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Wednesday, August 18, 2010Emily Hardin played soccer at Lipscomb University, but she is quickly making her mark as a marathon runner. On July 25th she was the first woman runner to cross the finish line at the San Francisco Marathon, a race that attracted more than 25,000 runners. Three years ago, to break the boredom of graduate school, Hardin started running for about 30 minutes a day or four or five miles. Her first marathon was the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala., where she finished fourth in the women’s division with a time of 2:56. In Chicago she covered the distance in 2:50:19, finishing in the top three in her age division and ranking ninth among the American female runners.
“In April I wanted a goal to work towards so San Francisco became the training goal. I had always wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Running it seemed to be an even better idea so I booked a flight and hotel room.”
Hardin, 26, has been running for approximately 3 ½ years. The San Francisco Marathon was her fourth. She admits she is shy to talk about her running accomplishments but she would like to run a marathon in 2:46 or less to qualify to for the Olympic Trials for 2012 or 2016. She says that “motivation gets you out the door, but habit keeps you going.”
She also is working as a soccer referee, and has been part of crews for three international games. She would like to work her way into refereeing for the MLS or to become a FIFA ref for World Cup games.
She slowed down long enough to answer a few questions for Lipscombsports.com.
What sport(s) did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
“Lady Bison's Soccer team from 2002-2006. My coach was Jenger Parrish.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“Oddly enough, the first weeks of preseason, my freshman year, started off with fear of the unknown, continual hard work, soreness and new gear but led to the establishment of great friendships and new adventures that continue today.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“Sarah Hennum (teammate for four years) for her desire to want to win. We share a lot of the same views on athletics, from that she is one of my best friends.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“Going to the square and student center after Chapel and UB, to meet up with friends or catch up on other tasks. And intramural flag football!!!”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“The value of friendship during fun times and difficulty phases of college life, time management, and personal responsibility to complete work, be prepared to practice, weight train, fitness so not to let others down either on the pitch or in the classroom.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“Dr. Autumn Marshall was very patient and approachable and willing to help any aspect of life. She was a selfless lady who believed one can accomplish her desires. Her classes and internship jump started my current career as a Registered Dietitian.”
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“I work for Morrison's Healthcare at Decatur General Hospital as Clinical Dietitian. I see inpatients for diet education, meal planning, malnutrition issues, nutrition support, and wound care.
“I also conduct outpatient diet and weight management consults along with multiple media interviews, articles, and classes in the community.
“Outside of the hospital I have developed a “Nutrition Guide for the Busy Athlete”. I go to various local running clubs, soccer teams and high schools o talk about and encouraging healthy eating as an athlete.
“I am also a grade 7 USSF soccer referee. I travel to various places throughout the week to ref soccer. I am a volunteer soccer and cross country coach.”
Tell us about your family.
”I am single. I have no kids.”