Our Featured Athlete: Alyssa Limbaugh ‘19


Brooke Santy

Photo of Alyssa Limbaugh

Alyssa Limbaugh, a member of the Moravian College women’s cross country and track & field team, shares some of her best moments as a runner and what keeps her running. Limbaugh is a Spanish major in the secondary education/foreign language track at Moravian with a minor in art.

How did you get into running? What still draws you to the sport?

I started running in seventh grade. I was 12 years old and it’s kind of funny because I told my family and friends that I [was] going to do track, but I couldn’t run more than a lap around the track. My mom and aunt both ran cross country and track when they were in high school and college. So, on the first day of junior high track, my coach was like, “Okay, if you think you’re going to do sprints then go over here, and if you think you’re going to do long distance go over here,” and I thought, “Awh, I should do long distance to make my family happy.” And that was it.

I still really enjoy running. I mostly like it for the team aspect. I used to play soccer, basketball, and other sports when I was younger, but cross country has a very different vibe. We do compete as individuals, but I feel like as a team we’re more connected than other sports. Even among the other teams, we’ll see if people fall down at the end of the race, or if they trip during the race, or if someone loses their shoes, and you’ll have girls from other teams coming to pick them up and helping them. We don’t get angry at each other. We wish each other good luck before all the races. It’s a really positive atmosphere.

What has this season been like?

This season has been kind of tough for the team because we’ve either had bad weather conditions or bad course conditions or just things that have really thrown us off. But last season, I broke 24 minutes in the 6K for the first time at Paul Short [a race at Lehigh University, which is the biggest cross country race in America], so that was a big accomplishment.

I feel like I’ve been running the practices and the workouts a lot better this year, and I feel mentally and physically stronger than any year before.

What would you say the team’s biggest accomplishment this season was so far?

We’ve had a lot of girls on our team get some really good PR’s [personal records] this year. We’ve had some girls drop like a minute or even two minutes in some cases. So I’ve just seen a lot of growth this year. And it’s also really cool because we only had one girl graduate last year and we added five more girls, so this is the most depth I’ve seen on this team in all my years here.

Do you have any sport accomplishments?

I’ve received the athletic-academic honor rolls.

What is the best memory you have playing soccer for Moravian?

On the day of our home meet a few weeks ago, we all had to drive ourselves to the course, which is about 15 minutes away. I wasn’t in the best mood due to factors outside of running, but when I got into the car with four other of my friends on the team, we blasted music, from Mama Mia specifically, and sang at the top of our lungs the whole way there. During that ride, all I could think about was how much I’m going to miss the small moments like that after I graduate, and how grateful I was for my teammates. They turned that whole day around for me.

What do you plan on doing post Moravian?

I hope to find a job as either a high school or middle school Spanish teacher, either in the Bethlehem area so I can stay close to Moravian or in the area of central Pennsylvania where most of my family is from.

Any internships? Where?

With the education program, I do the field experiences every semester.

Do you have any unusual interests and/or talents?

A weird “talent,” sort of, is that I’ve been able to recite the first 33 digits of pi since I was 13, if that counts.

Best advice you’ve received from a coach or teammate?

When my coach says, “Just run your race. Don’t worry about other people.” That really sticks out in my mind a lot while I’m running. If I see someone that I’m usually running with and they are far ahead of me, that doesn’t mean that I’m having a bad day, it might just mean that they’re having a really good day. Or if that person is behind me, it doesn’t mean that I’m going too fast and need to slow down, it just means that I’m feeling good. So I don’t try to worry about the other runners around me but go off on how I feel.