by Becca Friday
This past summer I skipped the Austin heat and had the opportunity to reconnect, run, and work stride-by-stride with my old teammate, Alexi Pappas, in Eugene, Oregon.
My senior year at UO, Alexi transferred from Dartmouth College to finish up her 5th year of eligibility while starting grad school. Alexi brought just the right kind of energy the women’s team needed. She seemed to be the missing link that unified our team and allowed us to believe in our bold dreams. She’d come storming into the Bowerman Building wide eyed, ready to take on whatever challenge was set up for practice that day. She always seems to be carrying several bags and backpacks stuffed with goodies from whatever local grocery, several workout outfits, and actually I just really have no idea what she was always carrying around… Anyways, Alexi’s unapologetic, aggressive “WE-CAN-DO-IT” attitude spread like wildfire. Her athletic talent and dedication to running is equally matched to her relationship with creative writing and filmmaking.
When Alexi wasn’t working out her first year at UO (2012/2013) she could be spotted around town at varies coffee shops or posted up in the living room of our crappy college house off campus. Head phones on, huddled over her lap top with a sea of peppers and notes, Alexi was hard at work crafting the screen play for her second feature film, Tracktown. After a year plus of writing, re-writing, and re-writing, Alexi and co-director Jeremy Teicher had created a complex, quirky world of the elite runner and Eugene local, Plum Marigold. Alexi and Jeremy had asked me to play the role of Plum’s training partner and best friend, Whitney. I believe in Alexi and Jeremy’s authentic vision for their art and admire their passion and relentless determination to complete their vision. I said yes to the role having zero experience in front of the camera and no idea what I was getting into. In May we spent a weekend filming the first scene at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward field, and completed the production late in August.
TRACKTOWN, the movie: A film about running to and running from. Filmed on location in Eugene, OR. Currently in post-production. The new independent film set in Eugene, OR. Written & directed by Jeremy Teicher and Alexi Pappas. Produced by Jay Smith and Laura Wagner.
WHO is in Tracktown???
- Andy Buckley, who played CEO David Wallace of Dunder Mifflin in “The Office,” plays Pappas’ father. Rachel Dratch of Saturday Night Live plays Pappas’ mother.
- Olympian Nick Symmonds
- Renee Baillie – Elite runner in Bend, OR
- Recharge Recovery Sport lounge specialist
- Kimber Mattox – Elite Runner and 2014 Warrior Dash World Champion
Also, Nick Symmonds announces the Launch of Run Gum™ The track and field star introduces his new performance enhancing gum, the smarter caffeine kick for athletes.
My current Austin Hot spots for training and adventure:
-Rogue Running Store Downtown
-Sports Performance Physical Therapy…back-popping-toe-bench-pressing stuff
-Blenders and Bowls acai cafe DT
-Public library (you might also run into local street corner celebrity or Austin Bussing)
-Hycalon Coffee DT
-Boggy Creek Farm local veggies and produce!
-Fulmore middle school coaching with Marathon High.
-Biking around town lake sat morning making sure Marathon High the kids aren’t running all the way to the airport…
-Thrift-store sifting with Mary Goldkamp. Searching for the perfect rug that ties the room together.
-Yoga! Pure Austin gym, Wanderlust yoga studio
-Whole Foods (it’s so Damn convienent…)
Favorite Austin location:
-My new front porch playing with the neighborhood pit-bull