Eugene, OR- Eight hours had passed after 21-year-old Shanna Rosenberg finished her first half marathon, and she had still yet to check her time.
“I wasn’t going to make the half marathon about my time. It was that I ran it, that was my accomplishment,” Rosenberg said.
Growing up, Rosenberg gained inspiration from watching her mother run in two full marathons. This past year, Rosenberg gained even more inspiration after watching her mother beat breast cancer.
Along with ten other runners, Rosenberg ran 13.1 miles at the Eugene marathon as a participant in Team in Training, a program that utilizes marathons to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “When my mom got breast cancer, I wanted to do something. I had already done Relay for Life and Race for the Cure, now it was Team in Training.”
The Eugene Marathon, which attracted over 8000 runners on Sunday morning, started and ended at the historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Men and women of all ages participated in the 13.1-mile half marathon and the 26.2-mile full marathon. Associate director, Andy Downin, believes that people are attracted to the Eugene Marathon because of the fame and respect that the city has in regards to running.
“C’mon, this is Eugene: TrackTown, Hayward Field, Pre. It’s the running mecca of the world,” Downin said.
Rosenberg agreed that running a half marathon in Eugene made her experience even more worth it. “I’m not someone that knows a lot of the history about track at the U of O, but it’s part of the culture here in Eugene, and it was fun to be a part of that,” Rosenberg said.
Before beginning training four months ago, Rosenberg had little experience running outside or for long periods of time. “I wasn’t really comfortable running over a mile,” she said. The Eugene Marathon, however, seemed to be the perfect course for Rosenberg’s first half-marathon experience. “We are ranked as one of the easiest marathon courses because we don’t have that many hills,” Rosenberg said.
As a participant of Team in Training, Rosenberg raised over $1500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society toward cancer research, and trained every weekend with other runners and coaches. “I was extremely hesitant at the beginning, but the reason I was a bit more confident was because of the coaches,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg spent every Saturday morning running various distances with the Team in Training coaches and runners. “It was something I was doing for my own health, but I was also doing it for others,” Rosenberg said.
Though Rosenberg ran a majority of the race by herself, her mother still played a huge role in helping her finish the 13.1 miles. “I thought of my mother and people who have struggled with cancer. If I thought the half-marathon was hard, I couldn’t imagine what they are going through,” Rosenberg said. As Rosenberg was nearing miles 10 and 11, she began to lose stamina. “My legs didn’t want to work anymore, but then once I saw the banner that said mile 12, I thought, it’s just one more mile, I can do that,” she said. And she did.