RCTC welcomes former South Dakota State runner Mackenzie Schell

As a lifelong runner, Mackenzie Schell made her high school varsity cross country and track team in 7th grade (we didn’t even know that was possible)! Since then, Schell has continued to test her limits, continuing onto the Division 1 collegiate level as a track and cross country athlete for South Dakota State University. During her collegiate career, she set an outdoor 5K personal record of 17:47.83 and notched an 18:47:12 in for 5K XC.

We talked with Schell about her decision to move out West from Minnesota, her running philosophy, and her goals as a post-collegiate runner.

Why do you run?

I am my happiest self when I run. Running had taught me that I am capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined. Through running I have met some of my closest friends and made some of my greatest memories. Running is my first love, and it will always bring me joy.

Can you talk a little bit about your running experience?

I have been running competitively since middle school. I made my high school varsity cross country and track team in 7th grade. I continued running track and cross country through high school and eventually on the Division 1 collegiate level. I ran for South Dakota State University for 5 years. Post collegiate running is a whole new experience for me and I’m excited to see what I can do!

What brings you to Oregon and RCTC?

I moved from Minnesota to Oregon for a dream job with Nike. Although, I always knew I wanted to eventually move out West! I chose to join RCTC because it seemed like a very positive and welcoming running community. I can’t wait to chase my running goals with the RCTC crew!

Do you have any running superstitions?

I don’t really have any running superstitions. I try not to let anything like that get in head before race day. Just go out and run as hard as you can on that day. That’s all you can really ask for.  

Do you like to run alone or in a group?

For easy days I prefer to run alone but for workouts I prefer running in a group. Having someone that is going through the same pain and being able to pull each other along helps me get through workouts. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Is running an art or a science?

Running is both an art and a science. Learning how your body works and how it can better adapt to training and nutrition is a science form. Whereas the mental part of being able to push yourself past the limits that the brain sets on you is an art form. Your body and mind are deeply connected when it comes running.

What do you do outside of running?

Outside of running I love traveling and spending time with friends and family. Lately I’ve been loving being able to explore all that the PNW has to offer!

Any goals for the next year?

Next year I want to PR in some track events….I still feel like I haven’t hit my potential in the shorter events (Mile, 5K, 10K). Eventually I will start training for the marathon and hopefully be ready to run my first one next fall.

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