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Sarasota Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 1 year ago

Webber International University runner preps for season in Sarasota

Sage Lyons runs cross-country and track and field at Webber International University.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

Sage Lyons says the coronavirus pandemic has allowed her to focus on her goals.

The Sarasota High School alumna has spent the summer training for her upcoming cross-country season as a student-athlete at Webber International University in Babson Park.

“It has me stay on track, not being like unfocused,” Lyons said. “It has me like [on a] one-track mind of what I want to do in the fall.”

Webber competes in the NAIA, which has devised guidelines and recommendations for the upcoming fall as schools grapple with how to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The season is scheduled to start on time.

“Determining requirements during a pandemic is a little like building a house in the sand,” NAIA President Jim Carr wrote in a July news release. “While we all desire the strongest foundation possible, we must acknowledge that many elements are outside of our control and can change at any moment.”

Lyons’ routine this summer has consisted of waking up, walking her chocolate lab named Coco, drinking coffee and running 5-7 miles. Her favorite place to exercise is Nathan Benderson Park, but she also enjoys running the John Ringling Causeway or around the Siesta Key Beach Pavilion.

After Lyons’ morning run, she typically replenishes with healthy foods and rehydrates before doing some sort of afternoon or evening workout.

“Sometimes in the evenings, I go to Body Heat Yoga Sarasota and do a yoga class because it’s really beneficial doing hot yoga for your limbs after a run, especially after a hard workout in the summer.”

Lyons said her goal is to run a 5K in about 18 minutes. It means her mile splits would be less than six minutes. Lyons is also a member of the school’s track and field team but isn’t sure which events she’ll compete in yet.

Sage Lyons said she has enjoyed training this summer at Nathan Benderson Park, the John Ringling Causeway and at the Siesta Key Beach Pavilion.

“I think it really helps me to stay on track [with] my fitness page and my whole life,” Lyons said. 

In April, Lyons started the @srq_fitness Instagram page, where she documents her workouts. The content includes running tips, ab workouts and inspiration. Lyons is putting her studies as a sports performance, health and fitness major into practice.

Lyons’ Instagram page has allowed her to collaborate and connect with other athletes all over the country. It also allows Lyons to begin to establish the reputability of her athletic expertise on social media.

“Everyone’s getting into fitness these days, so I thought it would be a good idea to help people get into fitness and grow,” Lyons said.

Lyons admits to the challenges of posting high-quality pictures and videos.

“The other day I was riding my unicycle and doing a weight, and I fell about like five times, and it was pretty embarrassing because my neighbors were outside, and they were looking,” Lyons said. “They came running over, and I’m like, ‘I’m OK. I’m OK. I’ve done this several times.’

“They were like, ‘Are you sure? I can call the ambulance.’ I’m like, ‘I’m fine. Please stop. Like, it’s not that bad!’”


Lyons’ said her goal is to become a physical trainer after graduation. She draws inspiration from Sarasota fitness trainer Kelli Jaco, who owns Jaco’s Boxing and Fitness. Jaco was also an All-American swimmer at Boston University.

“She posts videos,” Lyons said. “She also had, during the quarantine, online workouts that were really beneficial for me and probably somebody else too.”

When Lyons returns to campus, she plans to continue posting to her Instagram page.

“Staying on track with myself and my Instagram page, even when I go back to school, I think it would be really beneficial,” Lyons said.

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Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

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