The Running Career of William Su and His Thoughts Looking Back
By Summer Boulais
William Su, a sophomore nursing major, finished his cross-country career at Walla Walla University this last season. With plans to attend nursing school in Portland, the Cascade Conference Championship was his final collegiate race. Though it wasn’t Su’s best race, he has fond memories looking back at that day.
In the first week of November, Su ran about 46 miles instead of the assigned 20 miles. “I overtrained and the cold didn’t make it any better. My coach told me not to run on the days we weren’t supposed to run, but I didn’t listen,” Su confessed.  The extensive number of miles Su ran the week of the championship race may have played a role in his disappointment with his performance for that final race.
The start of Su’s day of his last race began at 6 a.m. after a night of little sleep. “The hotel was really nice at Klamath Falls. Our coach made breakfast for the team and that helped,” Su said.  Having a good breakfast before running gave Su and his other teammates energy for the big day ahead of them.
Arriving to the race’s location three hours early may have caused the anticipation for the big race to last a little too long. “The whole team wanted to get the race over with. I both wanted to make it to nationals and have the season be over,” Su explained.  The cross-country team pushed through a long season of traveling, so this may have taken away from some of their motivation to do well.
Though Su was disappointed with the championship overall, he complimented his teammate Justin Corral, junior biology pre-medicine major, for racing with an injured foot.  Despite coming in last, the team ran hard that day through the cold weather with injuries and overtraining holding them back.
“I wanted to race one more time after finishing the championship race. I wanted to race more to give myself another chance,” Su said.  There was a sense of relief that the season was over, but he was upset with how the championship went as his final race. He is going to continue running on his own post-season.
Su recently ran a 5:40 mile for 10 miles on his own, and he described how he is “always going to enjoy running.”  He plans to run the Walla Walla Turkey Trot and other races just for fun. Though his cross-country career has ended, Su wants to continue running both for fun and to stay in shape.
“It was really nice to run for the school and to run for something other than myself,” Su explained.  Racing for WWU gave Su memories he will never forget and lasting friendships with his teammates. Though his career didn’t end how he hoped, Su looks forward to running with friends during his final quarters on campus.
1. Interview with William Su, 11/17/2021.