Harvard grad Scherf returns to Boston
By Chris Lotsbom
For American Lindsey Scherf, the B.A.A. 10K will be a homecoming of sorts for the 25-year-old. Originally from Scarsdale, N.Y, Scherf attended Harvard before graduating in 2008. Now running professionally, Scherf will return to the streets of Back Bay for the B.A.A. 10K on June 24.
“Boston is kind of a hometown for me, so anytime I can return there I am super excited about it,” said Scherf, who has a personal best of 33:13.0 for 10-K, set earlier this year.
Running on the streets and paths of Boston, especially those along the Charles River and in Cambridge, Scherf became familiar with the city. It is only natural that Scherf enjoys competing on the roads rather than the track. Passing up a chance to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials on the track, Scherf has transitioned to a full time road runner, reaping the benefits that come along with such a decision.
“I have a blast, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I love to run, I love to travel, and I meet great people along the way,” she said. “It’s hard for me to take a weekend and not take advantage to go someplace new and have a blast [competing].”
This year, Scherf has been busy. In early June, she ran two races in a span of two days, recording an eleventh place finish at the Freihofer’s Run for Women and a win at the Orange County Classic. Before that, competing in Canada at the IAAF Silver Label Ottawa 10K, Scherf picked up a big win. There, she found her name alongside Geoffrey Mutai’s, the 2011 Boston Marathon champion and the world’s fastest marathoner, who had won the men’s race.
“Being able to have my last name muttered in the same sentence as Mutai was really exciting,” she said. “To be in the company of someone like that,” she briefly pauses, “is something special.”
At the B.A.A. 10K, the two will meet again, as Mutai is the defending champion and will be competing.
“My coach texted me after that race [in Canada] and said next time we’ll get Mutai,” Scherf jokes with a laugh.
Not only has Scherf had success on the roads, she has also found it easier to train and race more often.
“It feels ten times easier having the company of the other [competitors],” she said. “It beats doing the grind all by yourself.”
On June 24, Scherf will join close to 5,000 particpants in the B.A.A. 10K, the second race of three in the B.A.A.’s Distance Medley.
Her thoughts on that: “It is going to be a blast.”
Scherf sat down with us and gave her five tips a successful race experience. Check them out!
Race Strategy - When it comes to having a race strategy and getting the fastest time possible, peeking is essential. If you can run each mile near equal pace, or the last three miles faster than your first three, you’ve set yourself up for the best possible performance.
Speed Training - Putting in some intervals at faster than race pace helps in training, so that you are accustomed to handle race pace when you toe the line.
Clothing and Hydration - Make sure you are dressed for the weather. If it is a warm day, wear light clothing so you don’t overheat. And stay hydrated; that is key if it is warm. Drink water!
Have A Routine - I’m not much of a morning person, so I like to wake up at least four hours before my race so I feel awake by race time. I like to wake up and go for a ten minute shake out jog; it tells my body to get up and it gets me ready for the race I am about to start. If you are not a morning person, that’s my little trick for waking up early and getting ready. It tells my mind and body to get ready.
Having Fun - Wanting to have fun and compete is big; it has been key for me in improving. Just wanting to go out and run faster than the week before, competing against the people around me is fun!