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ND students run Chicago marathon

Caitlyn Caster | Monday, October 8, 2007

In scorching 90 degree heat and sweltering humidity, nearly 30 Notre Dame students and alumni competed in the 30th annual LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Sunday.

However, not even months of training prepared them for the intense racing conditions, they said.

“It was really, really hot. I didn’t run nearly as well as I thought I would,” senior Brogan Ryan said. However, running with his twin brother, Brendan, kept him motivated, he said. He still managed to finish in less than four hours.

Due to dangerous heat, the race was officially closed after four hours and all runners were urged to walk or take the available buses to the finish line. Approximately 10,000 of the 45,000 enrolled participants didn’t even start the race, due to the heat. One Michigan man died in the race, at least 50 people were hospitalized, and 300 runners were treated for serious dehydration.

A final tally for the number of finishers is still being calculated.

Nearly all of the runners from Notre Dame finished the 26.2-mile journey – but not without some hardship.

Senior Joanna Bea experienced serious complications, including intense hip pain and dehydration.

“At mile 23, I had to get an IV, wait for my heart rate to return to normal and then beg the medics to let me finish,” she said. “I promised them I would walk if they would let me keep going, but then I ran anyway. I had gone that far and I just had to finish it.”

Bea was sore, she said, but satisfied that she finished.

“I can’t even explain it,” said Bea, who was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. “The amount of support and encouragement was amazing. Everyone was so willing to help. Especially when I collapsed, so many people came to help me, dumping water on me, and making sure I was OK until the medics got there.”

The oppressive heat caused seniors Ben Roesch and Anthony Dayrit, who ran together, to scale back their finish time goals.

Between miles 12 and 14, Roesch realized he was moving slower than he had planned.

“There [was] no way we were going to make it in the time we were hoping for, but quitting still wasn’t an option,” Roesch said. “Fortunately, the parts where I was feeling pretty bad, Anthony [Dayrit] was doing better and vice versa so we were able to keep each other going.”

Roesch and Dayrit finished in 4:20. The pair ran in the race to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

“We each raised over $950,” Dayrit said. After the race, Dayrit and Roesch went to the American Cancer Society tent to receive free massages.

Senior Jill Martini said the overall experience was “awesome.”

“At mile 18, the police and officials were telling people to start walking,” Martini said. “I didn’t train for four months to walk to the finish. It was intense, but I loved it.”