With three distinct seasons on their plates, distance runners go through a physical gauntlet unrivalled in athletics. While most teams play their competitive regular season in fall, winter or spring and spend the remainder of the year in off-season workouts, long-distance runners compete throughout the year.
Many runners might lose steam in the middle of the year, but not Clare Peabody ’18. At the BU Terrier Classic Friday, the sophomore ran the fastest 1,000-meter race in school history, finishing the race in 2:48.17. That time placed her fifth out of the event’s 94 runners. Peabody’s all-time mark was just one tenth of a second faster than the previous school record, set by her teammate Taylor Worthy ’17 last season.
After a cross-country season this fall that saw Peabody finish 76th in the Ivy League championships, she has continued to be impressive early in the indoor track season. Beantown has been particularly friendly to the California native, as she finished second in the 800-meter run at Northeastern’s Joe Donahue Games with a time of 2:12.10 just a week before setting the 1,000m mark at BU. The team will head to New York City this weekend to compete in the Armory Track Invitational.
Q: Was this record time (2:48.17) one you had been slowly approaching?
A: “I ran a 2:51 last indoor season, but it seems like that’s a record that sort of has a rapid turnover. I didn’t go into the race thinking about it, but I’m happy with how it turned out.”
Q: Coming in, did you have your sights set on eventually breaking the mark?
A: “It just kind of fell into place. I had run one 1,000m earlier this season, and I ran it in 2:55. But I’ve sort of been moving down in distances from running cross country. My progression has gone from the mile to the 1,000m to the 800, and then I ran another 1,000m. It’s been cool to get back in that fast-track rhythm. I definitely missed that in the fall.”
Q: Did you realize you had broken the record after the race?
A: “Not right away. My coach and I were just going over what happened in the race — about moving forward and what to learn from it. That’s sort of the routine after a race. (Coaching Chair) Tim Springfield came over after and told me I had (broken the record), and I was really happy about it.”
Q: The former record-holder is your teammate, Taylor Worthy. Has there been a friendly rivalry about you beating her time?
A: “Everyone keeps asking ‘is there anything going on with you and Taylor?’ But it’s not like that at all on our team. I look up to Taylor so much, and I think our team culture is definitely pushing each other forward. Part of that is definitely friendly competition, but we race for each other. I think people don’t often realize how much of a team sport cross country and track is.”
Q: Do you have a pre-game routine or superstition?
A: “I’m not really neurotic about my pre-race tendencies. We have our regular warm-up routine, and I like to eat a PB and J for lunch.”
Q: What is your favorite event and why?
A: “For outdoor, the mile. It tells a story really well — it has a beginning, middle and end. It’s definitely very strategic. For indoor, it’s probably the 1,000m. I never got to race it because California didn’t have indoor track, so it’s cool to be able to run that different distance.”
Q: Indoor, outdoor or cross-country and why?
A: “Outdoor. Indoor is fun because it gets loud, but outdoor is just classic.”
Q: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
A: “I’d really like to see the Brown men and women assert their presence in our conference championships. We have a lot of really talented individuals on this team, and I think that our energy is so good right now. It’s going to be cool to see that express itself in the form of results as we move into the championship season.”