My name is Nick Bandy and I am freshman Data Analytics major. I am from Manhattan, Kansas. No I didn’t live on a farm and whatever Wizard of Oz joke you’re thinking of right now I have heard it before. My hobbies include eating at Tais Asian Bistro, playing basketball, playing golf, trolling Josh Lynn, and eating at Tais Asian Bistro.
I started running to lose weight. I was chubby and didn’t make the 7th grade basketball team so I decided to take my talents to long distance running in track. The result wasn’t pretty: I got last at every meet and ran 7:30 in the mile. For whatever reason some part of me liked it. I started running on my own over the summer to lose more weight (still chubby at this point) and get fast enough to not be embarrassed next track season. My 8th grade season I was an average runner, but I had learned what I liked about running: that you can make yourself as good as you want to be, and you can always get faster if you keep working harder.
The most important thing I learned freshman was from watching the varsity team cry after failing to qualify for state. It opened my eyes to what a team sport cross country is. After that my friend Chris and made grand plans to win state the next year, we took 10th, we made plans again junior year, then we took 6th. I didn’t get faster my junior year so before my senior year I decided to increase my mileage to 70 miles a week, start running twice a day, and start doing strength work. A lot of people told me I was crazy and I should stop. One run I threw up a few miles from home and still had to run back but didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid they would try to stop me. When senior season started we returned our core runners and had talented newcomers. We made sure to work our butts off and make the newcomers work as hard as we did. We went undefeated and won the state championship with the second best score in Kansas history, I finished 31st with a time of 16:59. Holding the trophy with the team I cried tears of joy, nothing can compare to the feeling of thousands of miles, many unpleasant, all being made worth it in one race. All runners ask themselves at least once “why am I doing this??” and I hope all of you can have an experience like winning the state championship was for me, a moment were you will know every step you took was all worth it.
You’re probably wondering how I could have left Kansas and all its beauty for Ohio. I went on a running visit to a division II school in Kansas my senior year, but one look at the dining halls and dorms showed me that I needed to go a D1 school. I knew I didn’t have the times to run for a D1 team, but eventually I discovered NIRCA and club running. I decided on OSU when I found the new data analytics major. I emailed Jack, who I naively called “Coach Schlabig” thinking he was much older. After arriving in Ohio for the first time ever, 1 hour later I was at running club practice. Not often have I been more surprised than when “Coach Schlabig” showed up and was actually just a senior on the team. A few orientation runs and a magical first trip to Tais Asian Bistro I knew the running club was right for me.
I was worried about coming to Ohio and not knowing anyone, but running club has provided me with a great group of friends. Four days after I moved in I ran with Jenny Sanderson, since then we never stopped talking and have been dating for over a month. I have heard countless horror stories of rough freshman years and I wanted to thank the running club and everyone in it for making my time thus far so amazing. My biggest fear was that the club wouldn’t be competitive enough but the first workout showed the large amount of fast runners. I am a very competitive runner; everything I do with running is to beat as many people as possible on race day. I never plan to run just for fun; what’s fun for me is working as hard as possible to get faster and I respect everyone on our team who shares my drive. My running motto is “Run Hungry” because you get faster by never being satisfied and always chasing your demons.