Columbus East graduate Adrienne Cantali had reason to be motivated Saturday, running her first half-marathon at the Mill Race Marathon.
However, she said her biggest inspiration for running long distances came from former East track and field coach John Kessler, who died four years ago.
Even though Cantali said she wasn’t the best long distance runner, Kessler advised Cantali to do long-distance running to be better trained and be in better shape for sprinting and hurdling. Cantali said she was glad for the advice.
She also honored her coach’s memory by having “Team Kessler” printed on the back of her orange running shirt.
“It was where I got my love for distance running years ago,” said Cantali, who now lives in Indianapolis. “I’m running this in memory of him, and he was the one that got me into it. This is the first time I completed 13.1 miles.”
Steven Riche, a Columbus native, said the Mill Race Marathon event Saturday was the first time he had completed a mini-marathon without having to walk a huge portion of it.
He runs with a fanny pack around his waist that’s supplied with a couple mini plastic jugs of water. However, Riche said he really didn’t need to use it in this race because of all the volunteer staff handing out water frequently throughout the course.
Riche also straps his phone to his arm during the race. He uses an application on his phone called Runkeeper that helps keep track of various running statistics during the race.
“It gives me a good sense to see how far I was going and the pace I was keeping,” Riche said. “I’ve used the app for over five years, when I started training for 5K races before I went over to mini-marathons.”
When Maria Schafer ran across the finish line after her first marathon race, she was overcome with joy. She began racing, in general, only two years ago, and started training for the Mill Race Marathon only four months ago. Completing the 26.2 mile race was a lifetime accomplishment for her.
Schafer, a Purdue graduate who grew up in Fort Wayne but currently resides in Indianapolis, said her choice of music varies as she progresses along in the race.
“I like to time it out as I go along in the race,” Schafer said. “I’ll go for hard metal in the middle to keep me going. Then I start toning it down toward the end like Christian music to help me get the final push I need to get going.”
Nick Goldsberry also turns to music while he is running a race. His favorite music genre is punk and rock. A selection from his list includes Alkaline Trio and Get Up Kids.
“It is really uptempo, and that really helps me get going,” Goldsberry said of his music selection. “It is real easy to get into a lull when you are out there. It is an extra shot of energy and uptempo music gets you going. It gets you fired up.”
Goldsberry, who lives in Fishers but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, said he has run about a dozen half marathons, including the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon.