Name: Emily Burg
School: Arvada West High School
Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My most memorable race was the 4x800 at the Mullen track meet in 2018. My teammates and I had won the year before, but we were all pretty nervous about trying to repeat. The race started, each leg separating the teams more and more. I was the anchor leg and by the time I got the baton another team was in the lead right ahead of us.
My coach kept yelling at me to pace myself with the other girl, so I stayed right behind her for the first lap and a half. When we hit about 200 meters to go, both of us opened it up and started our finishing sprint. Somehow, I was able to push myself harder than I ever had and surge past the other girl in the last 50 meters to win, giving both my coach and my teammates simultaneous heart attacks.
Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I think my greatest competition has always been myself. I've struggled a lot with self doubt and anxiety throughout my running career and it's been hard to work through that. Every race, I was more worried about trying to beat my own times and my own nerves than anyone else.
Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was being able to race in the championship race at NXR Southwest for two years in a row. It was such a fun experience getting to travel with my team and it was really inspiring to be racing with some of the best of the best.
Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?
I would have worried less about each race and focused on appreciating each memory and each opportunity that was being provided to me. I think that I was so anxious about every race that I didn't fully enjoy the beauty of the sport and the team that I had with me.
Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacles I had to overcome were my own thoughts. The stress of each race and comparing myself to everyone else really took a toll, but during my last year or so I was able to push that aside and just have fun with it.
Q) What will you miss the most?
I'm going to miss the atmosphere of races. Not the actual races, but being surrounded by all my teammates and having such a strong running community to support me.
Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?
I would tell them to take a step back and appreciate everything that they have. Don't get so caught up in the races that you forget why you love the sport. Appreciate the memories you have with your teammates because you'll cherish those more than any medal or award.
Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coach has always encouraged me and boosted my confidence as a runner and an all around person. He's a big fan of tough love and he'll tell you how things really are, which you need sometimes in order to get perspective. He pushes us really hard and inspired us to be better at everything, not just running.
Q) What are your college plans?
I'm going to Colorado State University to study business administration and marketing, and unfortunately my running career will not be continuing.
Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to say thank you to the teammates that originally inspired my love for the sport. The Fab Five- Katie Doucette, Claire Pauley, Amber Valdez, Civianna Gallegos, and Lucy Schroeder- as well as my favorite running partner Sadie Haymond. All of those girls pushed me and supported me in the beginning of my career and really built a sense of community that I fell in love with.
Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Don't take running too seriously and enjoy the memories.