A number of University of Richmond students were among the thousands of people who braved the rain to run in the American Family Fitness Half Marathon Nov. 16.
Runners met on Broad Street in downtown Richmond at 7:30 a.m. to begin the 13.1-mile race, which featured a tour of some of the city's most historic neighborhoods. The half marathon was sponsored by American Family Fitness, a Richmond-based chain of fitness clubs.
Senior Charlotte Boliver, who ran her first half marathon three years ago, signed up last year to race with a group of her Richmond friends, she said. Throughout the semester, Boliver ran six miles two times per week with training buddy and sorority sister Amanda Johnston, she said. During the race, Boliver and Johnston ran the first eight miles together and settled into their own paces for the last five.
"Running and training with a friend is the best way to break it up and keep your mind off the fact that you're covering so much ground," Boliver said.
After successfully completing two half marathons, Boliver said she planned to run a full marathon sometime soon.
"I would love to focus on a certain cause in order to reach two goals at a time," she said.
Senior Claudia Brady said she had been inspired to run after watching her older cousin run the New York City Marathon. Brady registered in the summer and began training the first week back at Richmond, she said.
Brady, who was a cross country athlete in high school, said running was an effective way for her to unwind after a long day. Although Brady did not train with a specific person, she followed the same training schedule as fellow accounting major and senior Megan Weber.
"It was nice to have someone that I could talk to about routes or mileage with," Brady said. "It brought us much closer together."
For sophomore Hannah Butman, Saturday's half marathon allowed her and her classmates to raise thousands of dollars for a charitable cause. Butman, along with training partners Taylor Reynolds and Olivia Parisi, ran with Fred's Team, the athletic fundraising program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Butman's mother received a diagnosis of cancer in 2007 and has since spent a lot of time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After months of fundraising, Butman and her teammates raised $6,775 for cancer research in her mother's specific field of rare cancers.
"It meant a lot to me to be able to give back to MSKCC for everything they've done for my mom," she said. "We are so thankful for all of our friends and family who helped us in our fundraising efforts."
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For these three runners, the American Family Fitness Half Marathon does not seem to be their last. Like Boliver, Brady plans to compete in her first full marathon sometime soon, and Butman will run the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, D.C., this April.
Contact reporter Gaby Calabrese at firstname.lastname@example.org
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