The Amazing Race: Whitman’s Marathon Runners

Lennae Starr, Staff Reporter

Whitman boasts many talented athletes, but some don’t typically get put in the spotlight. Seniors Claire Mangan, Kyle Fix, and Ben Johns are all marathon runners that truly go the distance. Recently, Fix and Mangan ran a half marathon together in Seattle.

“I really only started running seriously in January of this year, and have gradually [increased] my mileage and pace to get to the half that I did this most recent Saturday in Seattle. I think I started off of a combination of wanting to increase my fitness and being motivated with my friend, Claire Mangan, who I’ve completed this journey with,” said Fix, who beat his time goal of 1:55:00.

Mangan, who started running with Fix in January, sees the activity as just another part of her day.

I wanted to fill my time with something productive and have a goal to work towards. Running a longer distance is mostly just for fun and to prove to myself that I can do it,” she said.

Mangan also beat her time goal of 2:00:00.

“The half marathon was also a lot more physically painful than I was expecting. My body didn’t hurt very much during training when we were doing 11 or 12 mile runs, but for some reason on race day my legs were falling apart and it was hard to evaluate whether to push through or to stop to avoid injury,” added Mangan. “Once I’m able to get into a headspace where I’m not thinking about that and just focusing on breathing and the scenery it gets easier.”

Johns did not join Fix and Mangan in Seattle, but ran a full marathon with a friend in 2016.

“We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do it. We didn’t care about the time, it was a total hack job. We weren’t even registered for the race and we only took two months to train for it,” said Johns. “The hardest part of the race was the final three miles, it was definitely more of a hobble by the end than a run.”

Despite the lack of preparation, Johns did indeed finish the race.

“Since we weren’t registered we didn’t get medals but my sister sent me one of those Yoplait yogurt tops tied to a string like they did in The Office,” said Johns.

If you are an aspiring runner, take some advice from the pros (and amateurs).

“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together,” said Johns.

“When I’m running it helps me to think about how the human body is designed to do long distance running. Also finding a running buddy to hold you accountable and keep you company helps a lot,” said Mangan.

“Find someone else to keep you motivated and just go for it. Even over winter break, I had no desire or plan to run more than a 5k at one time. It wasn’t until I got together with my pal [Mangan] to make and stick to a plan that I really set my mind to pushing the envelope,” added Fix.

The 26th annual Onion Man Triathlon will be on May 26th, 2019, so keep your eyes peeled for some Whitties working extra hard.