Saturday Spotlight- Sara Hansen

Name | Sara Hansen
Age | 27
Marriage Status | Married
Occupation | Patient Access Registrar at Stony Brook
Hobbies | Running, going to the beach, paddle boarding, going for walks
Pet | Madison (kitty)
Hometown | Ronkonkoma, NY
Current Town | Lake Grove, NY

Sorry for the late post Lou!!

I don’t really know where to start so I guess I will start at the beginning. I’m a Long Island girl, I grew up in Ronkonkoma and attended Connetquot. As a kid I loved to be outside, I guess I get this from my parents. My dad had a huge garden and we had about 20 chickens. My parents always had my sister and I helping in the yard. Growing up my best friend was my next door neighbor and it seemed like we spent all summer playing in the wood chip pile or going on adventures in Lakeland park.

My running career started in 7th grade when one of my friends convinced me to join the cross country team. To be honest, I don’t remember hating it or loving it, I just remember it was the hardest thing I had ever done. Practice usually consisted of running multiple field loops, one more painful then the next, and pretty boring I might add. At that age the meets were 1 mile and if I was able to finish a race without walking it was a major accomplishment. After that first season I decided running would be my thing but I had one problem…. I was SUPER shy and none of my friends like to run track. When spring track season came along I couldn’t find one friend to join the team, so obviously I decided I didn’t want to do it alone. My mom ended up bribing me with a new 20 gallon tank for my turtle if I promised to join the team for a week. Needless to say I met a lot of great girls and I ran the whole season. I ended up running track all the way through senior year. During high school my family went through a rough patch. Within the course of a year my parents got divorced and my sister got very sick. Being on the track team gave me a place to be away from home. It was my source of normalcy where I could forget my family issues. I can honestly say being on the track team kept me sane and was the highlight of high school.

After high school I went to Stony Brook for my bachelors. My original plan was to leave track in the past and look for new experiences in college. About half way through my first semester I realized that I missed running and decided to walk onto the team. Boy, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into! Stony Brook was a D1school and I was certainly not a D1 runner. To put it lightly, being on a team with such outstanding runners was not easy physically or mentally. I honestly felt pretty shitty about myself as a runner for the majority of the time. There were so many times that I thought about quitting. When I think about my running career I would not take back a single moment. I found out just how hard I could work and I got to meet great people. Reflecting on my experience at Stony Brook I have learned to focus on my own strengths and capabilities instead of comparing myself to others.

After college I continued to run 5ks with my husband and uncle but eventually I felt like I had no purpose to my training. 2017 was the first in 7 years that I actually stopped running because I stopped enjoying it. I tried doing other workouts like barre and spin but nothing could compare to the way I felt after a run. This past spring I knew I wanted to get back to running and I that’s when I decided to join the Selden Hills. I never could have imagined how amazing and inspiring this group of people could be. It has completely reignited my love of running.

Running has taught me so many things, it has taught me to find strength within myself that didn’t know I had, it has taught me that hard work pays off, and it has taught me to keep my head up and keep moving forward.