As part of the second annual USATF Week of Thanks, we are highlighting some of USATF’s most dedicated members with a Humans of New York-style feature on USATF.org and our social media accounts.
Our first feature is Paige Stoner, a professional distance runner from Charlottesville, Virginia, who got her start through the Hershey Track & Field Games.
Paige Stoner, 25, Charlottesville, Virginia – Distance Runner
“My journey with USA Track & Field started when I was in first grade and participated in the RunJumpThrow program,” said Stoner. “I started off competing in the sprint events and long jump and as I got older, I realized I was better at the distance events and made my way up to the 800 and 1600 meters.”
It was the perfect introduction to track and field. Stoner tried all of the events, made friends through the sport, and learned to enjoy setting goals and competing.
“I am thankful for all of the lifelong memories I have from competing in USATF events over the last 20 years,” said Stoner.
Since the Hershey Track & Field Games sparked her love more than two decades ago, she’s competed at USATF events through high school and college and has now moved into her professional career – competing in cross country, road, and track and field championships.
“The memories I’ve made and the relationships I’ve formed from competing in these events are incredibly special and continue to allow me to pursue my dreams,” said Stoner.
One of Stoner’s favorite memories, in fact, is competing at the USATF 5 km Championship in New York, New York.
“It was my first road race as a professional and it was a blast,” Stoner recalled. “Racing through the streets of NYC and finishing in Central Park was so much fun. I love all of the USATF road race championships!”
Stoner approaches every race with the words „conqueror“ and „fearless“ in mind, knowing that even when it gets tough, she’s doing something she loves.
For those who are new to this sport, she has one simple piece of advice.
“Try all of the different events USATF has to offer and pursue whatever you have the most fun doing.”
Source: US Track & Field