When University of Utah track and field member Hannah Allred is racing in one of her main events, the 5K, she is running 3.10 miles. Her commute she has to drive from her home in Ogden, Utah to campus was 39.1 miles. That would be equivalent to running over 12 5K’s. Student-athletes face different situations when it comes to commuting to get to practices and games. Some athletes face short commutes as they live on campus, while others are much longer.
Allred grew up in Ogden where she attended Ogden High School. In 2014, she had an 8th place finish at the 4A state cross country championships. Her family and friends were in attendance as she accomplished that achievement. When it was time to figure out where to live for college, Allred decided she would start out by living at home where she would be close to those who had been supporting her throughout her athletic journey.
“It’s just where I wanted to be and it was going to be worth it to make whatever sacrifices it took to get down there [University of Utah],” Allred said. “It wasn’t a point of having to motivate myself, that’s where I wanted to be, but I could only do it by living at home at that time. So, I just had to make due with what I wanted to do.”
Allred began thinking about getting involved with track and field and cross country at a young age, and her family’s experience with the sport kept her going.
“I have always loved track and field,” Allred said. “Since I was little, I just remember, one time my family went to this little park and there was a little cement track, and I was four or five, and I was like, ‘Mom, look how fast I can run around this.’ Ever since then, I just stuck with it. My mom is a big runner so she kind of got me into it too, so I’ve always loved it.”
The distance between her home and the U didn’t affect her decision to attend the university. The coaches, the athletes and the people working behind the scenes that help the athletes is what pulled her in.
“I absolutely love the team,” Allred said. “The girls are awesome, they’re so nice and encouraging and just fun to be around. The coaches are super great and really involved, and [they] know what they’re doing and have produced a lot of great runners.”
After her first semester, Allred relocated closer to the university. It was a decision she doesn’t regret, but like the long commute she use to endure, the move has pros and cons.
“That’s probably the only negative, is that I don’t get to be around my family as much,” Allred said. “I loved being with my family and that was the hardest part to leave, but I think it [has] been worth it to come down here.”
Although Allred doesn’t live as close to her family and friends in Ogden now, she has found that the move gives her the opportunity to focus more on school and her sport.
“It [has] been so nice to be close to campus,” Allred said. “Even if I forgot something at home, I can just run home in five minutes and get it. But mostly just the travel time has been so much nicer to be close because I can either just, if I’m at home and I feel like going to the library, I can go to the library. Or if I just want to go home and study, I can go do that really quickly, and I don’t have to worry about any travel time. It saves me hours a day, which add up so much in a week and adds up an infinite amount it feels like in a semester.”