The shelter-in-place order isn’t keeping Elise Ruud, a determined fourth-year track and field athlete from Stjordal, Norway, from staying in shape. Ruud qualified for Indoor Nationals and broke three of her previously set school records. “This season has been my greatest season of all time,” said Ruud. But, when COVID-19 emerged and the world shifted under her running shoes, the national meet was canceled, and she traveled back to Norway.
Ruud looks to the positive side of the closure of all gyms and tracks, explaining that it has brought out her creativity when it comes to exercising. In place of the track, she has been running in the woods. During strength workouts in her back yard, Ruud uses car wheels as weights and stairs for jumps. When it is too cold outside, she completes core workouts in her living room.
Competing in the sport since she was about 10 years old, Ruud is a natural leader of North Park’s track and field team. She specializes in sprints and hurdles. Explaining where her motivation stems from, Ruud said, “For over two years, the wallpaper on my phone was a picture of the hurdle finale in CCIW 2018, where I lost the gold medal by only 0.05. Every day I woke up reminded that I needed to work harder.”
Ruud is graduating in May with a BS in business management and plans to spend the summer deciding whether to attend graduate school or begin working. Regardless, she expresses gratitude to her professors for a challenging curriculum and providing encouragement.
During this time of uncertainty, Ruud wishes for the safety and health of everyone and advises, “Everybody who has the opportunity to go back to North Park after this pandemic is over, make the best out of your remaining time at school. We are all standing together in this,” said Ruud.