Player Resource: Never Give Up – Heather Dorniden

Dominique Mosbergen, Huffington Post (

An inspiring runner has proven yet again that success and failure are not measured by how you fall, but by how you pick yourself up.

In 2008, Heather Dorniden, then a celebrated runner for the University of Minnesota, was leading the pack during the final heat of the 600-meter race at the Big Ten Indoor Track Championships. There was about 200 meters of the race to go when Dorniden tripped, landing hard on her face.

But instead of throwing in the towel, the young woman jumped back onto her feet and began sprinting around the track, rapidly gaining speed.

“I knew team points were close, so there was never any doubt that I would finish the race,” Dorniden said in 2008, per the University of Minnesota Alumni Association website. “Luckily it was a home meet, so my whole team, my parents, and fans gave me so much energy. I heard the announcer say, ‘Watch out for Heather Dorniden.’ I thought, yeah, watch out for Heather.”

Incredibly, Dorniden managed to zip past her competitors, finally crossing the finish line in first place.

“That last 50 meters, I hit a gear that I never knew I had,” Dorniden said, according to a 2009 post on the University of Minnesota website.

Though the race happened years ago now, the athlete’s incredible show of perseverance continues to move all those who witness it.

Last week, unearthed the video of Dorniden’s astonishing 600-meter race, prompting a viral resurgence of the clip.

“I can’t believe how she handled what could’ve destroyed her,” the site wrote on its Facebook page.

In the end, Dorniden clinched second place in the 600-meter finals at the 2008 Big Ten Indoor Championships. As a team, the University of Minnesota clinched the title of Big Ten Women’s Champion.

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