DURHAM, N.C. — A North Carolina runner is taking aim at the 2024 Paris Olympics and hoping to inspire other athletes.
Lauren Hoffman needs a job that can adjust to her schedule. That’s why she does government consulting work.
“Part-time work is really important for, like, track athletes because we need the jobs that are flexible and like, pay the bills,” she said.
But if you ask her, her real work is in running. Her journey began in elementary school.
“I started with this program called Girls on the Run, and we would just do like 5Ks and stuff. So I kind of started running like, distance events, which is funny because, like, I do not do distance at all,” Hoffman said.
She’s a former Duke athlete and an NCAA bronze medalist in the 400-meter hurdles. As a professional runner, she focuses on the long sprints.
“I’ve been doing the 400 hurdles for maybe seven years now, and I really like it. And I am an ACC champion and I finished third NCAAs, so now I’m trying to make the Olympics,” she said.
What matters most to her is representation for women in sports.
“I just value sport so much, and it’s given me so much. And, you know, it’s given me, like, friends. It’s allowed me to learn how to be coachable, to build teams, to lead teams. So sport has just given me so much in my life that it just means so much. And I hope to see more girls and women in sport, too,” Hoffman said.
It’s not just representation of women, it’s also representation of people who look like her. She wants to pay tribute to her mom’s heritage by representing the Philippines.
“It just means so much to me to go after my goal of wearing a Philippines uniform and representing Filipinos at the highest stage in sports,” Hoffman said.
By running for the Philippines, she has been able to compete in the Asian Games.
“It means everything. I mean, I don’t see a lot of people that look like me representing track like at that high level. So I would love to be that person and be that inspiration for some other Filipino girl out there,” she said.
Her goal is to inspire more people like her.
“I want to be great to track because I want to inspire the next generation of Filipino Americans to pursue their wildest dreams,” Hoffman said.