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Korbel Student Meg Curran Qualifies for International Military Sports Council

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Meg Curran is fast—one of the fastest in the nation, actually. Between classes at the Josef Korbel School (as a first-year International Security student), work and life, last month Curran qualified for the International Military Sports Council Championship by placing in the top five of the 2016 Armed Forces Cross Country Championship. This November, she'll go to Balatonakarattya, Hungary, to compete in the international cross country meet. Previously, she's qualified to represent the U.S. military in the international military marathon championship in Ottawa and in the world military games in Mungyeong, Korea, where she also competed in the marathon. I scheduled an 8 a.m. interview with Curran. She had already knocked out a five mile run and had class in an hour. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell me about you and running.

I compete for the all Army running team. I've done the marathon for them. I've done the cross country nationals. I've gone to Korea to run the marathon for them, in Korea, at the World Military Games. That was October 2015.

So, this contest was the Cross Country Nationals?

Yeah, it was in Bend, Oregon. On February 3rd. They got a lot of snow that they weren't expecting. They were working around the clock to clear the course. I think there was around 18 inches of snow on the course and they just plowed a trail for us to run on. It was true cross country.

How far did you run? 

It was a 10K.

You placed second? 

Yes, it was the national meet. There were pro runners in there and everything. It's the U.S. national championship. Then, they have the military championship in conjunction with it. So, I got second for military. I think I was 15th overall in the whole country. I was second overall in the military. How it works is, they take the top five overall from the military, regardless of branch and they take those five people and they represent the whole U.S. military in the international competition.

So you're still in the military? Army? 

Yeah, I'm still in the reserves. But I was on active duty for six years.

What are you studying? 

International security. I'm a first year.

How's that going? 

It's going well. I came here thinking I wanted to study development, kind of based off some experiences I had in Afghanistan when I was in the Army and a lot of questions that I had, because I was just a small piece of something a lot bigger. I think that really inspired me to come back and learn more. And I had a couple interactions with NGOs when I was I was over there. Then, when I got here, I realized that my interest is more in human security—the bridge between development and security. So, I'm glad I ended up here, because I was looking at a few other places. It's been awesome because I've been able to try a little bit of everything. I've taken project management classes, humanitarian assistance and just general security. That's been good because it's helped me to explore a little bit of everything.

How do you balance your work, school and training life? 

I work a couple of jobs. I work in the Office of Career and Professional Development as a work-study and I work part-time over at the Running Roost in Lone Tree, which is cool because I like being part of the running community. For me, I have to start the day with a run just to get it out of the way. But I think that running is a part of who I am. So, even if I'm not at my peak training, if I'm not (running), it affects other parts of my life. So, I have running goals. I think that helps kind of keep me honest and keep me dedicate to doing it every day.

Did you run this morning? 

I did. Just five miles. Running's something that you can take with you everywhere. I moved around a lot when I was in the Army. Every place I went, I would try to find a group of runners and those would become my friends. I ran when I was in Afghanistan. I think it's helped me to just adapt to different environments because it's something familiar to me because I've been doing it for so long.

The international contest in November, what's the plan for that? Do you have a training plan yet? 

I'm going to run the Marine Corps marathon in late October and that's more of my focus because I like marathons more. I've run it a couple times for the Army. I'm probably just going to train for the marathon and taper down and just run that cross country race off of my marathon plan.

Any advice you have for runners, students, women in the military? 

In general, I think Korbel students are generally more active than the majority of grad students because of where we are. You think you have so much stuff to do, and work and school, and you probably do. But just pressing pause and going outside, going to the gym, getting some endorphins going can make a big difference. If you have a goal outside of school, you can always say you're too busy for something. But you can always make time if something's important to you.

What kind of shoes do you run in? 

Right now, I'm running in the Brooks Launch. I like Brooks, but I'm a shoe nerd now because I work in a running store.