Running Half of 26.2


13.1 miles is a long distance to run at one time. But freshman Devon Hanna and junior Rosalind Spell were able to complete this length when they ran the Georgia Publix Half Marathon on March 26th.

Having run the race twice before, Spell wanted to try something new and decided to train juniors Alex Gottardy and Jade Whitman. “The hardest part was probably motivating us all at the same time. We’d be excited and tired at different times,” she explained.

But when a table top fell and badly bruised her thigh, Whitman had to stop training for a few weeks. She knew then that she was too far behind in her training and was in no shape to run that distance. “I was really disappointed about it. I don’t get committed to things easily, but I easily, but I was definitely ready to go through with the half-marathon” she said.

The remaining two pressed on. With only two weeks left before the race, the duo had to deal with another blow. After weeks of preparation, Gottardy learned that he too was out of the race. “I went to the doctor, and he told me I wasn’t going to be able to run. I was so disappointed. All of the work I had done was for nothing,” he said.

“The hardest part of the race is mile seven because that’s when you hit the wall and you have to decide whether you want to go on or not.” Rosalind Spell stated. (Photo: Georgia Publix Marathon and Half Marathon)

With the race fast approaching, Spell knew that her run was going to be a solo one. “When Jade had to drop out, I just felt really bad for her because she really wanted to do it and totally could have, but the table to the knee kind of set her out of it. But when Alex had to drop out, and so close, it was sadness with a little relief. Sad because no one was going, but good because it would be better [for the both of us].”

The race was long, but Spell finished with a personal best for the half-marathon: a time of two hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds. “Finishing was the same feeling as always, ‘Hell yeah, I’ve got a shiny medal, I’ve got my chocolate milk!’ This year was extra nice because I had two visitors at the end,” she said.

Freshman Devon Hanna also ran the half marathon but hadn’t done the extensive training Spell completed. ”I hadn’t really been training for this race specifically. This was kind of last minute because my mom was going to run it. Then one of her friends got injured, so she gave me her spot in the race. “

Hanna’s regular training schedule provided him with some preparation. “I usually run five miles a few times a week, but I hadn’t really done anything close to what I would have if I had known I was going to be running it,” he said.

The day of the race came, and Hanna had his own goals he wanted to meet during the race. “I was really nervous because I had no idea if I would even be able to finish the race. My main goal was just to beat my mom.”

But like Spell, he felt a real sense of accomplishment. “When I finished, I felt great. I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be, and I had a pretty decent time,” Hanna said.

“I was kind of scared to run with my mom because she had been training really diligently for 10 weeks, and I didn't know if she was going to turn out to be way faster than me. I ended up beating her by 45 minutes though, so I guess I was just being a little paranoid” Devon Hanna said. (Photo: Devon Hanna)