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Lacing Up

Madison, Ind., area runners
are marathon crazy

Several have caught the bug for long-distance events

(April 2015) – It was only fitting that the first modern Olympic games were held in a stadium that had been built from remains of an ancient Greek stadium. The coordinators of the 1896 Olympic games felt they were in need of an event that would pay homage to the historical greatness of Greece. The legend of Pheidippides, a soldier who ran the entire 25.4 miles from the Battle of Marathon to Athens in order to announce the Greek victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. seemed to provide the answer – and the first marathon was born. 

Photo provided

From left, D.J. Mote and Nathan Adams, both of Madison, Ind., pause for a photo after finishing the Monumental Marathon last November in Indianapolis.

A longer distance and the inclusion of females brings the marathon to where we are today. Since its beginning in the 19th century, the marathon has become an event that is held in locations all around the world. It is a sporting event that draws large numbers of participants and viewers. Some may wonder why? The reasons are varied and inspiring.
Jefferson County (Ind.) Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney D.J. Mote began running while working in the Homicide Division of the Marion County, Ind., Prosecutor’s Office. He says the working environment was stressful due to the nature of the cases he was assigned. As a stress reliever, Mote began to walk. The relief he experienced was enough to start him running.
“I just feel better after a run,” he says.

Photo provided

From left, running partners Toni Huff of Milton, Ky., and Angela Caswell of Madison, Ind., pose after finishing the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis.

The distances that Mote found himself running began to increase while his previously high blood pressure improved. Finally, he decided to enter the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati in 2011. He entered alone and was surprised by the hilly course. However, he said training in the hilly region of Jefferson County prepared him for this terrain. Later, he would pair up with Indiana State Trooper Nathan Adams in order to train for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November 2014.
Mote said that having a running partner is beneficial for many reasons. “If you can talk to one another then you know you are not overexerting yourself.” Mote and Adams are currently considering entry in the Marine Corps Marathon in Quantico, Va.
Twin sisters Karla and Konnie McCollum of Madison have become a familiar sight in the area. They are currently training for the fifth annual Carmel Marathon in Carmel, Ind., on April 18. Active for the majority of their lives, the sisters first entered benefit runs and mud runs with a group of friends. In 2014, to celebrate their 50th birthday, the pair decided to compete in their first Marathon and completed it in just under five hours. The women consider themselves best friends, and each one has a role in their training. Karla makes sure that they are eating and hydrating in the appropriate manner, while Konnie keeps the pair motivated to complete workouts in a set time.

Photo provided

Twin sisters (from left) Konnie and Karla McCollum team up to train for area marathons.

Beth Coates Allen of Madison, Ind., ran her first marathon in Boston at the request of a high school friend. It was this request that started her running career. She has now participated in four marathons. She recalls that Boston was fun as she was running with an old friend.
Since then, she is mostly a solitary runner and says that of the marathons she completed alone, the race held in Columbus, Ohio, has been her favorite. “I did my best time there,” she says. Allen adds that she has not always been athletic. She began with a 10-month goal of preparing for the Boston Marathon and has not looked back.
“I knew nothing about running in the beginning.” She added that a lot of hard work and determination helped her meet her running goals.
Stacy Crawley of Madison, Ind., has competed in six marathons. She began her fitness career with positive thinking and running. After losing 62 pounds, she has continued to push herself to be as active as possible. “I would not dream of being that weight again,” she says.
Crawley is currently recovering from a skiing accident that left her with multiple fractures in her femur and knee. Despite this setback, she participates in physical rehabilitation three days a week and does strength training on the opposite days. She plans to begin training on the recumbent bike and swimming soon. Her current plan involves completing a 1.5-mile swim in Lake Michigan this September. She will then turn her sights on the Columbus Half Marathon in October.
“You can do anything you set your mind to do,” Crawley says. “I will always keep going.”
Toni Huff of Milton, Ky. began running 5K races with her best friend, Angela Caswell. Since then she has completed the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and eight half marathons. Huff says that she enjoys the challenge of running and the “great sense of accomplishment” at the end of a race. She added that participating in marathons is a great way to meet new friends and make wonderful memories. She said that running with Caswell was a support for her because the pair was able motivate one another even when a goal seemed unreachable.
It seems that participating in running events have had numerous benefits for area runners. Anyone interested in beginning their own marathon journey has plenty of area events from which to choose. In addition to the Carmel Marathon, Indiana is also home to the Dances With Dirt Gnaw Bone races held in Nashville. This race differs from most races in that it is considered a trail run rather than a road race.
Ohio is home to the Athens Ohio Marathon in April and the Flying Pig Marathon that is held in Cincinnati in May. The Horse Capital Marathon is held in Lexington, Ky., and is considered a Boston Marathon qualifier.

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