By Earl Karr, Contributing Writer
While many students were working or relaxing during the Christmas holiday, others were running. Fourteen students from ACU took part in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas over the break as part of a course requirement for the marathon class in the Department of Exercise Science and Health.
Of the 14 students who ran the 26.2-mile event, six finished inside the four-hour range, and another five finished the race in less than five hours. All students who began the marathon completed it.
“The first 12-13 miles is alright and kind of fun; the last 13-14 miles are really tough,” said Zach Hill, junior biochemistry major from Carmel, Ind and member of the marathon class.
“I was so excited when I looked at all my students’ times,” said Dr. Odies Wright, associate professor of exercise science and health and marathon class instructor.
The marathon students trained last semester on Mondays and Wednesdays by running around the Lunsford trail and throughout various neighborhoods. The class would train as much as 20 miles in one day.
“Finishing was rewarding to say the least,” Hill said.
The marathon class was started in response to requests from students who wanted a more intense running class geared toward being able to complete a marathon.
“We had students come and say they wanted to have a class for marathon training,” Wright said. “And I love running, so I was asked to teach the class.”
In the fall semester, the class was offered to students for the first time; they only were required to finish a half marathon and had the option of running a full marathon, but this semester students were required to complete a full marathon.
During the semester students studied good habits and methods of running, including wearing proper shoes, dressing appropriately for the weather, tips on how to run in certain types of weather and good stretching techniques.
Two of the students, Kelsi Williamson, sophomore journalism major from Albuquerque, N.M., and Gillian Hester, freshman social work major from Abilene, who ran in the marathon in December, were recruited by the cross country team after their performances at White Rock, Wright said. Williamson finished in 3:58:06, and Hester finished with a time of 4:48:08.
The marathon class has decided to run its marathon at White Rock both semesters because the event is at the end of the semester when the runners are ready to run the full marathon.
The class will be offered again in the fall and will have no more than 20 students.