Ask first-time mara-thon runners their goal for
race day and they will tell you, Simply to cross the finish line.
Stepping over the 26.2-mile mark is the ultimate indicator that weeks,
often months of sweat, pain and countless training days will be worth
it when that finisher medal is draped around a runners neck.
Consider the distance of a marathon 26.2 miles. Driving 26.2
miles for a local resident might require a trip from Madison, Ind., to
Versailles, Ind. Can you imagine running this distance?
Four area women will tackle this challenge for the first time in their
lives on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the fourth annual Indianapolis Monumental
Marathon. Last year, more than 9,000 participants embarked on an adventure
to run this mini (13.1 mile) or full marathon (26.2 mile) through the
streets of Indianapolis. It is a flat and fast course that for some might
earn their running shoes a coveted entry for the Boston Marathon. These
are the elite the runners at the start of the pack with goals much
different than the average first time marathon-goer hoping to simply finish
area Mini Marathon Runners
Kathy Finke, Erica Bentz, Pat Rady, Kim Bennett, Kathy Napier (formerly
of Madison), Bob Hicks, Burton Chambers, Bill Tereshko, Kathy Crafton,
Cari Morrison-Bear, Melissa Ommen, Jessica King, Anne Fisse, Julie
Schmitt, Susan Graham, Kim Bockover, Tami Watson, Lisa Forner, Julie
Williams, Stephanie Stalcup
Madison area Full Marathon Runners:
Tonya Schmidt, Toni Huff, Angela Caswell, Cori Morris, Stacy Crawley
For the individual who claims that he is not a runner, the thought of
lacing up for 26.2 miles might seem like torture. The expense alone makes
marathon training a commitment. On top of supportive and often stylish
running shoes and attire, fancy Garmin pace watches, carbohydrate replacements,
and overnight travel costs for a big race marathon hopefuls will
pay a hefty $65 to $100 for this years Monumental Marathon entry
fee. All of this to be called a marathoner?
The finish line medal and free post-race snacks dont compare to
the feeling that comes from finishing. Experiencing a runners
high doesnt have to come only on race day. Local runner and
first time marathon hopeful Tonya Schmidt, claims her passion from running
comes from how she feels when finishing a run.
Cori Morris is also registered for the full marathon and hopes to accomplish
a once-in-a-lifetime goal of finishing. After originally training for
a full 26.2 mile race in 2006, an injury limited Morris to running a half-marathon
instead. She admits being very nervous this time around, due to not putting
in the amount of training that she hoped. Luckily, she has been consistent
with cross-training to keep her body in great shape.
Morris has decided to adopt a popular marathon trick to provide inspiration
and dedicate each mile to someone who has influenced her deeply. I
will have 26 different people that I will be reflecting on that day when
I run says Morris.
As an added bonus, Morris will have an experienced marathon runner jogging
next to her on race day. Friend and fellow Madison runner Stacy Crawley
has decided to support Morris during her first marathon in a big way.
Most would consider this a greater sacrifice than the average friend would
by Heather Foy
runners Toni Huff (left) and
Angela Caswell look forward
to their first marathon adventure.
As many know, I love to help people discover themselves. Pushing
through ones unknown potential, (including my own), is one of the many
things I enjoy, says Crawley.
For her, this marathon will be her fourth full 26.2-mile distance race.
She ultimately hopes that her children, friends, colleagues and swimmers
she coaches see that nothing is impossible. If you tell yourself
you can and follow through, you discover many of the unknowns and potential
while proving to yourself and others that nothing is impossible.
Future marathon hopeful and Milton, Ky., resident Toni Huff decided to
begin running at age 41. The quest to run a full marathon started only
with the hope for finishing a 5K race.
I decided to run a full marathon because I didnt want to look
back and wish I had challenged myself, Huff says.
After countless miles, hours, and aches and pains, Huff still doesnt
consider herself a runner. I have to work for every mile I run.
It does not come natural or easy. I think for me, the biggest obstacle
to overcome is the confidence in my ability.
Huff claims appreciation for her familys sacrifice during her marathon
training but feels most appreciative of the great friend and training
partner who has been by her side every step of the way. Huff and her running
buddy Angela Caswell followed a marathon training program for first timers
from www.marathonrookie.com. Throughout the process, they incorporated
cross training and learned that elliptical machines and bikes helped give
the body a break from injuries. Like many other runners, Huff and Caswell
also researched and put much effort into finding the perfect mix of hydration
and food to prepare their bodies to endure long training runs.
Experienced Madison mini-marathoner Kim Bennett will be among the thousands
looking to cross the 13.1-mile finish line in November. Bennett says one
of her reasons for running is to just be me no ones
mom, wife or boss. Bill Tereshko of Madison is also registered for
13.1 miles. But for him, this distance will be a first-time experience.
As a long-time runner, he has always had the desire to prove to himself
that he could run a mini marathon.
Pre-race rituals, such as pasta meals, packet pickup and race expo exploration,
might seem like foreign language to a non-runner. These activities leading
up to the big morning are an important part of the total race package.
A first-time marathoner might not know exactly what to expect during the
weeks, days and hours leading up to race morning but one thing
they most likely anticipate is nerves.
Concerns of how to attach your timing chip or when to show up at the starting
corals create worries. Questions for marathon runners include when and
how much to drink at each hydration station, what should I have for breakfast
on race morning, or will there be port-a-pots on the race course when
I need one? So many questions
Never the same perfect answer for
every runner. Most runners claim that a little research will provide answers
and tips to their important questions. Runners World magazine or
a friend with race experience can give advice for training preparation
and common race day questions. Most runners will ultimately admit that
answers come from experience. Just like there is no such thing as a running
shoe that is right for all feet there is no perfect race routine
that is right for every runner. Figuring things out on your own is part
of the process.
The Madison area will be well represented and proud on Nov. 5 at the Monumental
Marathon when a strong showing of local runners will be among the thousands
anxious to accomplish 13.1 or double-the-distance 26.2 miles. Good luck
to all race-day runners. Each step you take most likely inspires others
to literally follow in your footsteps.
Heather Foy is a 20-year coach and group exercise instructor
in Madison, Ind., who has been in the Wellness field for nearly 20 years. Email
her at email@example.com.