Greenville Tech's Riley Thome Wants to Major in Special Ed

Name: Riley Thome
Hobbies: Running, cycling, sleeping, schoolwork, and sitting in my grandma's classroom.
Academic Interest: special education / occupational therapy

Personal Bests:

  • 400m: 58.00
  • 800m: 2:08
  • 1,600m: 4:49
  • Mile: 4:51
  • 3,200m: 10:01
  • 5,000m: 16:44
  • 10,000m: 36:49

What does it mean to be named to the Shrine Bowl Run team and helping the hospital?
It means the world to me to be named to the Shrine Bowl Run team. From the start of this season, my end goal was to make the team and to run under 17 minutes in the 5K. I'm very happy to be able to help the hospital in any way that I can especially since I want to major in special education in college.

What did you hear about the Shrine Bowl Run before this year?
I heard that it was a tremendous honor to be a part of the team and that the hoodie that is given to the runners is a big flex.

What do you hope to experience during the run?
I hope I'm able to experience the love that all the runners I'm with have for running as well as for each other and have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

How are you preparing to run with a football?
I have not prepared at all so for all I know, it could be the hardest challenge I've ever faced.

How would you rate your senior season?
10/10. I set three goals for myself at the beginning of the season: make the Shrine Bowl Run team, make the All-State team, and run under 17 minutes in the 5K; I was able to complete all three of those and send my coaches off on a high note as they venture into retirement.

What future goals do you have?
I think asking what future goals I have is a little too broad of a question, so I'm going to assume the question is referring to running, and with that being said, I plan to run another half-marathon in 2019 and set a new PR for that. As far as long-term goals, I'd like to run a full marathon here in the near future as well as run a 100-miler. I enjoy long runs and my former track coach is into ultras and that is something that intrigues me.

Have you made the decision to compete at the next level? Please explain.
Yes and no. I have received offers from a couple of D2 schools to run for them in college, and I'm leaning towards running in college because running is my passion and I want to bring that into my life after high school, but I'm still considering attending bigger universities and running as part of a club. Despite not being able to be a part of a team, I'll be able to coach myself and run what I want to run, which doesn't sound too bad. I haven't made a final decision, but my final decision will come early January.

How did you get involved in the sport and when?
I began running cross country in the eighth grade when my mom told me I needed to get out of my room and get some sunlight. I went out for the cross country team that year and ended up not being half-bad at it. When high school came around, my mom suggested I continue to run and so I did; the rest is history.

Do you have any relation or know someone that has attended the Shriners Hospital?
Unfortunately no, but I love to help anyone in any way that I can.

How have you seen the 
sport change in the state? Please explain.
Since my freshman year, people have gotten so much faster. I got third place at the state track meet in the 3,200m by running a 10:59. A 10:59!! Nowadays, you can run a 10:01 and not even be top three in the state.

What was your motivation for your final XC season?
I'd have to say my coaches as well as myself. My coaches were a big part of my motivation this year because I knew this would be their last year coaching and they've both been coaching longer than I've been alive so I wanted to send them off on a high note. I also ran for myself this year because in the past, it's seems like I have been running for someone else rather than myself, so this year I decided I was going to run for myself. I set my three goals at the beginning of the year and decided that I was going to make sure I completed all three of those goals.

If there was one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
I'm going to be honest, there are two things in the world I would really want to do, but I'll choose the one that makes me look good. If I could do anything in the world, I would just make everyone a whole lot nicer. From my experience in the past few years, everyone is so mean for no reason and it really just gets under my skin. For example, a few weeks ago, the news was on and they were talking about how Ivanka Trump's voice was horse and what does that mean she's doing and all I could think is, "What if she's just sick?" The amount of hatred that is thrown around today quite honestly is just embarrassing because I feel like we, as human beings, should be above all this and be able to love, not hate.