Most people know Dr. John Nelson as one of those cool English Professors. Few people on DSU know the exciting athletic history behind this bespectacled beacon of the literary arts. Professor Nelson, a lifelong runner, was first introduced to marathons many decades ago by a rather stout friend. Inspired by his friend’s determination and ability to finish these long races despite his obvious drawback, Dr. Nelson decided to try his own luck. Since then he has been in over 50 marathons, including the famous Lincoln and Omaha races.
The ‘Twin Cities in Motion’ marathon is nothing new to Dr. Nelson. Participating in the event fifteen times already has made the course as familiar to him as the back of his dominant hand. But this year, Professor Nelson isn’t the only Trojan running the 26.2 miles.
English Majors Andy Meyer and Dillon Dwyer will be joining the professor and hundreds of other participants, as they run from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Having just recently participated in the Sioux Falls half-marathon, Andy and Dr. Nelson look to be in top form for the event so far. Not wanting to be outdone or left behind because of his inexperience, Dillon too has been practicing relentlessly- determined to finish the race no matter the cost!
But determination isn’t the only thing that will take you across the line, our veteran runner reminds us. Proper pacing, avoiding injuries and the quality of your shoes all affect how far you make it and how fast. What’s not immediately apparent is the effect of having companions.
Running and keeping pace with people you know really makes the entire ordeal easier, according to Professor Nelson and the other two runners wholeheartedly agree. Practicing with the others has really made Andy more confident about running in the marathon and there is no one else he would rather cross that finish line with. The bond of camaraderie between the three of them will be nigh essential for them, especially during the last 6 miles up hill.
If you too are interested in running a marathon in the future but are not particularly athletically adept, don’t worry. If perseverance, training and pacing fail to take you to the end, your buddies sure will.
Twin Cities in Motion kicks off on the 5th of October.