Elle Meyer paves positive inspiration for athletes

Positivity can you help you run the mile and through life.

Elle+has+always+managed+to+support+other+runners+around+her+-+whether+in+a+triathlon+or+on+a+track+team.

Quinn Rolland

Elle has always managed to support other runners around her – whether in a triathlon or on a track team.

It’s the final mile, the hardest part of the race. She has gotten this far, and she’s exhausted. She can feel her body breaking down, pulling on the reins to get her to stop.

“When this last mile is over, I will have run a marathon, and then I can get water and relax,” she encouraged herself. It was the one thought in her head that kept her running.

At last, she heard the cheering of the crowds, the jingling of cowbells, the screams of people.

She knew she was at the end, and she needed to push a little further. She started to sprint, putting every last amount of strength she had into crossing the finish line, and she made it.

Elle Meyer grew up in Stillwell, Kansas, surrounded by many acres of rural lands and animals with her two sisters and her parents. She spent her childhood playing outdoors with her sisters and going to school.

Her running career flourished when she found a sense of inspiration from her grandmother.

“My grandparents, they’d be driving in the car together, and my grandfather would just drop her off on the side of the road about eight miles away from their house so that she could run home, which, again, was unusual for anybody and certainly for a woman,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s youngest sister, Mary Pishny, recognized Meyer’s similarities with her grandmother.

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“The nice thing about running is that it’s a sport you can do anytime, anywhere, all you need is a pair of shoes.”

— Elle Meyer

“She would love just to get out and run, and Elle has totally captured that,” Pishny said. “I feel like my grandmother’s spirit is another big part of Elle as a runner, which is really neat.”

According to Pishny, Meyer has always been a positive person, especially when running. She always supports the people who run with her. When she and Meyer decided to run a half triathlon with their partners, it took an unexpected turn.

“Elle talks about how she doesn’t like the bike ride, so she had Justice, Elle’s husband, help her put a big cushy seat on her bike. You know, most people are trying to make everything super sleek and aerodynamic, and Elle put a beach cruiser seat on her bike,” Pishny said.

Pishny originally had concerns that she would lose this triathlon to Meyer, but after finding out Meyer hadn’t done anything to prepare for the race, she felt like she had a better chance of winning.

“I was saying to Justice, ‘Oh, Ellie’s going to beat me,’ and Justice is like, ‘No, she hasn’t been training. You’ve got her on the swim, you’ve got her on the bike, she’s going to be fast on the run, but you’ve got her,’ so I get it in my head,” Pishny said.

When doing triathlons in general, Pishny finds it challenging to tell what place everyone in the race is in due to the transitions between sports. For this triathlon, Pishny did her swimming, then her cycling, and then made it to her running transition.

“I’m doing the run, and I probably have less than a half-mile left on the run, and it’s through the trees in Tahoe. I’m not going super fast, but I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m almost at the end.’ I haven’t seen Elle anywhere, so I’m like, ‘I think I got her,’ and I’m feeling good. Then behind me, I hear Elle be like, ‘Go Mary!’ and fly up and start running alongside me. Not out of breath, no sweat, just happy as can be, and she’s looking great,” Pishny said.

Meyer won the triathlon and set a course record for women and men on the running portion of the triathlon.

This expertise in sports started at her high school.

“My school had a track team, but I got connected to a group that had runners from all different schools in our Kansas City area,” Meyer said.

Meyer and six friends she ran with managed to sneak out of their school practices so that everyone from their different schools could run together instead. The majority of the runners in that group are now professional athletes and have been running since then.

After high school, since Meyer had done track, cross country, and worked hard, she was accepted into Duke University. She ran for both the cross country and track and field teams.

When at Duke, Meyer met new friends from her sports teams, and they eventually became close. She would run with them to train or have a good time, and she still keeps in touch with these people today.

One member of the running group is Shannon Rowbury, a 3-time Olympic athlete and world-finals bronze medalist.

“She was one of many exceptional people on our college team, and I guess what stands out to me about her is that she does all the little things right,” Meyer said.

Meyer further explained that Rowbury would always perform every stretch and warm-up before continuing her practice rather than slacking off and not fully completing them.

“I think that’s sort of the difference between people who are just talented and those who go on to do pretty amazing things,” Meyer said.

After leaving Duke, Meyer lived on the East Coast for a few years. She worked at a startup biotech company and then went to Harvard business school. Later, she moved to California, where she has been since 2012. She married her husband, Justice Meyer, and started a family. Meyer is now raising two little boys and is a working mom.

Meyer’s faith in herself and other people are one of the main things that keep her positive no matter what obstacle she may be facing.

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“It’s nice to be able to have those moments where we can reconnect as a group and it’s fun to have it be like no matter how much time has passed, there’s that sort of shared understanding about one another that you gained through spending all of those years in school and in training together. ”

— Shannon Rowbury

“Elle, she’s one of those people who keeps me motivated to keep going as I get older,” said Clara Peterson, one of Meyer’s running teammates at Duke. “I’m 37 now, and every once in a while, life just gets so exhausting, and I don’t want to go out and run, but having other people in my life like Elle, who still goes out and runs, inspires me to push myself.”

Underneath, Meyer has a fire for life that she puts into everything she does.

“I think what I love most about her are her quiet determination and her positivity. Anyone who knows Elle would know that she is just such a positive, supportive, optimistic person to be around. Yet, underneath that, she has this depth and this determination which, in my brain, is kind of the best combination you could have in a person,” Rowbury said.

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