SAN DIEGO – For 16-year-old Mallory Asis, running isn’t just a sport.
“I use running as like an outlet,” Asis said. “I feel like there’s always so much going on in your life that you don’t have control over. When I go out to run, I can just like let go.”
The sophomore at Mira Mesa High School already is breaking records at places such as Morley Field, where she finished a 5K race with a time of 17:59. Her mother Julie said it’s exciting to watch her, particularly as Morley Field is a public park and was accessible to spectators at a time when other school sports didn’t have the same luxury.
But it wasn’t that long ago when the San Diego native almost had to stop running altogether.
As an eighth grader, she was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, a relatively new disease where white blood cells attack the esophagus and makes it inflamed.
“I remember at practice in the summer when I first started going, I would still regurgitate and have acid reflux during the run at the beginning,” she said. “When I first went back and when I ran by myself, that was okay because I could just spit on the grass or street or something.
“But when I was with a bunch of older high school people that didn’t know me, I didn’t want to be known as the spitting girl as my first impression.”
Asis considers herself lucky, still getting to run while her body reacts well to medication. It allows her to continue competing in a sport she’s loved since she was younger.
She hopes to continue running in college.
“I feel like it’s kind of the only sport where it’s really just up to you,” Asis said. “The amount of work that goes in equals the amount of work that comes out.”