Name: Samantha Roecker
Hometown: Charlton, NY
High School: Burnt Hills Ballston Lake
College: Providence College
Occupation: Nursing Student (Penn)
Personal Bests: 1500-4:33 (yes, high school) 3k-9:29, 5k-16:42, 10k 35:21, 15k-55:48, half-1:18:09 (Hudson Mohawk half) full- 2:45:29 (NYC), 6k XC-20:39.
Career Highlights: 19th overall/8th American at NYC marathon, NCAA D1 Xc runner up (team), overall female winner Lehigh valley marathon, NCAA Big East female scholar athlete of the year.
Running Goals: Personal records!
Running Log: I think there’s something sacred about keeping an old-fashioned hand-written log (I use my friend Ro’s http://www.believeiam.com/collections/all/products/compete-training-journal)
By: Kevin Brandon
Sam, thanks for taking some time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! I was born and raised in upstate NY, attended Providence College for undergrad, received my Master’s in Global Health from Georgetown, and decided the more degrees the merrier so I came to Penn for a nursing degree. PRTC is clearly the best club in Philly so of course I wanted in!
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport? Once you began running, how has your career developed? Can you take us through day one to today?
The cute answer: Part of my mom’s morning routine for as long as I can remember included going for a run. As a young girl, I wanted to start running so I could be just like here. The real answer: I am extremely uncoordinated… running and swimming were among my only options, and pools are too cold for my taste.
As I got older and started to run competitively, I became hooked on improving my times and testing my limits–I loved challenging myself, putting in as much hard work as my body would allow and seeing the results that followed. The feeling of running a personal best is unlike any other. That feeling will never get old.
Can you share a favorite moment of running? How about a not-so-great moment?
My favorite running moment will always be XC NCAA’s my senior year of college when my team placed second. I guess the moment I remember so fondly is standing on the podium, which is the total opposite of running, but I’m still going to count it.
A not-so-great moment is when I decided it would be quicker to run home from a night out rather than Uber and I twisted my ankle in a pothole.
We know you ran at Providence College. How did you enjoy being a Friar?
I only have positive things to say about my experience at PC. I met so many wonderful athletes who are amongst my best friends. My coach, Ray Treacy, still helps me out with training and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that Providence opened for me.
This past year you took on the NYC Marathon and came away with a pretty remarkable result (2:45.29; 19th woman). What was your training like for the event and how was your race day experience?
Joining PRTC in September was the best thing to happen to me in terms of marathon training. I train much more consistently when I have people to run with on a daily basis and am so thankful for everyone who helped get me out the door in the fall.
During the race itself everything just fell together the way that it rarely every does. I loved feeding off the NYC crowds and soaking up the moment.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
I am hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the marathon in the short(ish) term. Long term, if my body doesn’t hate me for beating it up over the last decade and I can walk when I’m 50, I’ll be happy.
I understand you’ve logged some cool worldly trips. Could you share a travel highlight or two?
I’m slightly biased and have been to New Zealand four times. I highly recommend that everyone try to get there at some point in their lives! Untouched, beautiful nature at it’s finest.
Naturally (for PRTC Women), you’re involved in the medical field. Can you tell us what you’re up to professionally/academically?
I’m currently in Penn’s accelerated BSN/MSN program and will (eventually) be a Nurse Practitioner.