Students, teachers run 3M half marathon


Submitted by Kennedy Byrne

Kennedy Byrne at the 3M finish line. She ran the race in less than 2 hours.

Natalie Brink, News Editor

The streets were transformed. People lined the sidewalks, posters in hand, cheering. Instead of tires rolling over the roads, thousands of feet slapped against the pavement.

Students and teachers participated in the 3M half marathon last Sunday along with more than 7,500 other runners. The 13.1 mile race wound through downtown Austin.

“It was so fun being around that many people,” senior Kennedy Byrne said. “My favorite part of the half marathon was all of the people cheering us on. We ran through some really pretty streets, and there were tons of people outside of their houses with signs cheering us on.”

This was Byrne’s first half marathon, and she finished under her goal time of two hours. She hopes to run a full marathon one day.

“It felt so good to cross the finish line,” she said. “My legs were so tired by the end of it, so it felt so good to be able to stop. I felt really accomplished.”

Juniors Evan Deeny and Lance Tobey, who both run cross country, trained for and ran the half marathon together. It was Deeny’s second time running the half marathon.

“I just really enjoy the sport,” Deeny said. “It was a lot of fun. There’s always people cheering at every mile, bands playing music. It’s just a really fun experience. It’s a nice atmosphere.”

In the last mile, Tobey broke off from Deeny, finishing the race about 20 seconds before him. It was his fifth time completing the 3M half marathon since he started participating in eighth grade.

“It feels really good [to cross the finish line],” Tobey said. “At the same time, you feel kind of bad because everything you just did collapses on top of you, and you feel really tired. But then after that you get the medal, which is always really cool.”

Anatomy teacher Karen Pearce has run the half marathon every year since she moved to Austin in 2003. Though she had already signed up, she said she was not planning on running it this year.

“I thought ‘I am not ready for it, I’m going to defer until next year,’” Pearce said. “My husband looked at me and said, ‘there’s no reason for you not to run.’ So I went ahead and trained really hard — but smart — the past month.”

She ended up beating her goal time by 13 minutes.

“That was pretty exciting because I didn’t expect to,” Pearce said. “I think setting my goal time kind of relaxed took a lot of pressure off. This race wasn’t that bad. I felt better this whole race than I have in a while.”

Pearce has been running since she was in elementary school. She competed three full marathons when she was in her 40’s.

“Now, I’m over 50, so the body’s like, ‘Hello, slow down,’” she said. “Now, I just do half marathons. That’s my release. I don’t listen to music, I just run. It helps my brain sort things out.”

Art teacher Philip Deardorff ran the half marathon with fellow art teachers Erica Dawson and Thao Phan. He did not run much leading up to the marathon because of a hamstring injury he suffered in September.

I did pretty well for how little I trained,” Deardorff said. “My wife and I used to run a lot before we had our son, so I just wanted to get back into the shape of it. Part of it is just being healthy and exercising. And it creates a nice goal at the end of all that training.”