“We as elite runners, we run to entertain the fans. But there are thousands and thousands of people who are out there right now running for very good causes. They are running to save other people’s lives. We can’t forget to thank them for the great job they do out there.” —Wesley Korir, 2012 Boston Marathon winner.

By Alyssa Reding

Feeling the aches of your legs beginning to struggle after dancing for 24-hours is one thing, but imagine how they feel like after a marathon.

This weekend, over 100 dancers will know what that feels like.

Dancers have been preparing for months to run 26.2 miles in the middle of the streets of Chicago at this year’s Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 7.

“Some of my friends ran [the Chicago Marathon] last year and said it was amazing, and less than 1% of the world’s population ever runs a marathon so I thought it would be cool to be included in that group and say that I’ve ran a marathon.” – Metzger
Kirk Metzger, a University of Iowa senior, said he’s been training for 18 weeks in preparation.

“Sometimes it was hard to train in the summer because it was so hot out, but I knew I had to if I’m going to survive,” he said. “Sometimes it has been hard to keep going and stick with it every day, but it will be well worth it on Sunday.”

Aside from his training plan, Metzger also takes a little time out of his day to prepare for the race by treating his body well in order to do the best he can do during the race.

Andy Kemerley, a UI junior, agrees that marathon runners don’t only have to train, but they have to make certain lifestyle changes.

“I had to change my diet, carbs became a huge part of my life — pasta on pasta on pasta — along with my fluid intake,” said Kemerley. “I never go anywhere without my water bottle now and I constantly have to refill it to make sure I’m hydrated for my runs.”

But training is still key, especially staying on a strict schedule.

Metzger said Running Wild, a running store in Coralville, provided runners with a training schedule and helped with training.

A lot of runners stuck to group runs to motivate one another to keep going.

“[Training] was intense to say the least. It’s a lot more of a time commitment than you realize at the beginning, especially when classes started but every last minute of it was worth it,” said Kemerley. “The long runs in the heat of July were the toughest, but having a training group was amazing, it kept me going. When I started to feel exhausted I just had to think about why I was running.”

As their training comes to an end, Kemerley and Metzger are ready to cross that finish line.

Running amidst 45,000 runners, they will join countless others while

sporting their UI Dance Marathon lime green.

“Running on my own behalf wasn’t enough to fully motivate me, but doing it for the kids is tenfold the motivation necessary,” said Kemerley.

Kemerley, holding up his marathon number in Chicago.

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