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10 Questions with David Spandorfer

David is a senior and the captain on the Washington University in St. Louis Cross Country and Track and Field teams. Last year they went from being unranked to getting 7th place in Division 3. This year, they return their entire top 7 from our Nationals team and and are looking forward to a great year.

1. At what age did you start running competitively?
I started running when I was a freshman in high school (2003). My first practice was my cross country team's first meet.

2. Why did you start running?
I wanted to play a sport, and cross country seemed like a nice alternative to football. I played football for 2 years in middle school and after capping my height at 5'8 and my weight at 120, I realized football wasn't going to play a big part in my future. So I decided to try out running.

3. How many miles do you typically run in a week?
Throughout college I've ususally stayed in the upper 70s. Now I'm doing low 90s.

4. What is your favorite brand of running shoes?
Asics 2150. I learned early on that if you like a shoe and you dont' get injured, you stick with it. So I've gone through about 15 pairs of the Asics 2100 series over the past eight years.

5. Do you listen to music when you run? If so what do you listen to?
Never. We have a rule on our team that if you're running, you can't listen to music. Usually I try and run with someone else, in which case it would be rude to run with an iPod. If I'm alone (like on a morning double) I like to have some time to think and just be distraction free.

6. Where is your favorite place to run?
With our school abutting Forest Park, we tend to run there a lot. But Castlewood is a great place to run in the area, as is August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. When I go home (to Philadelphia) I love to run in Valley Green, which has a tremendous trail system and is always packed with the best runners in the Philly region.

7. What is the farthest distance that you have ran?
16 miles or so.

8. Have you had any injuries related to running?
A lingering IT band issue plauged me most of last cross country season. Funny enough, it came from running that 16 mile run.

9. What has been your most memorable running experience?
PRs are fun and exciting, but my most memorable running experience came during last year's (2009) Division 3 Cross Country Nationals, when we went from unranked the entire year to getting 7th place in the country. Getting 7th place in our conference the year before made that feeling that much sweeter. Even though I didn't have my best race that day, sharing that moment with my teammates and friends forged a memory I'll never forget.

10. What advice would you give to beginning runners?
Learn to love the sport. Cherish every day you can train and, above all else, don't get too frustrated when things seem down. Consistently and a love to compete make improvement not just doable, but inevitable.

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