Cousins take run at half marathon

Can you run the Seattle Marathon in 12 hours?

On short notice

Can you run the Seattle Marathon in 12 hours?

What are your plans in exactly 12 hours? Would you run a marathon with your family members? Would you figure out last-minute details the night before a statewide event? Crazy as it may sound, three local students, two of them aged 14 and one 16, decided to run the Seattle half marathon Nov. 29.

All three were pumped to run 13.1 miles with no training whatsoever. With a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, Melissa Sanders, Troy Sanders and Julie Sanders made it to the finish line without the exhaustion hitting in until after the race. These three cousins came in 2,000th out of 15,000 people.

To run in the half marathon you have to be 14 years of age; to be able to run the full marathon of 26.2 miles you have to be 18.

“For being our first half marathon, the course we ran on was extremely difficult with all its ups and downs with the hills. It was a challenging course and probably not the best one to be our first,” Melissa Sanders said.

Since the three students were so young, they had certain guidelines they had to follow.

“We had rules,” Melissa said, “just us three who participated in it. Our rules were that we had to stick together throughout all 13.1 miles. We had to get water at every station; we could only take sips of water whenever we got it; we would push each other tremendously if someone fell behind; we would always remind each other to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.”

Along the course, there was a tunnel runners had to run through. It wasn’t too long – about a half mile – but it was long enough for runners to get separated from those they were running with.

“We all three made a goal to not stop the entire time we are on the trail, before the tunnel there was a water table so we slowed down to get some water in our bodies and rehydrate ourselves,” Julie Sanders said. “We make our way into the tunnel then all the sudden, before I know it, I’m lost in a world of confusion! I’m looking frantically all around me and I cannot see Troy or Missy anywhere!

“Since I couldn’t stop because our goal we made, I ran back and forth about four times through the tunnel looking for them. A 300-foot stretch and I could not find them anywhere! Finally after about five minutes I just decided to run to the other side of the tunnel, and what do you know? I find them!”

When asked, two days after the marathon, how they were doing, all responded, “My legs have never hurt more!”

Yvonne Sanders is an Enumclaw High School junior who writes for The Hornet, the school’s newspaper. She is the cousin of Melissa, Troy and Julie. She would like to pursue a career in journalism. In her spare time she likes to read, write and swim.

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