Shannon Newman is fairly new to the Tea community, she and her husband, Steve, moved here from Freeman in February. Prior to that she had finished up a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Michigan. During her time in Freeman, Newman discovered that running was a stress reliever for her. She wasn’t a track star in her high school or college days — but found that running in the very early morning hours, when she couldn’t sleep, was a kind of therapy for her.
A neighbor in Freeman discovered that she enjoyed running and encouraged her to train for an Avera 10K Race in 2013. Every year, the Avera Race against breast cancer brings together family, friends, cancer survivors and others to race for a common goal; to enhance cancer care for people locally. That race was the start of something for Newman.
Her neighbor encouraged her to try a half marathon, then a marathon, acting as a supportive cheerleader the entire time. Newman said her husband came along once to a marathon, but decided it wasn’t for him.
Newman now tries to run about two marathons a year. Most recently on April 17, 2017 she competed in the 121st Boston Marathon, in Boston, Massachusetts. The experience was challenging she said.
This was her second time running in the Boston Marathon. She said, “It’s so hot, the weather is not ideal; when you train in blizzards it’s a big difference.”
She said what could go wrong did—her headphones quit early on, she cramped up, the sun was beating down, yet she said she persevered.
“I stayed positive, I know not everyone gets this opportunity,” she said.
She first qualified for the Boston Marathon in Chicago, Illinois in 2014 — the Chicago Marathon is noted to be one of the largest marathons in the United States, registering about 10,000 more runners than Boston does. Newman has run other marathons such as the Mikkelson Trail in the Black Hills, South Dakota; the Marine Core Marathon in Arlington, Texas which was where she recorded her fastest time of 3 hours and 9 minutes; and the San Francisco Marathon in California.
Newman said none are quite as beautiful as Boston. She said this particular race is made even more special because of the history. The Boston Marathon is known as the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. That and the fact that you can’t just sign up to run the Boston Marathon like you can in other races. Most runners need a qualifying time from another marathon, and that qualifying time has to have been run with a set date range on a certain type of course.
Newman also noted that there is a special honor in running the race following the terrorist attack that took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. She said, “It’s a chance to say, ‘no, you’re not going to take this away from us.’”
Newman trains year round, running long distances and doing strength training. She said she ramps up the training before a marathon.
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