Driven by competition

EL PASO — The competition was tough. Olympic runners Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall, Kenya’s Salina Kosgei, Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga and 26, 327 others were up against her in the 113th Boston Marathon.  In the end, Stacey Sowards crossed the finish line ahead of 16,240 of them. While competition is a driving force behind her desire to run, her most difficult race, Sowards says, is “probably against myself.  I’ve always been a competitive person, but also a perfectionist,” she says. “The worst part is when I compete against people and they don’t know it,” she laughs. “If I’m at the gym on the treadmill, I’ll hit the speed up and the people next to me don’t know.”

According to Sowards, an Associate Professor in the department of Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the experience of “just being there” was more important than where she placed.