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Math teacher has passion for running, participates in marathons

Courtesy Nathan Bailey

By Sadie Chronister, Staff Reporter

Math teacher Heather Bailey has run 17 marathons and three ultramarathons, races longer than 26.2 miles. She has been teaching for 21 years and found her love for running long before stepping into the position.

Bailey played lacrosse in high school and enjoyed running with her mom in the park as a child. She continued to run recreationally throughout college. She finds a great release in the sport and said that it helps her maintain her composure while teaching and navigating daily life.

“Having that calm head makes you a little bit more patient. By taking a little time for yourself, you just naturally become a more patient person,” Bailey said. “I think continuing to run has increased my patience as a teacher and mother.”

One of Bailey’s favorite parts of running is the view. She often chooses to run near water as she finds the sights and sounds of nature peaceful. She especially enjoys running in the snow.

“I’ve run in a couple snow storms, and I have always really loved that. Those runs are very memorable because they sound different. The sound is dampened by the snow,” Bailey said. “I also have an appreciation for nature as well. I really like trails more than roads. Seeing nature and just slowing down as the seasons change is really nice.”

Bailey uses her runs to brainstorm ideas for her classes. Being in the fresh air allows her to think more clearly and analyze her current lessons so that she can make changes in the future.

Freshman Sophia Rohe, one of Bailey’s students, runs cross-country and indoor track. She enjoys connecting with Bailey through a shared passion for running and appreciates her adaptability when teaching.

“I think she is really resilient. If a lot of us are not understanding something in math class, she knows how to change the way she teaches it, which is really helpful,” Rohe said. “I think she learned how to be resilient through running and other sports.”

The feeling of self-fulfillment motivates Bailey when chasing her goals. She values taking time for herself to pursue her own interests. She sees running as key to being more present in her day-to-day responsibilities. 

“When you have kids, you give a lot to them. I never regret that, especially when I hold a little something for myself,” Bailey said. “What is funny is that at first I thought of (running) as doing something for (myself), but it influenced my kids. Now my daughter is so excited to run with Mom.”

Sadie Chronister can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sadie Chronister
Sadie Chronister, Staff Reporter
Sadie Chronister is a freshmen and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. She is excited to begin her career as a student journalist. Outside of The Spoke, Sadie enjoys dancing at Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts and attending Conestoga sports games with her friends.