BSM students train for hours on end in hopes of competing well in half-marathons and marathons

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photo courtesy of leni merriam

Blake Castaneda, Staff Writer

Recently, BSM’s halls have been filled with runners jumping at the chance to get outside, compete against themselves, their friends and anyone who is itching at the opportunity of a real challenge: participating in half and full marathons.

Senior Matt Arnason began running at a young age, following in the footsteps of his father, an avid runner. “My dad [was my inspiration] because he has always been a big runner so it’s fun to go out with him and run whenever we get a chance,” Arnason said.

As the years have passed Arnason has taken his running to the next level participating in seven different five-kilometer and ten-kilometer races. “I was lucky enough to win the under-20 age group at a local 10k. I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go so it was a great surprise,” Arnason said.

His training has become increasingly more intense as he looks to the summer, where he plans to participate in even higher caliber running events. “This summer I’m planning on racing sprint and Olympic triathlons around the state. I’ve had to start swimming more seriously and add biking to my training, but I’m really excited to compete this summer,” Arnason said.

Training for these races takes time and a great amount of commitment and determination. Senior Leni Merriam recently ran her first marathon in Duluth, Minnesota after training for months in preparation. “I ran about eight to ten miles daily to keep in shape, but nothing could have prepared me for the actual race,” Merriam said

Senior Maureen Desmond recently decided to take her running overseas as she participated in the Lisbon Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Portugal over spring break—this race consisted of 35,000 runners. “The view of Lisbon from that bridge made the race definitely worth the hassle and the agony of navigating a foreign race. It was surprising how similarly the race was organized to American road races, but differences like the bands playing Portuguese music or the course being marked in kilometers instead of miles really threw me off guard,” Desmond said.

While Desmond enjoys the competitive nature of running she has also managed to use it as a therapeutic outlet. “My favorite part about running is that I don’t have to talk to anyone. I really love running at night because it’s just my mind, my breath, and the little spotlight from my headlamp, which allows for a really meditative experience,” Desmond said.

Senior Rachel Conley’s love for running began when she decided soccer wasn’t the sport for her. She joined the cross-country team her sophomore year and the track team that spring and since then she has developed an affinity toward running. “I am training for a marathon this summer. I love it because it is a sport you can participate in for you entire life and if you work hard enough, you can make yourself a really good runner. It’s all about putting in the work and having the passion,” Conley said.