In the business of competition | CraigDailyPress.com

In the business of competition

Christine Knight has traveled globe as world-class runner

John Vandelinder

Christine Knight poses Wednesday afternoon in the Trapper Fitness Center. Knight is an elite class women's runner who captured the title in the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

— Italy, Canada, Australia and Denmark.

These are just a few of the countries that Christine Knight’s legs have taken her through.

You see, Knight is a competitor.

Marathon, duathlon or triathlon, it doesn’t matter.

Regardless of the course’s location, Knight will find a way to get there.

She bikes.

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She runs.

She wins.

This 39-year-old single mother of Craig has appeared in numerous world championships, national championships and world qualifiers. She has even dominated the local competition – of men runners.

“I love the competition,” Knight said. “Running is my means of an outlet. I’m very energetic and I need to burn it off somehow.”

Knight has been “burning it off” for quite some time now.

As a sophomore at North Idaho College, Knight captured a national championship in cross country and was a Division II All-American.

“We had a great team that year,” she said. “We had three All-Americans.”

After two years, Knight enrolled at Linfield College in Oregon.

It didn’t pan out.

“It was an expensive private school,” she said. “I couldn’t afford it even with grants.”

Because her education stopped, it didn’t mean she stopped competing.

She entered a 5,000-meter meet at Boise State and won.

That pushed her confidence to an even higher level, boosting her level of competition to elite status.

She competed and placed in the top three, in a 12,000-meter race in Spokane, Wash., for 10 consecutive years.

“I always want to win,” she said. “It’s always about placing as high as I can, no matter the race.”

Knight has since taken her abilities worldwide.

She trained hard for the Boston Marathon and was ecstatic she qualified.

“Boston is the big boy in the marathon world,” she said. “I didn’t win, but I drastically improved on my previous best time.”

Knight trained so hard, she had a stress fracture in her right shin. She still competed for six months before the reality of the injury set in.

“I just wrote it off as shin splints,” she said. “It ended up being a huge crack in my leg.”

Knight missed a year and a half of running because of it, but came back stronger than ever.

In 2005, Knight placed first in the duathlon (run-bike-run) national championships in Ohio. She captured third in the duathlon (long course) world championships in Italy. She finished sixth in the duathlon (short course) world championships in Australia.

There was no let up in 2006. She finished in:

• 4th place, Victoria half marathon.

• 11th place, duathlon world championships, Canada.

• 1st place, Joe Colton 10 mile run.

• 6th place, duathlon national championships, Ohio.

• 4th place, Powerman North Carolina duathlon.

In 2007, Knight has swept the Steamboat Springs Summer Running Series, a 10-race event. Her cumulative point total earned her the women’s and men’s titles.

Knights running resume reads like a short story. Year after year, she has competed and won at some of the highest levels of competition available in the world.

“Running helps me escape from the everyday routines of life,” she said. “It releases tension. If I didn’t run, I’d be a spaz.”

Knight turns 40 next year. Most athletes would be distraught at that number.

Not Knight.

“At 40, I get to run in the masters division,” she said. “I will get the chance to go out and smoke some old ladies. I look forward to that.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com