A strong Ohio Wesleyan contingent was out and running in this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, October 21, and proud of it. Connect2OWU wanted to get stories from as many OWU staff and faculty members as possible. We also heard about a number of alumni cheering on their former coaches and professors. Here’s what our OWU runners had to say about their preparation, performance, and a few funny stories along the way.
C2: Why did you decide to enter the race?
Professor Sean Kay, politics and government, full marathon: After doing it last year, I realized there were dozens of little things I would have done differently, from better training to bringing my iPod for the second half to how I focused on diet. I wanted to do this again with greater focus on the goal being the training. The race itself was the icing on the cake.
Laurie Patton ’95, enrollment management and marketing, full marathon: I ran a half marathon on a whim in 1996.I decided to enter the Cap City half marathon this past May and really enjoyed the challenge and the experience. Since I was already “half trained,” and I had running a marathon on my “bucket list,” I decided to sign up for the October full marathon. The timing was perfect, too, because my work schedule was the least hectic at this time of year, so I was able to train properly.
Professor Dave Lever, chemistry, full marathon: Actually, it was a conversation with Laurie Patton at one of the June StART events that made me sign up for the full rather than the half marathon. I thought, OK, if Laurie was running the full, I will too. It was only my second marathon and after the first one, I had decided I wasn’t ever going to do that again. This one felt much better.
Professor Jennifer Yates, psychology, walked full marathon: A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to walk a marathon (I’ve done a 50-mile walk, which is 20, 20, and 10 miles over three days, for the past 11 years) and this was my second Columbus Marathon. I’ve done the Earth Day Marathon at Kenyon twice.
Dana Behum, assistant director of student involvement, half marathon: I needed a goal that was just for me and not related to work, family, and friends. My training started at one of the most stressful times of the year for me, prior to New Student Orientation. My training became my outlet for stress and at a time when I was truly disconnected from the pressures of the world. Additionally, I like to exercise and wanted to mix up my workout routine. Running was just that!
Professor Mark Schwartz, mathematics and computing science, full marathon: I always wanted to be an athlete, but I kept trying the wrong things, like baseball (no hand-eye coordination, unfortunately) and football (no size, no skills). I finally discovered running as an adult, and it turned out that I was pretty decent at it. I always have races planned on my calendar to keep me motivated to train. The Columbus event is a terrific race. The weather is always perfect and the crowd support is outstanding.
Robert Barnes ’88, head women’s soccer coach, half marathon: Honestly, I did not decide to run in the race until 9 p.m. the night before! I had just returned home from our game at Allegheny, and my girlfriend, Diane, who was coming off a knee injury, insisted that she would run. I just couldn’t let her do that alone!
Professor Laurie Anderson, botany-microbiology, half marathon: I’ve been a runner for years and I ran one half marathon and one full marathon in the distant past.
Kimberlie Goldsberry, dean of students, half marathon: This was my second Columbus half marathon. In all, this event was my sixth or seventh half marathon in which I have participated.
Professor Andrew Meyer, economics, half marathon: I’ve raced in two marathons and two half marathons previously. Having competed in cross country and track & field as an undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College, along with my wife, Erin, who competed in pole vault as an undergraduate at West Virginia University, I think we felt good about entering this race. Erin also has raced in one marathon and two half marathons. I trained much harder and ran much faster in previous races because I was trying to make my finishing time as low as possible. This time, we ran for the fun of it, enjoying the scenery, crowd, and music throughout the race.
Patrick McGrady, admission operation manager, full marathon: This was my second full marathon. I started running after graduating from college, mostly out of boredom. I had played soccer and had run in 5K and 10K races before. After reading Born to Run, a book about ultramarathon (long distance) running, I thought if these runners can do that, I can run a full marathon.
C2: How did you prepare for the race?
Kay: I’m a regular runner, but I started intensive training in late July. My goal this year was to be far better trained. Last year, work took me away from training and I didn’t peak at the highest level of mileage I could have. I was able to finish (this year) at 5:21, which was more than an hour shorter than a year ago as a result. The best sign that I saw in the race was “Let Your Training Guide You.” And it did.
Patton: I already was “halfway” trained after running in the Cap City Half Marathon. I then followed a 16-week marathon training program that I found online. The program began at the end of June and included a schedule of running various distances four to five times a week. Each week included a “long run” increasing until a cap of 20 miles. I did most of my weekday runs in and around Delaware and most of my long weekend runs at the Olentangy Trail.
