She Lives to Play

Musicians find it early in life. Sometimes by chance, other times by parental encouragement. Either way, a passion drives them to a lifelong love of music and a career.

Alyssa Hoffert is no different. Although she studied piano for 10 years it wasn’t until her sophomore year in high school that she found the saxophone and suddenly her passion became very real. She devoted hours to studying and practicing, to ‘catch up’ to the standard she had set for herself. A standard that she hoped would one day fulfill her dreams.

She graduated from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland with a BS in music education followed by a Masters in Music (MM) from the prestigious Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT.  Today, Alyssa is studying saxophone performance in Paris, France on a Huntington Beebe Fellowship. She’s an amazing young lady and what she has accomplished in such a short period takes an enormous amount of heart, will and determination. 

But this is more than the story of a young, professional musician. This is a story about an athlete, a very serious athlete.

Her athletic roots began in middle school and high school, where Alyssa ran the 100 and 200m, and the 4 x 100m relay for the track team. She was a sprinter, nothing long, just ‘line up and run hard’ distances. She loved playing volleyball too. It was a way to connect with friends and compete. But trying to balance her musical dreams with her athletic schedule became too difficult and soon she was on the sidelines, watching.

And it was from the sidelines watching the Cleveland Marathon as a college student that Alysaa’s athletic passion was rekindled. Shortly after graduating, she ran her first ever 5K and finished third in her age group. That’s all she needed and Alyssa began running again, but this time long distances. First 10Ks, then half marathons and while in graduate school, her very first marathon, the ING Hartford Marathon. Her other marathon medals include the 2015 Akron Marathon, the 2015 Cleveland Marathon and last years 2015 NYC Marathon!

Today Alyssa lives in Paris and plays volleyball with friends, takes yoga and lifts weights weekly. And she runs, a lot. She’s runs and trains with the “Let’s Run Paris’ running group which helped her prepare for this year’s Paris Marathon, the second largest marathon in the world. And her fitness level was never better. And her finish time had never been better, a PR of 3:46! 

Alyssa’s next goal is the ultimate, the one everyone wants, the one everyone needs. Boston. She must qualify at 3:35, eleven minutes faster than her Paris finish and will run both 2016 Erie and 2016 Chicago Marathons in her attempt to grab the ‘unicorn’. Ultimately she would love to run Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo to complete the Abbott World Majors slam! Then, depending on her musical performance demand, an Ironman Triathlon and possibly, THE Ironman!

For Alyssa, running is about balance. It’s her alone time. Her ‘me’ time. It gives her the opportunity to perform at a high level in something different than her music. In many ways her music and her running are the same. It's long hours of practicing and training. It’s the persistence and endurance. It’s dedication. It’s will.

And Alyssa Hoffert is all in. She loves her music, she loves her running and she lives to play both.

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