by Victoria de Souza
Nicole Phillips finds time between caring for her family and her job to pursue her passion for running.
Phillips, administrative assistant to the director of athletics at South Plains College, was born and raised in Levelland, Texas. She attended SPC after graduating from Levelland High School.
Her interest in running started in 2012 after participating in a running event held in Lubbock, Texas. Also, the influence of her family and friends, who are runners, gives Phillips an incentive to continue in the sport.
“I ran the ‘Color Run’ that was hosted in Lubbock back in 2012, and ever since then, I was hooked on running,” recalled Phillips.
Recently, Phillips participated in the Chicago Marathon of 2019 on Oct. 13, completing all 26.2 miles. She mentioned that the training process with her team leading up to the marathon was intense, requiring her to find a little extra time to practice between her job at SPC and her time with her family.
“We met in the mornings at 5 a.m. on Monday through Wednesday, and Saturday we would have long runs, typically anything over 6 miles,” said Phillips.
Phillips explained that the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Marathon was fortuitous, since they require a specific time that must be met to be able to compete. They also offer a couple of extra spots to be drawn in a lottery.
“I entered the drawing,” Phillips explained, “and my name was picked. So that’s how I was able to run this marathon.”
The experience of running in a such big marathon was very special to her.
“I loved everything about this race,” said Phillips. “It was so exhilarating. I have never loved running as much as I did while running that race. Usually, before a race, I’m super nervous and scared, and I’ll have second thoughts. But the Chicago Marathon was so different. I was at peace. I was happy to be there. I didn’t want it to end. The energy from the spectators was unbelievable.”
Among her other favorite activities, Phillips enjoys playing basketball during her free time.
“I enjoy everything, but basketball is one of my favorite sports,” said Phillips. “I even like to play basketball. I have an ugly shot, but if it goes in, that’s all that matters!“
Another important part of her life is spending time with her husband, Shawn Phillips, who is her number one supporter, and her 4-year-old son, Titus.
“My husband always travels with me to the big marathons,” said Phillips. “Also, our son has been very interested in sports. Right now, his favorite sport is football. He’s been teaching me how to toss a football.”
A future personal goal for Phillips is not only to participate in the Chicago Marathon, but to be able to run all the bigs marathon and participate in running events hosted by the community.
“My goal is to run all six major marathons,” said Phillips. “Also, each month, the running club I’m a part of hosts a run. So I like to participate in those races when I’m not training.”