Athletes all over the world are drawn to the sport of competing in marathons. To those who may be unfamiliar with the marathon world, the amount of training, dedication, and discipline needed is astounding.
Here at the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology—and for the sixth year in a row—the Marathon Training course PE 1262, brings together, educates, and trains both experienced and aspiring runners with hopes of completing those ever-daunting 26.2 miles.
Led by Dr. Stacy Ingraham, senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology, and doctoral candidate Chris Lundstrom, the course combines training runs, classroom instruction, integrated research, and physiological and psychological testing.
And in the end, the knowledge the students accumulate throughout the semester is put to the test through participating in the Eau Claire marathon.
The goal of every marathoner is to cross the finish line. All the hard work and training come full-circle once one crosses that line. This year, that payoff was exceptional as Eric Glaubke, a sophomore business information systems major who took the class, won the event, finishing first overall with a time of 2:45.06 (6:17 min/mile).
“When I reached mile 23, I was in pain,” said Glaubke. “My body wanted to quit and my mind had to take over. Through all the pain, crossing the finish line was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had.”
Glaubke, an experienced runner with a long list of achievements from his high school cross-country and track career, attributes his Eau Claire marathon success to the knowledge he gained from PE 1262.
“I ran the Chicago marathon in the Fall and didn’t really know what I was doing,” he explained. “I knew this class would help me improve, but I had no idea just how much it would help me improve my finish time.”
Along with Glaubke, Zachery Haus, a senior political science major, finished second overall with a time of 2:51.08. Also finishing within the top ten were PE 1262 students, James Areson in 3:03.32 and Brock Purtell in 3:03.37.
Since the Eau Claire marathon is a qualifying race, Glaubke, Haus, Arenson, Purtell and Ralph are now all eligible for the 2015 Boston Marathon.
“The most beneficial element of the marathon course was learning how to balance training with school, work and a social life,” said Ralph. “This class really prepared me for how to properly train, eat to efficiently fuel my body, and the overall importance of speed work. I am better off as a runner by taking it.”
From the growth and success they experienced in the Eau Claire marathon, both Glaubke and Ralph would recommend the marathon course for anyone interested in marathons and all the training and education that go into preparation.
“If anyone has any interest in running a marathon, they should take this class because the professors and your fellow classmates really help you prepare and ensure that you are ready to run,” said Ralph. “You meet a lot of people with similar interests and build some really good relationships.”
“Finishing a marathon is a great accomplishment,” said Glaubke. “No matter if you finish first or last.”
For more information regarding PE 1262, visit the University of Minnesota Physical Activity Program homepage.