The Elite Runners of Vista


Principa Loril Emmington’s medals

Sierra Bonn, Staff Writer/ Copy Editor

Twenty-six point-two miles of pain, agony, and sweat can only mean one thing: a marathon. Three to four months of aggressive training. Planning out times for snack breaks and salt pills. This challenge is one very few dare to attempt, and yet many athletes of Vista del Lago High School have.

Vista has an impressive collection of talented student athletes, among them are the marathon and half-marathon runners. Brad Waterman, a junior, runs on the school’s cross country team. He became inspired to start running half marathons because of his dad who runs marathons and Ultrons, which are even longer than marathons.

Waterman typically spends two months training for his half marathons, working his way up to running forty miles a week. He trains both with the team and on his own. Though the hours he puts in on his own is where most of the marathon work happens.

On top of the achievement earned from completing the race, Waterman has made it into the top runners of his age group for every race he has run. Though for  him the best part is still finishing the race after the hour and a half of pain.

Natasha Evans, another Vista student on the cross-country team who runs half marathons, began her journey in middle school. Evans started distance running and grew to love it because of the feeling of pride that comes with winning. “That feeling when you finish, or set a new [personal record], or run farther or faster than you ever have before. That is such a huge feeling of accomplishment. You feel like you can do anything,” said Evans.

Like Waterman, Evans trains with the cross-country team, running her normal schedule during the week. On the weekends, however, she increases the distance of her long runs. She also spends two months preparing for a marathon. During the season she doesn’t need to spend as much time training because she has already been building the endurance and speed for months.

Evans continues to run for the sense of accomplishment and the rush that comes with it. Beyond completing the run, she also won her division in one of the races. Both Waterman and Evans are extremely talented runners, yet Vista has many more students — both on sports teams and not — who run marathons too.

While the student runners are numerous, teacher and staff runners are a significant as well for running marathons and half marathons. Some of them have formed groups they run with, such as the group Eagles on the Run, including Principal Lori Emmington and Jessica Mann.

Vice Principal Kim Moore is responsible for Emmington’s start as a runner from when she gathered many members of the staff to run a half marathon together. Since then, Emmington has begun running six-to-eight marathons a year simply because it’s fun. “I don’t think I enjoy running; I enjoy training for something and accomplishing something that’s difficult, “ said Emmington.

Emmington typically spends three-to-four weeks training for a half marathon and three months for a full marathon. The training not only includes running but also planning for the race, and eating along the way is necessary to keep going, so she has to organize a schedule for when to eat snacks as well as when to take her salt pills.

Mann also runs with Emmington and has completed five marathons of her own. Marathon running was a dream of hers since she was young, but when she was in her late twenties and still hadn’t completed one, the opportunity seemed to be slipping away. Many would have given up to avoid the effort, yet Mann made it happen.

For her, it’s about capability and completing something so challenging. Once again the feeling of accomplishment seems to outrank the pain and time involved.

Finishing the race is most definitely a highlight of running marathons. If the running is your choice, marathons could be a great way to feel like a champion. But even if you don’t wish to embark on the marathon journey just yet, running can also provide many benefits.

Obviously it is a form of exercise and can thus keep you physically fit. Emmington says, “I think the thing running has proven to me the most is if you set your mind to anything, and train in a systematic way, you can make it happen.”

This sport is all about crossing the finish line. If you win an award that is without a doubt phenomenal, but the thing that keeps you coming back is the rush of the end.

Jessica Mann’s running bibs