Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Waking up before 7 a.m. and running up to 26.2 miles may not seem appealing to some, but a number of Salisbury University students did just that on Saturday, April 6, when the city of Salisbury held its second annual 5k, half marathon and marathon.
The 5k was a little over three miles, the half marathon was 13.1 miles, and the marathon was 26.2 miles.
The event also offered the opportunity for teams to complete the marathon relay-style which allowed for the implementation of teams. This allowed for a more teamwork-oriented race in the case that one runner could run a specific distance and then tag the next member of the team to take their place.
For some of the SU runners, like SU sophomore Tyler Muse, participating in the run was a way to become more involved in the community and meet new runners.
“I decided to run it [the half marathon] to meet local runners in the area, because I do a lot of my running by myself,” Muse said.
Muse has been running for close to ten years, and recently started running half and full marathons. In the fall, he placed second overall in the Baltimore Marathon, with a time of 2:35.55, which is a 5:57 minute mile. Though he ran the SBY Marathon for fun, he still finished in first place, with a time of 1:15.42, a 5:47 minute mile pace.
For other SU runners, running the full marathon was a first-time experience to be crossed off the bucket list that is sure to be remembered.
“I participated in the marathon on Saturday. I’ve been a runner for a long time and a marathon is an event I’ve dreamed of doing for as long as I’ve been a runner," freshman Aaron Stiegler said. "It’s just something that I’m really proud that I made myself do.”
Though Stiegler felt proud and accomplished after completing the marathon, he did admit that it took quite a physical and mental toll on his body, especially right after the event.
Committing such an intense physical act can come with a range of emotions spanning from pride, exhaustion and everything in between, and Stiegler explained his whirlwind of emotions.
“For the first fifteen seconds after I finished, I was ecstatic. But in the minutes that followed, I felt like throwing up and I wanted to cry," Stiegler said. "But every time I tried to cry, I ended up laughing. I looked like a maniac.”
Other SU students who ran in the SBY event agreed that running such long distance can be an immense challenge physically and mentally, both during the actual event and while training.
Because of this, SU senior Andrew Rainger, an exercise science major who participated in the half marathon, recommends not jumping straight into such long distances if one is new to running.
“I would use it as a staircase, so if you haven’t run before, I would run a 5k, and then after a 5k run a 10k, and just sort of build up that way," Rainger said. "I wouldn’t recommend just jumping straight into it, it’s a lot of wear and tear on your body.”
Still, participating in running events, especially ones that the community hosts, allows runners to meet fellow runners, provides a scenic run through the city, and gives people the opportunity to accomplish a goal, no matter what the distance is.
Many SU runners, including Muse, were especially impressed with the event the town hosted.
“I like the race a lot. Everything from transportation to and from the race was really easy, the run was scenic and extremely flat so you can definitely run fast, the time of the year is good," Muse said. "[For] the post-race it was nice [to be] ending right on main street because there were different places to go to eat and drink."
Muse confirmed that it was a good event that she plans on participating in again in the coming years. She recommends the event to anyone interested in participating in a fulfilling, physically active event.
Salisbury will be holding its third annual RunSBY event next year on Saturday, April 4, 2020. With varying distances from a 5k to a full marathon, it is a great opportunity for students to become more physically active.
SU students who participated in the event this year would all recommend the event to other students and those in the community.
“No matter who you are or what your athletic background is, running can be a great way to become more active and create a healthier life,” Rainger said.
By LAURA AMRHEIN
Featured photo: Andrew Rainger image.