Gorham runner hits 1,000 mile mark

Gorham senior cross-country runner Zoe Grondin prior to running her 1,000th mile Sept. 11 at the Great Glen Race at Mount Washington. (WILLIAM CARROLL PHOTO)

GORHAM — After reaching one of her big goals in cross-country this season, Gorham multi-sport athlete Zoe Grondin now has her sights set on conquering Syracuse University.

Coming into her senior cross-country season, Grondin said her focus was on hitting 1,000 miles, which she accomplished Sept. 11 at the Great Glen Race at Mt. Washington.

As part of her 1,000 mile effort, Grondin, the lone runner for Gorham this season, had a larger contingent of fans than most teams with dozen of runners. Grondin said the Gorham boys and girls soccer teams got together and came out to her race Sept. 11 to show their support and cheer Grondin on.

“They (the Gorham teams) made posters and brought pom, poms,” she said. “My family, including my grandparents and extended family were also there. I was just overwhelmed. I can’t even begin to say what it meant to me. That is something you just can’t get anywhere else. That is something you can only get in a small town.”

Grondin said her family has always been very supportive of her athletic endeavors, noting that they regularly travel around the state to attend meets and games. Grondin said her grandmother Joanne Murphy regularly talks with Grondin on the phone while she is running and helps to keep her motivated during training. Mother Brooke Grondin and father Michael Grondin have also been instrumental in helping Grondin achieve her goals.

“I can’t thank them enough,” she said of her family.

Now that Grondin has hit 1,000 miles, she said her goal for the rest of the season is to continue to improve and just focus on running her race.

“It is more of a self-motivating thing than trying to get a high placement,” she said.

Grondin said that one of the things she really loves about cross-country is that you can just run, which takes your mind off of other things, and allows you to just focus on bettering yourself.

Grondin has a busy senior year ahead. She also competes in basketball and softball.

Athletics though is only part of Grondin’s skill-set. The senior is poised to attend Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. next fall where she wants to major in economics. Grondin said she is attracted to the school because she loves the overall school community and school spirit. She said she also has family who lives in the area, so it will make the transition to the school that much easier.

Grondin said she wants to major in economics because the field gives her a grasp on the world around her and how people make decisions. She said she also wants a career where she can travel and experience other parts of the world.

Grondin said in college she wants to focus on her studies, but that she might join a club sport at the university, and she intends to continue to run.

In addition to her athletic endeavors, Grondin is also very involved in a variety of scholastic activities. She is the treasurer of the senior class as well as the treasurer of Gorham chapter of the National Honor Society. She is also president of the French Honor Society.

Grondin has also used her athletic talent to help younger kids. She said she previously ran a 10U softball clinic with the goal of getting more young athletes involved in the sport while hoping to inspire young athletes and spread her love for the sport.

In all, Grondin said she is thankful for all of the support the community of Gorham has given her. She said that while cross-country is an individual sport, she never really feels alone while competing because of how the whole community has stepped up to support her.

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