K-town runner sets her own pace
March 27, 2008
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — She might be the defending DODDS–Europe champion in the 800 meters, but don’t assume that Kaiserslautern’s Marche Bobbs is a track junkie.
Bobbs, 15, might have missed qualifying for the 400-meter race by less than a second, but that doesn’t mean she’s training even harder this year.
You see, the sophomore runner is in the sport for the fun, not the punishment.
“I don’t like cross country,” Bobbs, a slightly built but dominating performer, said before a chilly practice session Tuesday on K-town’s makeshift track. “It’s too hard. I sometimes run the hills by my village or go to the gym, but I just like to have fun.”
Avoid assuming, too, that Bobbs isn’t serious about her sport.
“I want to run in college (Hampton or Norfolk State, she hopes), and then become a professional in this sport,” she said.
For the moment, becoming a professional depends on the training she’s receiving from her father, Terrence Bobbs — a former runner himself — and from Kaiserslautern track coach Dennis DePriest, who approves wholeheartedly of the elder Bobbs’ training regimen.
“He’s got her on an age-appropriate development program,” DePriest said. “He’s not pushing her too hard.”
While the elder Bobbs might be tempted to push his daughter, she has her own motivation.
“My dad was a runner in high school until he had an injury and couldn’t run anymore,” Bobbs said. “I’m running for him now.”
Bobbs, who said she might like to try the 200 someday, makes no bones about where she hopes to run this season.
“Coach gave us a packet with the DODDS records in it,” Bobbs said. “Those are my goals this season.”
Also on the Bobbs to-do list is helping her Lady Raiders teammates to a fourth straight European title. Although K-town said goodbye last summer to two-time 1,500- and 3,000-meter champ Colleen Smith, the Lady Raiders are primed for the task.
“Winning the team title is important,” Bobbs said. “It’s something we all can share.”