Lever: Mostly, I trained by myself. I had a month stretch of running every day with only two days missed from September 2011 to February 2012. As the marathon got closer, I did the long training runs (over 18 miles) and a couple of speed workouts with the Marathoners in Training group in Columbus.
Yates: I have several events that I do in the early fall. This year, I participated in the 50-mile MS Challenge Walk on Cape Cod, the New Albany half marathon (which I walked with Professors Vicki DiLillo and Melinda Rhodes) and another 10-mile competitive walk.
Behum: I trained for 12 weeks using a program I found online for novice runners.
Schwartz: I prepared by training with the Marathoners in Training program and running with friends at noon. The camaraderie is the best part of these efforts.
Anderson: I ran three days per week– two shorter runs and one long, up to a distance of 11 miles.
Goldsberry: I had not run outside since June and was training inside on a treadmill and elliptical machine at 5:30 a.m.—not by choice!
Meyer: My wife and I prepared by running between three and six miles a few times a week with one long run each week. The long run increased in distance up to 11.5 miles two weeks before the half marathon. Many of our recent runs involved pushing a baby jogging stroller!
McGrady: I began training nine weeks ago.
C2: How did you fare in this marathon?
Kay: I was thrilled with my time and performance. In 2011, I ended up, as planned, walking most of the last two to three miles. This time, I ran steadily for the entire race, right on through to the end. Last year when I did this, I did it for me, to prove I could. This time, when I was running, I began to take note of the mile markers—each one sponsoring a child for whom the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon raises money. Not only were photos of these children there, but also these wonderful children and their brave families. It was very humbling, and really drove home the purpose of this great event—to raise money to help these and many other children.
Patton: The race went well. I hit the infamous “wall” that nearly every marathon runner talks about at mile 18 or so, but caught a second wind after mile 23, and made it to the end. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically, but also the most rewarding when I crossed the finish line. There was a huge sense of accomplishment. Preparing for the marathon was a great experience. Having a goal to work toward helped provide good balance between the many work demands and family life. And the side benefit of staying healthy and active doesn’t hurt, either! Additionally, we were helping to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and for children suffering from debilitating diseases. Those kids are the true winners and the real inspiration.
Behum: I was pleased with my run. I completed the race in under two hours, which was an improvement on my time. I met my personal goal of no walking, and I would do it again.
Yates: This was my second best marathon time. I will definitely do it again next year. It is a great race.
Schwartz: For my first marathon, I did OK. I finished and I qualified for the Boston Marathon. The first 20 miles were great, but the last 6.2 were difficult and painful. I plan to run another marathon next spring in Louisville and hope to have a stronger finish and run a better time. I would run in Columbus again, for sure, because it is a great event.
Anderson: It was fun to have a long distance training goal again. I plan to run a full marathon next fall!
Goldsberry: I did OK—I’m not a speed demon, but I finished, and that’s what is important.
Lever: I was only 26 seconds away from my goal of 3:15, and I qualified for the Boston Marathon, so I was pretty happy with the result. I didn’t even have to walk this time, like I did in my first marathon. Now is not the time, however, to ask if I would do it again. Perhaps in a couple of months, when I can walk down the stairs without grimacing in pain!
C2: And finally, do you have any humorous stories to share?
Kay: Though not humorous at the time, I almost tanked the race before it even started by walking into a bike rack in the darkness of an early morning. I whacked my right shin really hard. Between the pain and the swelling, I tried a five-mile run, but it was fine.
Patton: The best part of the marathon was seeing all the spectators along the marathon course with their funny signs. It was great to read them while I was running…they made me laugh out loud at times. But the funniest thing for me was seeing people passing out Dixie cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to runners. I could not imagine drinking beer while running—but many did!
Schwartz: Dave Lever is quite a sight in his camo tights. He ran the race like the Roadrunner, stopping frequently at the restrooms, only to zoom back to the group. Finally, he took off and I never saw him again until the finish. He is fast!
Behum (and Yates): I had to laugh when I saw a spectator holding a sign that said, “Worst Parade Ever!
Yates: My favorite signs were “Pain Now, Wine Later,” and Pain Now, Bacon Later!
Meyer: I don’t have much for humorous stories. But I am so proud of my wife, Erin. She gave birth to our son, William, just three months ago, and we crossed the finish line in Columbus together!