Grayson Murphy took a roundabout path to running.
Growing up in Salt Lake City, Grayson focused on playing soccer for West High School. After high school, Grayson attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia and played on the school’s Division III soccer team.
While there, Grayson became bored with soccer and transferred to Santa Clara University in California on an engineering scholarship. Before making the trip west, she emailed the school’s track and cross-country coaches, asking to try out.
Nothing was ever the same.
In her first-ever cross-country race for Santa Clara, she wasn’t familiar with racing strategy and rules. Grayson asked a teammate, “Is it OK if I run faster?” By the end of the race, Grayson was the first-place finisher on her team. As her second season came to a close, Grayson had qualified for the NCAA regional championships, where she had competitive times in the steeplechase and 5,000-meter run.
After transferring to the University of Utah, Grayson set school records in the steeplechase, 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs, and became a five-time All-American. All while earning a degree in civil engineering.
Grayson then turned to a new challenge: mountain running. Once again, she raced to the top, winning the U.S. Championship (in her first race, of course), the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii, and the World Mountain Running Championships in Argentina. This year, she repeated as the World Mountain Running champion by taking first in Austria.
Throughout her running career, Grayson’s daily 10-mile runs have occasionally caught up with her—in the form of plantar fascia pain and a ruptured plantaris. To treat her injuries, Grayson has always turned to Dan Cushman, MD, in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and University Orthopaedic Center at University of Utah Health.
The U of U Health expert care teams worked with Grayson on rehab to strengthen her plantar fascia and flexor tendons to get her back to the places she loves: the trails.
Grayson continues to rely on Dr. Cushman for his treatment and care.
“Dr. Cushman has shown compassion and care for me for a number of years that is unparalleled with any other doctor I have ever worked with,” she says. “Dr. Cushman is extremely good at what he does. Combined with his care for my health and well-being outside of hospital walls, I know I am in the best hands possible. Without Dr. Cushman, I would not be a two-time World Champion.”
Today, Grayson runs as a professional for Saucony in Flagstaff, AZ