Yokota sophomore Aiko Galvin saved her best for last during the Pacific's high school cross country season, winning two races when it counted most, during the Far East meet. DAVE ORNAUER/STARS AND STRIPES
Yokota sophomore Aiko Galvin saved her best for last during the Pacific's high school cross country season, winning two races when it counted most, during the Far East meet. DAVE ORNAUER/STARS AND STRIPES

Cross Country: Galvin found a way past the pain to first-place glory

by Dave Ornauer
Stars and Stripes

Halfway through the race, Aiko Galvin said she did something she had never done before during a run – talk to herself out loud for encouragement.

It was the start of the second of two laps in the Far East 5-kilometer individual race on Nov. 4 at Misawa Air Base, Japan. And in the most important race of the season, part of her wanted to quit.

“I said out loud that nobody cares that I’m dying; just go run,” the Yokota sophomore said. “The first lap, I felt really strong, but the second lap, I had no one with me. It was up to me to stay motivated. I kept hearing excuses in my head and I had to throw them out.”

To Galvin, who went on to win the Division II and overall titles in that race – her first victory of the year – running cross country is “98 percent mental. The best runners know how to get over any sort of hindrance. They say, ‘OK, I’m going now.’ That’s what I did.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.608601

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