Senior girls run 3M Half Marathon

Lily Beth Kerr and Lanie Malone

Seniors Jordyn Torres and Anna Fletcher ran alongside over 7,000 other participants in downtown Austin, beginning in the north part of Austin on Stonelake Boulevard and ending at Waterloo Park on Jan. 21 at 7:30 a.m. The race, annually sponsored by 3M, is one of the fastest stand-alone half marathon courses in the country.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to run a half marathon,” Fletcher said. “So this year I started putting more effort into training.”

The two friends began their training in November by running in Riverplace and around Town Lake, a flat, downhill area resembling the course they would run during the race, exponentially increasing the distance as the race grew closer. Neither of them had much experience running long distances, but both finished the race in little over two hours.

“Jordyn was a really good accountability partner. We would always force each other to get up and go run on Saturday mornings, even if we didn’t want to,” Fletcher said. “She was a good person to be running with because when I would get tired she would yell at me to keep going, and I would do the same thing for her.”

Fletcher and Torres practiced building their stamina by running longer distances on Sundays and would run shorter distances of  three miles on the weekdays. The pair eventually built up their endurance to a total of 10 miles by the time the race approached, even though the race was a total of 13.1 miles.

“I’ve never run a distance like that before,” Torres said. “I wasn’t that nervous before the race, I didn’t think that running 10 miles during training was that hard and the half marathon is only 3 more additional miles so it wasn’t going to be too much.”

As the marker for 10 miles came and went, Torres and Fletcher found it to be challenging, but kept each other motivated for the next 3.1 miles.

“I wasn’t actually that nervous when we started, I didn’t think it would be that hard but during the last three miles, I felt like I had a 20 pound backpack on,” Fletcher said. “I felt really accomplished and relieved. I was proud of us for sticking with it because it’s not an easy thing to do.”