Runner Profile

Runner Profile: Sara Vannah

By: Matt Sherman


Sara Vannah


White River Junction, VT

What do you do professionally?

I’m working on a physics PhD at Dartmouth. I study how we can use statistics more effectively to learn about how the universe formed.

How long have you been running? 

12 years

How long have you been running competitively?

Also 12 years! I started with high school cross country.

Why do you run?

So many reasons! I use running to clear my head and calm myself down the rest of the day. I love the social & community aspects of running. I’m also a pretty competitive person (mostly with myself) and running gives me a healthy outlet for that. 

Favorite post run treat? 

My stomach’s usually upset immediately after runs so I have a hard time getting fuel in (open to anyone’s suggestions about this!), but I love bloodshots at Lucky’s. It’s blood orange San Pellegrino with a shot of espresso.

Any notable streaks or other unusual running events?

I love weird running challenges, so I’ve done a ton! One favorite was a Ben & Jerry’s 4 x mile relay where each of us had to eat a pint (with a 1000 calorie minimum - no light ice creams!) and run a mile before tagging the next person. Several people ate their pints in under a minute then ran a sub-6 mile. I also ran a 5:49 mile in Crocs last year, which is embarrassingly close to my mile PR. Possibly time to switch out my spikes for Crocs?

Ever run in a costume? 

I’ve run a few races in a hot dog costume. 

Morning or evening runner? 

Evening all the way! I envy people who can do morning runs but after sitting at a computer all day I love having the post-work run to look forward to. I also hate running when I’m hungry, tired, and dehydrated which seems unavoidable in the mornings.

What is your diet like?

I eat a ton! I’m vegetarian with a bit of a vegan bent for ethical reasons, but I’m a big fan of intuitive eating and the “no bad foods” philosophy. 

Aside from running, what are your hobbies?

Not really outside running, but I am a massive running/track fan. I’m a big fan of running culture and the professional circuit, but I also get really excited about “everyday” runners. One of my favorite parts of UVRC is following everyone’s races, goals, training, killer comebacks, and incredible performances. I am so impressed and excited by everyone! 

What question would you like to ask in next month’s Runner Profile? And what is your answer to the question?

What’s your favorite workout and why?

I love tempo mile repeats! I usually do something like 4 by mile at tempo pace with 1-2 minutes rest. Breaking up the tempo makes it so you can feel fantastic while running surprisingly fast; it’s a fantastic confidence builder before a big race. 

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