When Krysten Peek was a Nyack College basketball and volleyball player, finishing marathons on the world’s seven continents was probably the last thing on her mind. But seven years after her 2007 graduation with a communications degree earned magna cum laude, that was the phenomenal accomplishment she achieved.
What inspired that goal?
“I was working for Yahoo News at the time,” she explains. “It was hard to go from working out 30 hours a week playing basketball and volleyball in college to sitting at a desk for 40 hours. I found it annoying to go to the gym just to go, and I needed something to train for. I had heard that a marathon was hard and that only 1% of the world’s population ever finishes a marathon, so I decided that would be my goal.”
“For my European marathon, I decided to do the Athens Classic Marathon since it’s the original marathon and it ends in the Olympic Stadium. I had always wanted to see the Great Wall, so I did the Great Wall Marathon. African safari was on my bucket list, so I found a race on a game reserve in South Africa. And then, of course, Antarctica is just on a level of its own.” (Her three other marathons were in the U.S., Australia, and Rio de Janeiro.)
Krysten’s Nyack days actually helped in her mental preparation. Recalling those early mornings on the Hillside, she says, “When you know from experience that hard work pays off, it’s easier to push through. I would honestly think about our (Nyack) pre-season morning workouts and say to myself, ‘This 12-mile run is not as bad as those 6:00 a.m. practices.’”
The Monument, CO native first worked as a content video editor, but later transferred to Yahoo Australia in Sydney. Currently she works for Yahoo Sports and Rivals.com, a college recruiting website that ranks and covers elite high school basketball and football players.
“I focus only on basketball looking at the top 100 players who are sophomores, juniors and seniors and determining how we can tell their story on video. Day to day I'm usually talking to college coaches to gain some insight as to who's visiting campus and traveling to different tournaments or games to see these players in person. I love my job and I love seeing these kids realize their dreams, sometimes two years later at the NBA draft.”
Krysten also had assignments with special projects like the Super Bowl and the Olympics where she interviewed athletes like America’s most highly decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps. Her roster of NFL interviews includes Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers), Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers), A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals), Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (both San Francisco 49ers).
Nyack’s Assistant Athletic Director Mandy Aikens remembers the marathon maven well. “Krysten has a very magnetic personality, and is an extremely hard worker. I remember her balancing being an NCAA DII student-athlete, while taking on internships in Manhattan. She had the tenacity and the drive to make the connections she needed to be successful in her career, while never sacrificing her commitment to her coaches and teammates. Somehow she made it all work.”
Krysten Peek’s determination is undeniable. After all, it’s her laser-focus that empowered her to make it through the most difficult of her seven marathons—the Great Wall of China Marathon—over 5,000 very steep steps with lots of hills and rocky terrain.
Somehow she made it work.