On Sunday, January 24th at 7:00 a.m. Taylor McIntyre was two miles into her half marathon. She had just pulled a muscle in her foot and the thought that was dominating her mind was what was she thinking when she signed up to do this.
She looked ahead at the daunting path ahead of her and breathed in the 30°F air. She closed her eyes for a passing moment and the memory of her trainer running beside her shouting in his native tongue, “iyongwe,” which translates to “the Lion,” recurred to her and she remembered that she had the will to do this, that she could do this.
Last weekend the 3m half marathon held its 21st annual running. It was held in downtown Austin and ran all the way from Mopac to the Capital building, making a total of 13.1 miles. Mcintyre said she was adamant to be apart of it and started her training for the long marathon last June.
“I started training with a group called Gilbert’s Gazelles in June,” the senior said. “We would work out Monday through Wednesday and then do long runs on Saturdays. The long runs started at 5 miles and the longest one I did before the marathon was 10 miles.”
Mcintyre also joined the Cross Country team to help train harder for the marathon. She comments that the training process is lots of hard work and requires pushing past set comfort zones. After the training, preparations for when the marathon takes place had to be taken.
“I have something called a spy belt that wraps around your waist and I packed 5 packs of gu,” Mcintyre said. “Gu’s are protein gels, and you take one every 30-40 minutes to energize you. I also brought along sport beans, gu chops, and my inhaler.”
McIntyre has even taken steps to ensure that she will not get too cold or hot during the marathon by buying running clothes from Goodwill and then disposing of the unnecessary layers when they become inconvenient.
“I had my family at different spots along the marathon,” McIntyre said. “They helped cheer me on and retrieve any clothes I ended up taking off.”
She gives credit to her trainer too, for helping her be able to pull through the marathon with success despite hardships like spraining her foot.
“Gilbert Tuhabonye is my trainer and he’s helped me improve considerably,” McIntyre said. “Coach Parks also really helped me to improve. She’s the sweetest person I know and if I can be like her when I grow up, it would be a huge accomplishment.”
McIntyre is glad that she was able to use all her training and preparing to finish the marathon successfully. She says that there’s nothing quite like crossing that finish line and hearing everyone cheer for you. She is definitely looking forward to her next marathon.