Marlon Belden Realizes His Potential During Freshman Year

Coach Howard Mill's thoughts about Marlon Belden: "Beaufort's distance team is packed with talent this year and the team and I are looking forward to Marlon Belden being a key component and leader this season. Marlon has a level of discipline, determination and drive that make him a champion in anything he chooses." 

When did you first start competing in the sport, and do you recall any of your childhood events?
I first started running competitively early into elementary school, around the age of seven. I recall competing in various AAU meets for both cross country and track. 

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
Yes, state qualifier during XC of my freshman year (view results here). Although it doesn't seem like anything major looking back on it now, I was very proud to run a solo race from the gun and still PR. It certainly helped me realize my potential.

How did COVID impact your training as you prepared for the season?
COVID, as for most athletes, has consistently impacted the sense of normalcy and togetherness that has been difficult to restore since the pandemic started. That being said, running is a simple sport. I have still been able to train well from home.

If you had to pick: Track and field or cross country, and why?
I really struggle with this. Although I believe the larger camaraderie and intense atmosphere brought in track with a wider range of events is irreplaceable, XC was my first love. I have always enjoyed the longer distances and the sheer brutality XC can offer.

Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?
I committed to Georgetown University in October. Georgetown surpassed my standards for both academic and athletic rigor, and everything about DC was appealing to me.

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
Yes, the 100m dash. Only because a part of me has always wanted to be in the 4X100m relay.

What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
I am big into filmmaking and photography, and I love to surf.

Who is your role model, and why?
Someone I consider a role model is my boss and one of my biggest mentors, Tim Waz. Tim owns Grounded Running, our local running store here in Beaufort. Long before I was employed there, I looked to Tim for advice on a variety of subjects in regards to running. He has been extremely supportive and always there for me since I've met him. I've learned a tremendous amount from him, and admire his success.

Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of the things on your list!
Go to medical school - get a girlfriend - become an NCAA All-American - travel the world - own a Great Dane. 

What is the best advice you have received?
Don't waste time and energy on things out of your control.

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
My favorite pre-race snack is definitely oatmeal. Traditionally, I'm always next to my teammate Nash Mills jamming out to some pregame bangers on the bus.

If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?
Probably basketball. Outside of running, it has always been my favorite sport.