For the average student, the idea of “going for a run” leaves him/her with an expression of absolute panic. However, it is not the expression worn by sophomores Corrine Fritcher and Lauren Thompson at the prospect of running a full marathon on May 11 in Brookings, S.D.
“We were going to run the half marathon, but it was full,” Fritcher said. “So we decided to sign up for the full marathon. It was pretty much on a whim.”
The duo’s participation in the event will mark the culmination of a running partnership that was spurred by when they became roommates at the beginning of the school year. It also meant restructuring their weekly workouts to accommodate a slightly more rigorous training schedule.
“I was a little more hesitant because we didn’t have time to fully train,” Thompson said. “But we both just kind of jumped in and didn’t think twice.”
During the Monday-Friday week, Fritcher and Thompson will run a relatively steady distance of five to eight miles a day before going on a “long run” on weekends that increases in increments of two to three miles as their end goal grows closer. One weekend they plan on completing a distance of at least 20 miles before returning to shorter runs the weekends preceding the race.
Of the two, Thompson is the more seasoned runner. However, even this prior experience did not prepare her for the full preparatory experience that must be done in order to successfully complete the full 26.2 miles of the upcoming race.
“I ran throughout high school, but the furthest I had run before this was eight miles,” Thompson said.
Fritcher, meanwhile, picked up the activity just this past summer, and the upcoming marathon will be her first ever competitive race.
“It’s a little intimidating, but I’m excited,” Fritcher said.
One thing both women have in common is a particular drive toward running in general. In their words, it has grown to be a borderline necessity.
“It’s kind of like a stress reliever,” Thompson said. “It puts me in a better mood. When I don’t run, I feel different.”
Fitcher agreed. “If I don’t run, I get edgy.”
While Thompson and Fritcher will run the full marathon, fellow Augustana sophomores Betsy McCue, Leah Murfield, Megan Raposa and Erin Williams will complete the same distance as a relay team. Each will run a different leg of the race course that corresponds to their individual skill as a runner.
“I have one of the shortest legs of the race,” Murfield said. “I don’t run, but I’m just trying to get out there and do it as much as I can, and I think that will suffice.”
Murfield also acknowledges the prep work Fritcher and Thompson are doing for their major undertaking.
“Last weekend they ran 15 miles,” Murfield said. “They’re training really hard and I think they’ll be able to it.”