This article was originally published in the Pasadena Independent.
Until his freshman year at Polytechnic, Evan Hayes had never been into running. Then he joined the cross country team and discovered a new passion.
“When I started, I was kind of reluctant to run a lot,” Hayes said. “But the past couple summers I got into running every day, running longer distances and having really structured workout plans … Overall, I think I’ve become a lot more invested in running.”
Hayes, who is entering his senior year, never looked back. He finished the season last year as one of Poly’s top runners. Hayes finished fifth in the league and qualified for CIF prelims, then CIF finals.
“Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the state meet, but hopefully this year I can finish highly at CIF finals and qualify for the state meet,” Hayes said.
Besides going to state, Hayes said his big goal for this season is for the whole team to qualify for CIF. He believes the team can do this because they have a lot of talented underclassmen.
Hayes also runs for Poly’s track team, participating in the 800-meter, the mile and the two mile races.
Although the season doesn’t start for several weeks, Hayes is already training.
“After track ended, I took a two week rest period before training,” Hayes said. “My coach and I set up a workout plan for the summer with weekly mileage targets. I’ve been running in the high 30s and low 40s (miles per week) over the summer. By the end of summer, I hope to be running in the 50s or maybe even 60s to hit those goals of qualifying for state.”
After this year, Hayes plans to go to a small liberal arts school out of state.
“I kind of just want to get out of California,” Hayes said. “I love California, but I think it would be a good experience to get out for four years because I’ve lived in Southern California for my entire life. I think seeing a different part of the country would definitely be a good experience.”
Hayes doesn’t plan to run in college. He isn’t sure what he’s going to study yet, but he’s leaning towards history or economics because those are his favorite subjects at Poly.
For now though, Hayes is focused on training for this season. His summer will revolve around his running schedule.
“Most people don’t know how time consuming and how much energy you have to put into running long distance. They don’t understand the work I put into it,” Hayes said. “If you miss one workout, one run, that can have a big effect. You really have to watch the way you eat too. It does dominate your life a bit. It’s very taxing on your body. People don’t know how much time it takes to stay in shape for a runner.”