#LondonLions: Do you have to be insane to run the marathon?
Spectator and Spectrum are here throughout the next two weeks to bring you updates and interviews from Columbia Olympians in our #LondonLions series. Today, we profile one of our #LondonLions, Lisa Stublić. Follow @CU_Spectator and @CUSpecSports to make sure you’re up to date.
Lisa Stublić, CC ’06, is a Croatian marathoner. At Columbia, she trained under head track and field coach Willy Wood, where she made NCAA championships all four years for cross-country, and placed 10th her senior year to earn All-American status. Though American-born, post-graduation she immigrated to her father’s homeland country of Croatia, subsequently joining a track club where she began training for longer distances. In her marathon debut in 2010, Stublić set a Croatian record and earned the Olympic ‘A’ standard to allow her to compete in London.
Stublić is set to race on Sunday, August 5 at 6 a.m. We reached out to Stublić over email and got her to answer a few questions before she left for London.
1. What Olympic athlete are you gonna ask to call you maybe?
I am not going to ask any Olympic athlete to call me. I am already in a very serious relationship, so this is not an interest of mine.
2. What is the one song you play before every competition or during all of your workouts?
I do not listen to music before competition or during training sessions. The marathon is a long event that requires a lot of mental concentration. Since you are not allowed to compete with music I do not see a point to practice or warm up with it. However, if I had to pick a song that would motivate me I would say “Beginners Mind” by Bright Eyes.
3. You came to the sport pretty late, and even then, despite your insane natural talent and success you focused more on other interests. Is that true? How are your feelings about running different now?
When I was younger running was something that I did…it was more like a habit. I never really thought about it I just did it. Because of this in college I did not focus on the little things to improve my performance. As I grew older and started realizing that I hadn’t reached my potential (but wanted to) I started making these small changes and they seemed to make a big difference. Still I still have the same attitude towards running. It is not an end all be all. It is a habit that I am fortunate to be talented in.
4. How does it feel to be the first Croatian to ever qualify for the Olympics in marathon?
I don’t really know what to say. I never really thought about this. Of course it is an honor to compete in the Olympic Games no matter if you are the first to qualify or not. Croatia does not have a legacy of distance runners I hope that maybe I will inspire some athletes to continue training (a lot of athletes quit before entering the open category) so that we/they can lift distance running in the country to a higher level int he future.
5. To run the marathon, do you have to be insane?
I wouldn’t say you have to be insane. There are a lot of people who recreationally run the marathon. I would say that to run the marathon you have to be able to concentrate/focus for a long period of time and patience to know that you do not have to make sudden moves in the beginning of such a long race.
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