Heather Bates blazes through trails for the love of music

Nov. 3, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
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The name Heather Bates should ring familiar for those keeping track of cross country.

The transfer from the University of Colorado Boulder won the Roadrunner Invitational on Oct. 4 and was runner-up in the Fort Hayes State Tiger Open on Oct. 18, helping her team to first and third place finishes, respectively.

But she says that her real love is something a little more rhythmic.

“I love music,” said Bates. “If I’m not in class, my iPod is on and I’m listening to something.”

Her playlist is filled with various genres. “I like alternative and Indie music,” she said.

“I love Coldplay, they’re probably my favorite band, but I listen to anything from Coldplay to Panic! at the Disco.”

Her love of music is just one of many passions. When she takes a break from her running schedule, she enjoys filling her times with zombies and superheroes.

“When I have time, I love ‘The Walking Dead.’ I’m a little behind though, so I haven’t seen the new season,” she said. “I like superhero movies. I love them because they satisfy all the viewers.”

But Bates also makes time for her love of running. Whether it’s running for her school or just for recreation, her hobby has taken her all over Colorado Springs, which is where she grew up.

“I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since my dad was stationed here,” said Bates. “He used to be Air Force, and I always liked it here.”

While she originally planned on continuing her education at Boulder, it didn’t work out.

“When I got up to Boulder I just wasn’t really clicking. I wasn’t enjoying my school and I wasn’t enjoying the area,” she said. “I decided it was time to move on. I just wanted to come here and within 24 hours I had contacted this school and was scheduling my transfer.”

Bates said that it was her seclusion in a boring place that got her started in running.

“My dad was stationed in Nebraska, and there was nothing to do,” Bates said. “My Mom said ‘Why don’t you try running?’, and that sounded cool, so I went out there and found out I was pretty good. I stuck with it, and really pushed myself to be better. If you don’t try something, you won’t ever know if you’re good at it.”

But she doesn’t enjoy everything about running.

“One of the things I don’t like about the sport over the years is that it’s gotten so complicated,” said Bates. “I love it because it’s simple, but people make it so complicated with their fancy little devices or their fancy shirts and shoes.”

“Running is so overthought now. We’re so overcomplicated that we’re messing everything up.”

While Bates is currently studying health sciences, she says that her future and desires are still very much up in the air.

“I don’t know anymore,” she said. “I was doing nursing, but lately I’ve been working on the idea of doing something more in the sports area. I don’t know. It’s a big question mark right now.”

Bates and the rest of the Mountain Lions are next in action at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships in Gunnison, Colo. on Nov. 8.