Payton first began running when her dad signed her up for all of the kids' races at his marathons and triathlons, but she didn’t love it until 6th grade when she started beating all of the boys in the mile each Friday in PE class. She ran competitively throughout middle school, high school, and her first year of college at Point Loma Nazarene University. Her coaches gave her the nickname “The Dark Horse” because she would always come from behind in races and beat out others in a sprint to the finish. After dealing with chronic shin splints and a stress fracture, she decided to take a break from competing and foster her love of running again through living a more well-rounded lifestyle. Some of Payton’s favorite hobbies include surfing, dancing with friends, and hiking. She has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with her dad and Mt. Whitney is next on their list! She graduated with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science and is currently working on her teaching credential with dreams of becoming a PE and Health teacher, as well as a track and field and cross country coach. She wants to show athletes of all ages that exercise should be performed as an act of self love and to cherish the joy that is found in competition and mental toughness. She believes realizing this will push people farther and faster than they’ve ever gone before!