Mike Moore Shrine Bowl Run Interview: Mary Claire Abbott

Name: Mary Claire Abbott
Hobbies: Watching The Office, quoting The Office, and hiking
Academic interest: Future Special Ed Teacher
Personal bests: Fastest 5K is 19:08 and most slices of pizza ever eaten was five

What does it mean to be named to the Shrine Bowl Run team and helping the hospital?
It is a true honor that I got chosen for the Shrine Bowl Run team. I also think that being able to help the hospital is an awesome honor. I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to bring joy to those that are in the hospital. God calls us to care for the sick and hurting and I cannot wait to spread His love to His people.

What did you hear about the Shrine Bowl Run before this year?
I had some friends from other cross country teams that went to it years before and it looked super fun.

What do you hope to experience during the event?
I hope to meet new people and build friendships.

How are you preparing to run with a football?
I run with a jar of peanut butter up and down by driveway at least three times a day.

How would you rate your senior season?
I would rate it a 10 because I enjoyed every race and God helped me overcome many mental hurdles that I faced from the season before.

What future goals do you have?
I want to become a elementary school special education teacher. I also have a goal to qualify to become an All-American one day. God knows my future and my hope rests assure in that truth.

Have you made the decision to compete at the next level? Please explain.
I have committed to run at North Greenville University. I am really excited to run for Coach Stober because he is very passionate about the school and the team.

How did you get involved with the sport and when?
I ran a 5K when I was in fourth grade and the cross country coach was there. She told me all about what cross country was about and that she would love for me to come run when I become eligible. I tried it out at one summer practice and I loved the grit and the toughness that came along with the sport. I remember my mom asking me, "What time do I pick you up." I told her in like 30 minutes because all you can do at cross country is run right. Haha little did I know that there is so many different workouts, stretches, and runs that you can complete at practice. I believe that God grants everyone a gift or a talent and I think it is our job as believers to use that talent to glorify Him. I love that God gave me running because running has taught and given me so many things in return. It has helped change me into the person I am today. I love that after every race I can look up and know that God gave me the strength even if I had a bad race. I run for my Heavenly father.

Do you have any relation or know someone that has attended the Shriners Hospital?
I do not know anyone or have any relation.

How have you seen the sport change in the state? Please explain.
I have witnessed the times change dramatically from when I first started. When I was in eighth grade I qualified for all-state because I got tenth place. The winner only got a 18-min 5K. Now girls are running 17 minute 5Ks. Competitiveness has become more rigorous in my opinion as well.

What was your motivation for your final XC season?
My coach sadly had to step down right before my senior season and that motivated me to continue to make him proud. My motivation was also to be proud of how I did no matter what. My junior season was hard mentally and so I wanted to make this season, my last one, the best yet. I wanted to be the best captain for my team so that was another motivation.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
I have loved Africa ever since I went on a mission trip there last year. So if I could do anything I would go live there or adopt from there. I love the culture there and the people. They deserve to know the gospel even though they may not have the accessibility to it as we do.