How far is too far? When it comes to running, for McAlester senior Daniel Briggs, there isn’t a distance he isn’t willing to attempt. Briggs runs cross country for the Buffaloes and started competing in cross country in the seventh grade. However, Briggs’ passion for running goes far beyond the normal distances one might find in typical high school competitions.
“I don’t do many marathons but I do quite a lot of ultra marathons – ultra marathons are much longer. I do anything from a 50k to a 100 miler,” Briggs said. “I haven’t quite succeeded at a 100 miler yet, but I’ve gotten closer and I’m still trying.”
For Briggs the desire to run comes from deep within. He knows that running, especially such long distances, is just as much a mental obstacle as it is a physical one.
“I think cross country takes a lot of endurance but mostly mental strength,” Briggs said. “If someone doesn’t have the mental capacity for it, it doesn’t matter how physically capable they are, they will still fail.”
Briggs said the key to improving as a runner is to keep pushing looking for little ways to improve. It’s a sport that requires dedication, determination, and most of all patience.
“My best advice would be to remember that you don’t have to do it alone and don’t quit,” Briggs said. “It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you put in effort consistently. If you do that you will improve.”
Briggs is thankful for the encouragement he receives from his coaches, teammates, friends, and family in McAlester for their continued support.
“I have several role models in my life,” Briggs said. “I think the most important are probably God, my grandpa, and my mom.”
Outside of athletics and academics Briggs is very active in church and would like to attend a college where he can further his education.
“I plan on attending college, but I’m not sure where yet,” Briggs said. “I’m trying to find one that has a pastoral major and I’m looking to become a pastor. I would also enjoy doing sports in college for fun and also the competition.”