Running is the simplest of pursuits for Samuelson, all about the joy of the activity itself and the purity of mano-a-mano competition. She has never used a heart-rate monitor. She has never even been comfortable with making money from the sport. In 2007 Samuelson watched a Division III college cross-country race and came away thinking, That is pure sport. No scholarships, no hope of future shoe contracts, just good old-fashioned passion and competition.
In her Maine Running Company speech, Samuelson said that passion is the most important characteristic of a champion. But, as she rightly pointed out, passion cannot be instilled; it is either there or it is not. Passion with Balance Surprisingly, many elite runners allow their passion for running to get lost or ruined. Brian Sell is not alone in this experience. Alan Webb is perhaps the poster boy of the phenomenon.
His career thus far has had two distinct happy phases and two very unhappy ones. The first happy phase was the high school years, which culminated in Webb’s demolishing the U.S. national high school mile record, running 3:53.43. Then two years of poor performance set in; he suffered from excessive pre-race
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