Tuesday, October 06, 2015

First Timers Share the Experience

This is the final installment of our short stories on the high school standouts who did their first marathon at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

McKenzie Merlander: Time: 3:01:57.  "Yeah, overall I’m happy with my race.  I wanted to run around 3 hours.  Obviously breaking that 3 hour mark would have been a little bit better but I’ll take it for my first marathon.  I think the hardest part was anticipating what I was going to feel like those last few miles of the race.  I knew the first part would feel easy so I tried to be a little more conservative early on, that’s why I had negative splits.  After mile 22, I definitely had to start digging. 

"One of the things I will remember is seeing my high school CC team handing out water.  I remember working the marathon as a high schooler, watching all the runners and wondering when I would run my first marathon. 

"I think I was pretty conservative with my training, so next time around I might try and adding a few more longer tempos or incorporating some harder pacing in my long runs. Glad to say I have one under my belt now.  I know I will do another one, but I need to let the soreness of this one wear off first :)"

Shannon Bergstedt: "Official time was 3:16:27. Pleasantly surprised with the time given the low (and slow) mileage leading up to the race. Really enjoyed the experience - beautiful course, perfect weather, lots of support from spectators along the way and especially from my family. I think they made it to six or seven different spots on the course, and my grandma was following along on her computer, constantly refreshing to get the live updates.   Calling my mom, etc.. "

A little sore now and quite tired, but overall a great first marathon experience. Look forward to doing another one (or many!) in the future."

Hannah Borowsky: Time: 3:29:45.  "Oh em geeee marathons are crazy! I was having the time of my life for the first 15 miles.  Amazing people cheering, hilarious signs, fun music, beautiful lakes... and then, I would say around mile 16, it became a medium amount of fun.... 

"Those last six miles were rough. My mom and I ran the first 23 miles together. It was amazing to run with my mom! That lady is TOUGH! I definitely didn't realize how much it was going to hurt at the end..... All in all, I would say it was a character-building experience. I'm glad to have experienced the Twin Cities in this way and feel so grateful to have gotten to do this with my mom even if she did kick my ass in the end :) "

Hanna Grinaker:  While my hope was to be toeing the line on Sunday, I, instead, biked the various points on the course with my boyfriend cheering on friends and family. I don't know if it was due to the fact that I wasn't able to compete, or if I was just that inspired by all of the runners, but it was an emotional day for me. The marathon is a distance I both respect and am humbled by, and one that I hope to tackle one day--once this hip heals up! To all those runners who competed on Sunday, Congrats! No matter how you finished or how well you think you did or did not do, you accomplished an impressive feat and should be so proud of yourselves!

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