How to Rock a Run like Hailey

If you think Hailey Sharpe looks familiar, you might be right. Back when she was in grade school, she was the ‘onion girl’ in commercials promoting healthy eating for Peak of the Market. Fast forward to today and she is still interested in getting in front of a crowd: as a third year student at the University of Manitoba, she is working towards becoming a French immersion early years teacher. Not to mention that she finished fourth female in the 2018 Intrepid Dezine Half Marathon. When she isn’t learning how to shape young minds, she is running cross country and long distance for the Bisons. In her down time Hailey loves creating vegan baked treats, watching Netflix, or reading a book she loves so much she finishes it in a day.

Why do you run?

I run because it brings a sense of tranquility into my day to day life when things can become hectic. It’s something that keeps me motivated and helps me acknowledge and understand the importance of creating goals for myself.

What was the most personally challenging race you have ever run and why?

During my last year of high school I found out I had pneumonia before the outdoor track provincials. The doctor advised me not to partake in any physical activity for a while, but because this was my very last high school track meet, I decided that I would rest up for a few days, and then ultimately run the races I had qualified for, which had been the 800m and the 400m. When the day finally came to run, I knew going into each race not to expect a lot. However I still found myself disappointed for not reaching mine and others expectations: this was really mentally challenging because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. My coach (Mr. Shynkaruk) knew exactly what to say, as he always did, and that helped stop me from being so hard on myself.

What is your favorite post-workout snack?

I really love making some sort of smoothie or “nice cream” (aka banana ice cream) with vanilla flavoured Vega protein powder and whatever other fruits I have at my house.

What is your number one method for injury prevention?

Definitely Stretching: I always need to remind myself how much stretching before and after a run matters to prevent injury. When it’s needed in specific areas that I can’t stretch out myself I’ll get massages as well.

If you could travel back in time, what would you tell yourself when you first started running?

I think I would say to be more proud of myself after races, and to not be so hard on myself when expectations I’ve set for myself aren’t met. Overall, I’d say to just enjoy the feeling running for yourself brings you and embrace that.

 What goals have you set for yourself in the past year? How have you worked to achieve them?

Since last year was my first year back running on a team (with the Bisons) I focused more on getting that muscle memory of running track races back and not comparing my pace/progress to others. I also have set myself the goal each year after the half marathon to get a better time than the previous one so I trained a lot more than I had before.

What does race morning look like to you? Any rituals, habits or mantras that you go through to get ready to run?

Before any race, I first try to find my own space to mentally prepare myself by listening to my pump up playlist. While doing that, I prefer to warm up alone in order to stay focused and avoid any distractions. I also take the few moments before a race, when standing on the start line to close my eyes, breathe in and out and tell myself that I can do this, and to put everything I have into whatever race it may be.

What is your number one “get pumped up for a great run” song?

I think that I go through phases of what song pumps me up the most, since I normally will listen to whatever that song is on repeat for the whole race day. I have a hard time picking just one, so I’d say right now my top three are : Stronger and Power by Kanye West and Fighter by Christina Aguilera.

Do you have a running role model or a training buddy that you want to give a shout out to? Anyone who keeps you going or contributes to your training?

My whole Cross Country and Track distance group at the University really motivate me to keep making goals and to push myself to become a better runner. I really admire all of my teammates because they’ve taught me that even though running is technically an individual sport, having a support system and people to push you to reach your goals is so important and completely necessary.