St. Mary stu­dents cover a lot of ground for class

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - SPORTS - JONATHON BRODIE

Talk about go­ing the ex­tra mile to get a credit.

About 30 St. Mary stu­dents started train­ing in Fe­bru­ary to get to their fi­nal exam Tues­day where they had to run a half-marathon as part of a spe­cial­ized class at the school. The run started two kilo­me­tres west of Mal­lo­ry­town Land­ing on the Thou­sands Is­lands Park­way at 9 a.m. and took the teens 21.1 kilo­me­tres to St. Lawrence Park.

The idea be­hind the cred­ited class, which runs ev­ery other year at St. Mary, has al­ways been to give stu­dents more than just a phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion les­son, while in­tro­duc­ing them to the ben­e­fits of life­long fit­ness.

De­spite run­ning in 25 C sunny weather for a lit­tle over two hours, Kayla MacDon­ald came through the fin­ish line with a smile on her face. It helped to stay pos­i­tive with a group of stu­dents wait­ing at the end to cheer run­ners to the fin­ish. The en­cour­age­ment only got louder with each pass­ing run­ner join­ing the rowdy root­ing when they wrapped up.

MacDon­ald said she signed up to the class be­cause she wanted to try some­thing dif­fer­ent than any­thing else of­fered at the school. She fig­ured it was go­ing to be nice to get out of the class­room and guar­an­tee her­self some ex­er­cise on a daily ba­sis.

“I was just look­ing for some con­di­tion­ing,” said MacDon­ald, who was a few min­utes shy of the twohour goal time she set out to get. “It’s hard to bring it all to one day. It’s all based on one day. I wasn’t too proud of my­self af­ter that one day, but it was good.”

Al­though MacDon­ald might not have been thrilled with her re­sults, some­one def­i­nitely was as one per­son waited for her at the fin­ish line to give her a big hug.

There’s an in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion to pass­ing a test that just made you com­plete a half-marathon. It’s that point why Thomas Young signed up to the class in the first place. The long­est he had ever run prior to tak­ing the class was five kilo­me­tres. Like a lot of stu­dents that take the course, at the be­gin­ning of the year Young wasn’t even sure if he could run 21.1 kilo­me­tres, but as the weeks went by and the miles were added in train­ing he started to be­lieve in him­self.

“It’s just crazy be­cause for us we’re not run­ners and it’s just great to know we can do some­thing like that,” said Young. “I feel awe­some right now.”

Com­plet­ing the half-marathon might have taught the stu­dents some­thing about them­selves in what they per­ceive their lim­its to be and what they ac­tu­ally are. At about the 16-kilo­me­tre mark there were a cou­ple of hills that had Sam Fahrn­gru­ber think­ing, “I don’t know how I’m go­ing to do this.” In­stead of giv­ing up, Fahrn­gru­ber turned off his mu­sic and fo­cused. He had set a goal of com­plet­ing the run in 1:45:00 and he beat that by more than 10 min­utes.

It’s ap­pro­pri­ate that many of the stu­dents run­ning were wear­ing shirts made by teacher Brian Car­roll that had a quote on the back say­ing, “Run­ning slow isn’t a char­ac­ter flaw. Quit­ting is.”

“I prob­a­bly should have trained more for the hills, but the heat wasn’t too bad and it was fun,” said Fahrn­gru­ber.

JONATHON BRODIE/The RecoRdeR and Times

Kayla MacDon­ald crosses the fin­ish line with a smile at the end of her 21.1-kilo­me­tre run that was for a class at St. Mary.

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