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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Athlete of the week: Mohamud Ige

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Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat Mohamud Ige

Editor’s note: Cross country runner Mohamud Ige won the men’s race at the Dave Murray Invitational last Friday. The junior crossed the finish line in 20:59 and talked with the Arizona Daily Wildcat‘s Kevin Zimmerman about his summer, this year’s team and whether he listens to a band named after his area code.

 Daily Wildcat: You won the meet this weekend and said you didn’t really think about winning beforehand. Is that your way of focusing just on yourself, or is it about staying humble?

Mohamud Ige: I don’t like to set goals in a sense, so my prediction to win the whole meet wasn’t in my head at all. Winning sort of happened. I just like to go out there and hammer and see what I get out of it. Yeah, staying humble is a key thing as well.

I talked to coach beforehand and he said he looked forward to seeing you run. What was it in the offseason that you did to improve so much?

Mainly, I mean, I’m just going into this industry so I’m getting a lot more mature about it. I was over in Flagstaff this whole summer ever since school ended. The concentration honestly is the key thing to what it takes to be a top, elite runner. The motivation and dedication you put in determines what you do. What I’ve done all summer is basically center my entire life around running for two months in high altitude. Eat, sleep and run was all I was thinking about, and that’s all my life became was focusing on that. A lot of that had to do with the altitude granted, but at the time, it was just the dedication I put in that made me a lot more mature and put me in the position I’m at right now.

Did you work on anything technically? I mean, people don’t really think about that in running but obviously there’s that technical stuff involved.

Definitely, I mean I was getting massaged once a week to keep … injury free. I was injured in my track season so my hamstring affected me. Obviously resting, going to bed at time, stretching a lot more than I’ve ever done. Learning form drills, doing form drills after you’re done (practicing). Just keeping focused and hydrated, fluid-wise as well. There’s very small things that you’d be surprised … there’s a lot of key concepts that you don’t think count, and it does. From the form drills, to the strides, to stretching, to eating, to stretching again … that really helped me out and I’m still doing that today.

How many miles do you guys run?

We’re supposed to get up to, at the end of the summer, … 80 miles (per week). Right now, I’d have to estimate we’re at 50 miles, coach (Li) has us down … low mileage but (harder) work rather than high mileage.

And I saw after the meet you guys are really close as a team. Can you talk about this team and the bond? Is it new or was it like this last year?

It’s new. It really is new, just building from last year. Last year we were solid but we weren’t as great as we were supposed to be. The bonding was what did it. This year, especially in the summer, each one of us realized … each of us can hold each other more accountable. All of us, by talking to (my teammates) over the summer, we’re a little bit more mature. We developed more enthusiasm for the sport, the love for the team, to come back to each other and to get training with each other. A lot of us were just talking over the summer, “”Oh, it’s really boring until we get back.”” The atmosphere of coming back together has helped that a whole lot. We did grow a lot from last year, we learned from our mistakes.

What is it like following guys like Robert Cheseret, who graduated a few years ago? Is that a lot to follow up in his shoes?

It really is a lot, but I’m not looking at that right now. I’m just developing right now. I don’t know how or where this will lead me. I have no right to say, “”Oh wow, just because I won that race I’m heading towards Robert Cheseret.”” I want to get in those footsteps, but, at the same time, I’m going to create my own footsteps. And I want to be completely different from Robert Cheseret whether I’m faster or not. However, even though those guys had a tremendous impact on this university, to have that with me is tremendous. They represent this school and I feel like it’s my chance to carry that right now, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I’m going to let myself be myself and do what I’ve been doing. And the result, if I carry this name (on) my chest, I’ll be the most happiest kid and hopefully fall in those footsteps eventually. It is an honor to run for this school and for them to have labeled this school already, I feel like I have to continue with that and we’ll see how it goes.

Alright, I’ve got a few dumb questions for you. Is there such a thing as a “”runner’s high””?

A runner’s high?

Have you heard that before?

I’ve never heard that before.

Apparently, when you run there’s a lot of endorphins that go into your brain and make you happy … but …

Wow. Interesting. No, nothing will make you happy when you’re running. Running is supposed to be painful, you’re not supposed to be happy. I guess you could be happy afterwards, but in a sense, unless you’re feeling a good workout or are in a good race … But running isn’t supposed to be happy. I’ve never heard of that term. I don’t feel that. I feel like I’m working hard, I’m actually getting something out of it. I’m dying. I’ve never heard of that. Runners like myself at a university … I doubt they feel that.

You’re from Colorado. Do you listen to the band 3OH!3? I have to ask that.

You know what, I actually started listening to the 3OH!3 because my roommate (who) is from California, Dylan (Fitzpatrick). He’s on the team also, he listens to the 3OH!3. He went to the concert when they came here but I still listen to it. Not going to lie, a couple songs aren’t good. They’re a rock band and all that, (and) I’m more of a hip-hop (person). I like them, I do listen to them a little bit.

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