The "Dean of Student's Half Marathon Challenge for Health" wrapped up on race day, Sunday November 16, 2008. This inaugural program coincided with the first Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon in San Antonio. Pictured above are a handful of the 50 Trinity runners who completed the Challenge. Most runners from Trinity finished within 15 minutes of the two hour mark (1:45 to 2:15 for the 13.1 miles).
The primary goal of the program was to help students develop healthy lifetime fitness habits. In a follow-up survey this week 92 percent reported they would continue to run in the future. Thus far, 38 of 39 respondents have reported they would participate in the program again or would attempt the full marathon next time.
The group generally trained together on weekends and in pairs or alone during the week. The program included presentations on running gear, technique, nutrition, and strength training. The bookstore on campus discounted Trinity Under Armour shirts for us to wear (and Trinity got lots of shout-outs during the race when spectators saw us). A food drive was generated as part of the program to give something back to the San Antonio community and 279 pieces were collected for the Food Bank.
Probably the best indicator of the success of the program was on race weekend itself. The group had a pasta carbo-loading dinner (see photo at left) at the Dean of Students' residence on the Friday preceding the Sunday race, and a group went to the marathon expo on that Saturday to pick up information and check-in for the race. Mostly, however, the spirit of camaraderie and accomplishment was evident on race day, when twelve weeks of training culminated in all of the runners crossing the finish line.
On a personal note, this was one of the most positive experiences I have had as a member of the Trinity community. I really enjoyed this group. You get to know a lot about people when you spend a couple hours a week running together. They were all so nice and gracious and positive. I also appreciated the role some of my colleagues played in helping pull this off, namely Pete Kelly-Zion, Rick Roberts, and Harry Wallace. The greatest thrill of all, besides my pride in all of the runners, was completing this run with my 16-year-old son Nathan, who was participating in his first race!