Melody Fairchild will be our guest speaker today, Tuesday, July 7 at 5:00pm. In case you don’t already have the Tuesday meeting link, here it is:
Melody Fairchild has been called the greatest high school distance runner in U.S. history! We were lucky enough to have her as our guest speaker at East’s inaugural High Altitude running camp five years ago at Snow Mountain Ranch. As a child she took up running on her own volition. By age ten she was running a hilly five mile run daily, timing herself to make herself faster each day. By age fifteen she was a high school phenom. She won her hometown Bolder Boulder three consecutive times. Between Cross Country and Track, she won eight state titles and became only the second person to defend their title at the Foot Locker National Championship, winning in 1989 and 1990. Melody’s winning time of 16:39 was by a quarter of a mile over the second place finisher and is still the standing course record at Balboa Park in San Diego. She is the first female scholastic athlete to run two miles in less than 10 minutes (9:55.9), a record she held for 22 years. While still in high school, she finished third in the 1991 World Junior Cross Country Championships behind two Kenyon runners.
Following high school, Melody ran for the storied Oregon Ducks program. She struggled initially at the University of Oregon in the mid-1990s due to injuries, but she came away a 3,000m indoor NCAA champion and an Olympic trials qualifier in the 10K (1996) and marathon (2000). She also was U.S. World Track and Field Championships team member in the 1997 5k. In 2012 Melody made the U.S. Mountain Running Team and went on to the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy, where she placed eighth, helping Team USA earn a gold medal for the first time since 2007. She then helped Team USA win another gold medal at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge at the challenging Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. In 2010 she won the 120 mile Transrockies stage race. Melody is in the Oregon Ducks Athletic Hall of Fame and also a 2013 inductee into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame.
In 2007 she founded the Melody Fairchild Running Camp for High School Girls in an effort to help other athletes overcome the struggles she experienced first-hand in her own running career. Melody is still a top master’s runner and an inspiring coach. Melody is also the founder and director of the Boulder Mountain Warriors, a youth running club in Boulder. She has also co-authored a book titled “Girls Running”.