By Renzo Moran ’24
Alice Wright, a runner for the Hoka NAZ Elite team, broke a British national record last week at the Brophy Sports Campus when she ran 17,044 meters in one hour on October.
The one hour event that started back in the 17th century saw a rise in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic with world records being set in Brussels by Mo Farah of Great Britain and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.
Wright, who has a personal best of 1:11:38 for the half marathon, says she is in the middle of marathon training and that her result is realistic to where she is with that training.
Wright, when asked about her mentality during the run said, “I was trying to do it mile by mile, but then obviously it turned into lap by lap, and I did start looking at the time a lot more…I think that’s how I did it, I broke it into sections of time instead of distance.”
The previous record of 16,495 meters was set on April 2, 2000, by Michaela McCallum and stood for over 20 years.
To be eligible for the record you must be born in the UK. Alice a native to Worcester, United Kingdom, has been training with the Hoka NAZ Elite team in Flagstaff for events like these and, more specifically, marathons.
The spark to become a runner came from two British runners named Paula Radcliffe and Kelly Holmes, who inspired her after reading their books.
She was accompanied by two other runners who ran with her for half of the hour and her coach who encouraged her throughout the race and marked the ending location.
One of the members of the Hoka team, Stephanie Bruce ’02, is an alumni from Xavier College Preparatory who uses the Brophy track for workouts close to sea level. She uses it with permission from Mr. Dave Van Sickle, her former cross country and track coach while at Xavier.
The team trains in Arizona because it has the best conditions for running. Professional runners will train in Flagstaff for the altitude because it gives them more red blood cells which in turn allows their blood to carry more oxygen.
This helps because when they come to a race at water level, they get a natural boost of oxygen to the muscles giving them an advantage against competitors.
They also train in Flagstaff for the cold temperatures. The cold helps to reduce the stress on their bodies by making the heart rate and dehydration levels decrease significantly.
The Hoka NAZ Elite team keeps training in Flagstaff for their upcoming races with Alice Wright saying, “I would like to come and do it another time to try to beat the record again.”