Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hannah Borowsky: A Sunday Morning Adventure with Mom

This is the second of several short stories about Minnesota high school stars who have chosen to run their first 26.2 miler in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
Hannah(left) and Iris Borowsky strolling in  Zion National Park
"I love running with my Mom," says Hannah Borowsky.  Not hard to understand if the venue is as compelling as Zion National Park(above) or the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon, which is where mother and daughter will be on Sunday in the shadow of a football stadium in construction to the majestic urban backdrop of the St. Paul Cathedral and the Minnesota Capitol(also under construction).

Hannah was an 800 meter runner at Hopkins High School.  As a senior she anchored their MSHSL runner-up 4 by 800 relay. Helped Hopkins win their second straight team title(2010 and 2011) with 81 points to 45 for runner up Alexandria.  Borowsky, who also finished third in the open 800,  contributed 18 of those points.
The 2011 Hopkins 4 by 800 team psyching up before the final

Borowsky runs 2:12.13 in the open 800 heats, edging eventual
champion Haylie Zenner of Fergus Falls. Hannah was third in the final
For a track runner to whom stepping up to a mile was a big jump, running a marathon is not a tiny step up.   It's more of a huge climb, and mom is no push over.  Hannah recalls when the pair ran a half marathon together, Iris ran with Hannah for eight miles before saying "See ya!" Rocketed off on her own to the finish.  "I didn't run(for the Harvard team) in college," said Borowsky. "There were so many things that I wanted to do...(Running) became a social thing. A really fun way to explore(her self, people, and places.

"I met so many of my good friends (through running)."  She keeps in touch with her high school teammates and made many new ones going for random runs.  A group will do regular runs at an often social media advertised  location.  "Meet at the statue," will be the invitation.  These group runs help her "evolve as a runner," challenge herself to go further, explore new things.  

Hannah points to Molly Barker's Girls on the Run program as the kind of "change agent" for young women.  Helping them become change agents themselves.  Health and wellness at the core, but often life changing for the young women involved.    Empowerment.  "Young people being change makers in the world," Hannah says.  "Being impactful."

Since July, Borowsky has been working for Ashoka in Arlington, VA as a Start Empathy School Engagement Manager.  The organization advocates social innovation, entrepreneurship, system changing ideas with empathy at the core. Behind the buzzwords is a movement that is "transforming the way kids grow up to prepare them to be the changemakers that our world needs." she said.

Her goal for Sunday is to make it through her first marathon.  She's done the training, the long(20 mile) runs.  Worked on the transformation of someone who understands she has "a track racer's mentality" that is not a recommended outlook for a 26.2 mile journey.  She'll take the lessons learned from her marathon experience and blend it into her goals at Ashoka.  That being to "work with elementary, middle and high school kids.  Teach empathy and change making.  Be a creative problem solver."  

On Sunday Hannah wants to go on a new adventure with her mom.  Learn things about her own limits and abilities.  Share those experiences with her new friends and acquaintances that she and her mother meet along the way. And she might even have a little fun along the way.

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