Hockaday Takes the Dallas Half-Marathon

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Palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy, sophomore Campbell Swango pushes past the pain in her feet as she looks ahead sprinting towards the Dallas half-marathon finish line.

Crossing the finish line around 10 on a Sunday morning, Swango completed it along with several other Hockaday students.

“I felt very accomplished,” Swango said. “I want to do another one.”

Swango paired up with fellow sophomore Amelia Brown.  Seniors Burton and Berkley Wood finished the race together. Juniors Eleanor and Mary Claire Wilson ran alongside their eighth-grade sister Meg. Fellow junior Carolina Campbell partnered with sophomore Claire Rattan.

“Having a friend to [run] with when it gets a little harder […] helps you get through it,” Burton, who ran with a partner for the first time, said.

To prepare for the half-marathon, most students began months in advance at the beginning of the school year. Along with Burton, some of the runners were in cross country in the fall which set the base for their training. After cross country ended, Burton went on a couple of long runs ranging from 8 to 10 miles which has been the base of her training.

If they were not on the cross country team, they played field hockey. Since Eleanor played field hockey and soccer, she didn’t run during the school week.

“I’ll usually do my long run on Sundays,” Eleanor said. “And I’ll workout during the school week if I don’t feel like I got a good enough workout at sports.”

While most of the students ran for about two hours in the half-marathon, Upper School mathematics teacher Rachel Grabow prepared for the Dallas full marathon, which she completed last year, as well. However, earlier this year in September, Grabow competed in an Ironman race which includes a 26.2 mile run, the distance of a marathon.

In August, Grabow began her training program with the Dallas Running Club. She is no amateur at running.

“Our longest run is 22 miles and then we have Tuesday night runs that are a mix between track workouts, hill workouts and interval workouts,” Grabow said. “I also usually loop the lake on Thursday nights with people.”

Although she’s completed a few marathons this year for fun, Grabow hoped to finish the Dallas marathon in 4:10:00. Her final time was 4:19:12. The students, while they did have goals, mostly ran the half-marathon for different reasons.

“[Running a half-marathon] has always been something that I have wanted to do,” Swango said.

On Sunday, Swango accomplished two goals. The other was to keep a steady pace of about 10 minutes per mile with Brown. They finished the 13.1 mile race in two hours and nine minutes.

In front of them, Burton and Brown completed the half-marathon around 2:02:00. Yet, they were running for the photo ops.

“At every photographer, we did some kind of pose,” Burton said. “Our time was a little bit slower than we probably could have ran it, but we were having a good time.”

After running the race last year, Burton decided to participate in the Dallas half-marathon again this year. She loved the vibe and energy of the crowd as they cheered on the runners. This year, the posters made by supporters and fans helped push Burton towards the finish line.

“The route is really cool to see the city of Dallas,” Burton said. “It’s a combination of a lot of fun things that give the race a really good energy.”

According to the Dallas Marathon website, the race “begins and ends in Downtown Dallas and highlights the best areas of the city.” Both half-marathon and full-marathon runners started and ended at the intersection between North Griffin Street and Young Street. However, at the 10 mile mark, those participating in the full marathon split off to run 13 miles leading to the White Rock Lake Trail and back to the main path.

“There’s one part on the lake where you go out and back so you get to see all your friends who are a little bit faster than you and all your friends who are a little bit slower than you,” Grabow said. “It’s really fun to cheer them on and yell for them.”

Although Grabow runs lots of marathons, she was “excited that some of the students [were] doing the half-marathon” as well.


– Maria Harrison – Asst. Perspectives Editor