The college has asked for a short essay because it has holistic admissions; in other words, the school tries to evaluate the whole applicant through both quantitative (grades, test scores, rank) and qualitative (essays, interview, extracurricular activities).
A short answer essay gives the college a useful window into the applicant's interests. For both the writing and the content, she has written a winning short answer essay.
And at the midway point, two miles into the course, I stop at the hilltop vista overlooking my little town and the surrounding woodlands.
For just a moment, I stop to listen to my own strong heartbeat. The author has focused on a personal activity, running, not any history-making achievement, team triumph, world-changing social work, or even a formal extracurricular activity.
You want to present a dimension of yourself that isn't readily apparent elsewhere in your application materials.
Reveal some hidden interest, passion, or struggle that will give the admissions folks a more detailed portrait of yourself.
You may want to explore another example of a good short answer on working at Burger King as well as learn lessons from a weak short answer on soccer and a weak short answer on entrepreneurship.
In general, if you follow the advice on writing a winning short answer and avoid common short answer mistakes, your essay will strengthen your application and help make you an attractive candidate for admission.
It is the simplest of actions: run, relax, breathe.
For me, running is both the most basic and the most complex activity I perform in any day.