Hansons-Brooks Athlete Anne-Marie Blaney had one heckuva a race at the U.S. Cross Country Championships last month! The long distance athlete finished ninth overall and earned a spot on the U.S. team at the upcoming World Cross Country Championships on March 30 in Denmark. Anne-Marie has a successful track record in cross country- she finished second overall at the 2018 U.S. Club Cross Country Championships where the Hansons-Brooks women finished second as a team. At the same event the year before, Anne-Marie was part of the championship winning Hansons-Brooks women’s team.
We caught up with Anne-Marie to get her take on everything from dealing with injury to her feelings about bananas as fuel for running. Read on and help us wish Anne-Marie good luck at Worlds!
How do you feel about bananas?
Funny someone should ask this question. Runners are supposed to love things like peanut butter, chocolate milk, and bananas, right? However, I have some sort of bananaphobia! I’m just not a fan of the texture, smell, anything. I’ll just say this, I don’t go to races for the free bagels and bananas at the finish line!
What’s your best tip for coming back from an injury?
Injuries are one big guessing game. Having estimated timelines and hiccups along the way are mentally draining. Having patience sounds so simple but it is one of the biggest struggles during injury. Take everything one day at a time and treasure the successful days as they come. In the meantime, distract yourself by doing your favorite non-running hobby and turn an injury into something positive!
When did you start running? – @Des_Linden
I’ve grown up doing fun runs and watching track with my parents. I didn’t start competitively until freshman year of high school. Over time, running surpassed the other sports I did growing up such as soccer, basketball, and bowling. My father has an extensive background in distance running as an All-American and Olympic Trials qualifier! So, you could say “it runs in the family.”
Do you believe in pre-race rituals? –@rink928
Heck yeah! You gotta do whatever you gotta do to crush your race. If it’s become a part of what you do, it must’ve worked the last time! You don’t need a pre-race ritual but if you do have one, it can definitely help you get your mind right. It also helps to keep things consistent before races so your body and mind know what to expect. I always sport some crew length socks and make sure I brush my teeth an extra time before I head to the race.
Do you train with a coach or yourself? –@Jason.tee.tzs
I have three coaches actually! Kevin and Keith Hanson as well as Don Jackson. Because of these guys, I am surrounded by many inspiring and supportive Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project teammates as well. They believe that group training creates an environment that challenges and pushes you to different levels than you would alone. When we are all together at workouts, there is so much banter between everyone which makes it even more fun! There is also quite the running community here in Rochester Hills, Mich., and they support the team immensely!
What’s your fav Brooks Shoes?
Working in the specialty running shoe industry, I’ve tried the whole spectrum of Brooks shoes. My all-time favorite Brooks shoe is the Ghost. It is a staple in my training and the models are consistently rated the top shoe on the market! But it does become a toss-up if you throw in the Levitate 2 LE… they’re the high heels of my running shoe collection.
What do you usually eat after a race?
After a race, I go straight for that protein “window snack” within 30 minutes of competition. I’ll bring a Greek yogurt and/or some chocolate milk, Fage and Fairlife to be specific– they’re the tastiest. I also try to get in a meal not long after the competition has settled down, preferably breakfast food (no matter what time it is).
How do you stay motivated on your long days?
Get excited for your long run days! I like to do them in the morning so they’re out of the way before I can even consider not doing getting them done. Long runs aren’t easy to do but the feeling of a completed one beats almost all other types of runs. *Cue the notorious runners high.* My teammates also keep me accountable, so find a run partner if you can! I love a good runversation and good company.
What was your favorite race you’ve ever ran in?
I have a feeling my favorite race will be World Cross Country Championships in Denmark because rumor has it, Danish royalty will be running, and the course goes on top of a museum!
But, as for a race that I have thoroughly enjoyed, I would have to say the USATF Club Cross Country Championships because I love the team aspect that it offers. Hansons-Brooks ODP has always had a presence there and is directly in line with our values, so we continue to prioritize this race in our schedules. It also brings a wide range of competitors together and is always a good time.
What is your guilty pleasure TV show? –@avg_dad_tri
I don’t want to admit it (that’s what makes it a guilty pleasure right?), but I am watching “The Bachelor” for the first time this season. I have to say, it has me hooked. I’ve slowly also converted the team into “Bachelor” fans as well (even the guys, which I am most proud about). To be honest though, I am not much of TV tv person. I love doing activities (art, home renovation projects, beekeeping, etc.) or other sports (golf, unicycling, etc.) over watching shows!
Be sure to head over to Anne-Marie’s Instagram page and wish her good luck ahead of the World Cross Country Championships!