After the Whistle: UMary’s Ida Narbuvoll’s journey to the top in pursuit of a national title

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4,013 miles. That’s how far it is from University of Mary track star Ida Narbuvoll’s hometown in Norway to Bismarck, North Dakota.

“It’s kind of funny I think because it’s kind of a little bit of lots of coincidences. Initially I moved over to the U.S. to Pennsylvannia with the intention of staying for one year, then moving back to Norway. But then I really liked college running and decided to continue.”

So Narbuvoll followed her gut, and decided to lace up for UMary’s track and cross country programs. A decision that has played out well for everyone, with Narbuvoll going on to become a seven time All-American, but the path to success hasn’t been easy.

“It definitely is challenging,” Narbuvoll said. “You want things to go right, and that’s usually the scenarios you have in mind where it does go right. Usually you will have ups and downs, and for me anyways it ended up being a pretty large down.”

That down was caused by an injury that set Narbuvoll back for two outdoor track seasons before the coronavirus cancelled a third season.

“It’s definitely challenging, but at the same time its taught me very many things about myself, about running and finding new things to thrive from,” Narbuvoll said.

The challenges have helped Narbuvoll reflect on life lessons away from the track.

“I have a part time job, I have a husband, I have a dog,” Narbuvolle explained. “Just using all those other aspects of life to help realize it’s not just about running, but I definitely prefer that running is a big part of it.”

Running has come back into focus this spring with Narbuvoll winning three NSIC conference titles, including one in a race she had never run before this season.

“All those things are of course extremely motivating and gives a lot of confidence moving forward now to the national meet,” Narbuvoll said.

The confidence is only boosted by the awards Narbuvoll has been given in the last week. First, NSIC track athlete of the year, and now, USTFCCCA central region track athlete of the year.

“I think it’s really neat to get those recognitions,” Narbuvoll said. “At the end of the day I guess that’s not necessarily the main reason why I run. I love running kind of regardless of that.”

Narbuvoll goes into this weekends national championships as a favorite to bring home the gold, and there’s no doubt that’s what she hopes to accomplish.

“I know if I go out there and I have a good day, and I race to the best of my abilities, I will do well,” Narbuvoll explained. “I know that. I think, especially in the 10K that I also can do better than probably everyone else in the field. I’m ranked second in the 10K. I’m not going there to get second. I’m always aiming a spot higher, and so that is of course the goal.”

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