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Holy Half Marathon draws more than 900

Emily Schrank | Monday, April 12, 2010

Over 900 runners, including students, faculty and staff and residents of the South Bend area, covered a 13.1-mile course around campus Sunday morning for the sixth annual Holy Half Marathon. 

The course, which began on South Quad in front of South Dining Hall, included two laps of a 6.5-mile route that weaved around campus and around St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s lakes.

Race organizers said they were pleased with the amount of runners who participated.

“We had 305 people alone register the morning of the race, which was such a great surprise,” junior and race co-director Gabby Tate said.  “We completely ran out of everything, but people just wanted to run, which was wonderful.”

Tate, along with junior Sean Kickham, was responsible for ensuring the course was ready and adequately equipped with water stations, flags and volunteers.

“We’re there to oversee registration, direct the volunteers and answer any questions that the runners might have,” she said.  “It’s definitely a fun and crazy variety of things that we have to do.” 

The event kicked off Saturday evening with Mass in the Dillon Hall chapel and a pasta dinner in the Coleman-Morse Lounge. 

Senior Cynthia Curley was recognized as the first female to complete the race at 1:27:00 and was followed by freshman Alison Podlaski, who finished in 1:29:00.  

Nick Bouwman, a student at nearby Goshen College, was the first male to cross the finish line, with a time of 1:15:21.  Freshman Ian Montijo finished a close second at 1:16:41.   

According to Tate, 815 of the 935 registered runners, including an area third grader, finished the race.

Freshmen Annie Wehry and Aoibheann Thinnes said they felt a sense of accomplishment as they crossed the finish line with a time of 1:56:03.

“We finished in under two hours, which was our ultimate goal,” Wehry said.  “We’re both really happy with how we did.” 

A team of seniors Sierra Smith, Matt Panhans, Meghan Shaughnessy, Aaron Pierre and graduate student Stephanie Nienaber ran the entire 13.1-mile race dressed as Waldo, the famous character from the children’s book series “Where’s Waldo?”

“It was a perfect day for running,” Smith said.  “Doing the half marathon with the rest of the Waldo gang made it even better.”  

The five friends agreed they appreciated the enthusiastic crowds of supports during the race.

Tate and Kickham both said they were grateful for “an amazing crew of volunteers” that assisted them with the production of the race.

Hosted by the Class of 2011, this year’s Holy Half raised $20,000 for The Broadmoor Improvement Association (BIA) that works to rebuild New Orleans and provide relief to area victims of hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.