Filmmaker and ex-UO runner Alexi Pappas profiled in NYT

Alexi Pappas at Hayward Field

Alexi Pappas, a former University of Oregon graduate student who ran on the track and cross-country teams while earning her master’s degree, has been making headlines recently for her upcoming semi-autobiographic film — set and filmed in Eugene — titled “Tracktown.”

Her life story, from her upbringing in Alameda, California, to her struggle to balance her artistic interests with her running schedule, is profiled in the May 23 edition of The New York Times in an article titled, “Alexi Pappas Veers far From Her Lane.”

Pappas is not only a highly successful track athlete, representing Greece in the Summer Olympics this year, but also an avid filmmaker and writer. In addition to her monthly poetry column in Women’s Running magazine, she co-wrote the feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree.” Her new film will debut at the Los Angeles International Film Festival next week.

In regards to her interdisciplinary lifestyle, Pappas had this to say:

“I’ve always thought of myself as a potato, where you start out as this thing,” she said. “You can’t eat a raw potato, but you are a bundle of potential. You can become any number of things — breakfast, lunch, dinner. Potatoes can be fancy next to a prime rib or mashed, or you could be fries next to a humble hamburger. I feel excited now because the running and filmmaking are what my potato self is becoming.”

By Nathaniel Brown, University Communications intern