I had never heard about her so I decided to do some research: she ran Track and XC for Rice, she competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials for the steeplechase, and she just returned from a year long study of running cultures around the world.
Yeah, that last one caught my attention too. Apparently it's called the Watson Fellowship, and it's an award where you can construct your own research project where you can go wherever you feel like and do whatever you want. Great gig, right?
As a blogger I thought, "Man, that would be a killer adventure to blog about" and sure enough I found Becky Runs Away, where she started last July and wrote about her entire experience. She went to 22 different countries so I can't wait to see what she experienced. Usually the post-college world trip always comes across as aimless and self-indulgent, but hers had a focused, academic purpose so this seems like something substantial.
It's especially interesting because if her purpose was to learn how to become a championship runner her win at the CIM is a good indication that it was a success. A lot of athletes get burned out in college so maybe the time away from the high-level competition allowed her to recharge and come back with renewed energy. Or maybe she found something special on her odyssey. I'm going to start her blog from the beginning and try to see for myself.