Name: Lauren Paquette
Event: 3000 Meters, 5000 Meters
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
High School: Little Rock Christian Academy
Training Group: HOKA NAZ Elite
Accolades: 2018 NACAC Silver Medalist, 7-time NCAA All-American
How were you introduced to track, and what eventually led you to your event?
I was introduced to cross-country first in high school, because my division 2A school had a small team and one girl was sick so they asked me if I’d be interested in filling in for her so we could score at state, and I fell in love with it. I was an 800m runner almost throughout the entirety of competing for Baylor, then moved up the 1500m my senior year. After years of being hurt off and on (but mostly on) post-collegiately, I decided to change up my training quite a bit and delve into some longer distances – and in the process falling in love with the 3000m and 5000m. Maybe I should have been in these events all along?
You recently joined HOKA NAZ Elite after years of training solo in Tennessee. How has the transition been to a team training environment?
The transition has been so great for me! I had grown extremely tired of doing things solo and not having training partners to share everything with, so this has been magical for me! Altitude is hard, the training is hard, and when I came in I wasn’t 100% healthy – but I’ve woken up every morning more motivated than I’ve been in years and excited JUST to go to practice and run with my teammates. That, among other things, tells me that the move was a great decision.
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I’m tired but I’m happy. I’m working but I’m laughing. I’m hard but I’m also kind. I’m green but I’m also wise. I don’t have it all figured out just yet, but I’m feeling free and focused and healthy. How are you doing? 💪🏻🤙🏻✌🏻🎶#nazelite #trainhard #racefearlessly #campverde
What is your most memorable experience in the sport?
There are a lot of things – I think the best thing about this sport is connecting with tons of other runners and developing friendships, and also traveling the globe and exploring new cities and new trails, all while going after performance goals. At least those are my favorite things about it, but I think the coolest thing I got to do was be on the lead vehicle for the NYC marathon in 2018. It was amazing having such an up-close view to moves being made during the women’s race, how the course looked and seeing the different boroughs of NYC, and just a behind the scenes look with Sam Grotewold and David Monti on how the operations are run. They deserve SOOOO much credit for everything going off as smoothly as it does! Call me crazy but when I’m done competing at this level I’d be interested in something to do with admin in the sport.
What race are you most looking forward to in 2020 (not including the Olympic Trials / Olympics)?
Interesting question while we are in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 as I answer these – I’m going to have to go with Payton Jordan on this one assuming we will still run it! It’s hard to look past the trials/Olympics, but I also have a growing excitement for some late summer/fall road races coming up in 2020. Something a little longer like a 10k and/or a half is also very appealing to me right now – maybe it’s being on NAZ with all these endurance monsters and seeing what they’e been able to do working with Ben and having altitude as a valuable training partner.
What is something not track/running related that are you looking forward to in the next year?
Honestly, I’m looking forward to friends and family visiting me in Flagstaff – I love playing tour guide. Gotta take ’em to Sedona.
What do you like to do when you’re not training?
A lot – I’m a bookworm so I read a lot… Cook, work on my coaching business, knit, grab food/coffee w friends, explore new places and especially trails. There’s a lot that I’d like to do and try that I don’t fully dive into because I’m tired from training, mostly having to do with traveling and/or using my body in ways that I might get injured doing, like surfing, rock climbing… I really want to do a lot more hiking in the future.
What advice would you give to your high school freshman self?
Haha – um I wasn’t running then, but just to not squander any opportunity laid before me. Or I guess worded in a more positive light, make the most of every opportunity, and say yes to more of them than not.
Favorite sport, not track? I DON’T KNOW I LIKE SO MANY!! Basketball to watch, tennis or skiing (alpine) to play/do.
Favorite pro sports team? Memphis Grizzlies – GO Grizz!!
Favorite training shoe? HOKA Clifton
Favorite spot in Flagstaff? After just 3 months of living here I’m going to go with miles 6 and 7 on Woody Mountain Road, or Sunset Crater.
Best movie you’ve seen in the past year? Joker
Celebrity or Historic Figure you would most like to meet? Ellen DeGeneres
Who is your track and field idol? Oh gosh, so many, I don’t know!! I think Allison Felix, Queen Harrison, and Des Linden are cool as hell. Also ALI T (Aliphine Tuliamuk)
Give a shoutout to your supporters
Thanks everyone for reading and being in my corner!! We’re not done yet.