Athlete Feature: Oyster River’s Danielle Slavin

When did you start running?Manchester Invitational-952

I started running in elementary school in an ORYA (Oyster River Youth Association) track and field program.  I initially joined because all of my older sisters ran, and so did my dad, so I knew I wanted to run, too.  I continued running through middle and high school.

Briefly describe the experience as a member of your team/program.  Give an example of some of the “fun” stuff your team does together.

Being a part of the Oyster River Girls Cross Country Team has been unlike anything else I’ve ever done.  We are all so close, and it’s amazing to experience how much love there can be if you get over 30 girls all genuinely caring for and supporting each other.  Some fun stuff we do include going to Waterville Valley and the smaller, but just as fun Camp Fireside at the beginning and end, respectively, of each summer.  Also holding “spags” or spaghetti dinners each night before a meet.

How does your coach motivate you?

He does little things to make us know we can push ourselves harder, like having us send mileage reports every week so we can reflect on how we’ve done. During races, he’s always the easiest person to pick out from the crowd, and he tells us if we’re in a good position or if we’re going at a good pace.

What motivates you most to do well?

Knowing that my team and family is there pushing me on, and that when I do well, it helps them to push themselves just like I know their successes help me.

Manchester Invitational-981What is your favorite workout?

I kind of like most of the runs I do pretty much equally–all have their pros and cons–but if I had to choose one, I’d choose the team run we do the day before a meet. All 30-something of us run together, with no one getting left behind.  It may not be best for strengthening us physically, but it really makes the team feel as one, and that’s extremely important, especially right before race day.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

Does catching leaves count? Sometimes in Autumn, if I notice it’s windy and the leaves are falling, I’ll book it outside and try to catch as many as I can. Once I even caught one in my mouth.  I had been trying for a year.  It was a huge success.

What is your go-to prerace meal?

A can of chicken noodle soup.  I have it every race day morning.

Do you have a favorite prerace song?

I don’t personally listen to music before I run, but during the aforementioned team runs we do the day before a meet. We sing a song together towards the end of the run, so that would be my favorite prerace song.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Te Fiti.  I know it’s not technically in this world, but c’mon, that island looked beautiful in Moana.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?Manchester Invitational-997

Create a perfect vacuum on Earth.  With gravitational waves, it’s technically impossible, but since I can’t fail, that would make it possible…  Apologies for breaking Physics.

What is the best advice ever given to you?

Love others before yourself.  We could all use a little more love.

What is your favorite quote?

“And so you have found out that secret–one of the deep secrets of Life–that all, that is really worth the doing, is what we do for others.” -Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll.)

What is your favorite thing about Cross Country?

My team.  They love me and push me, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. The philosophies I’ve learned from the team have inspired me in other aspects of life, and I’m going to miss them so much next year.

Black Bear-845What is your favorite course to run? (High school courses)

I can’t think of just one.  I did like the old Bobcat Invitational course at our High School, but with the remodeled fields, that won’t be raced anymore.

What is your favorite race outside of the high school season?

I don’t really race much outside of high school meets, but I’ll go with Marina’s Miles.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years???

In graduate school.  I hope to eventually earn a doctorate and possibly go into research, but at this point I really don’t know.

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