body- your breath signals the beginning of a clarifying moment-a new beginning-and in that moment I find my greatest strength. That’s why I run.”

Tamara Cherisme; St. John’s cross country:


A: “When I need to release steam, what better way than running to Cunningham [Park] or 18 times around a track? I like feeling that I can do something no one else can commit themselves to doing 6 a.m. practice, lunges til’ it burns, running in the rain, sun, snow…face it – there’s not a lot of people who can do it.

“That’s what makes me feel proud when I look in the mirror. That and I look great!”

Brendan O’Kane; Loyola cross country:


A: “I need [a] challenge. I need to fall, get back up, go out there, fall again but still wake up and continue after something-even it if seems to have no guarantee.”