Three Leavitt High School cross country runners added a marathon to their schedule this season.
In May, Corinne Rabon, Carter Veilleux, and Ashley Pratt accepted a challenge by a local Army National Guard Col. Jack Mosher to run a marathon. Mosher spoke to a group of students in a health class.
They are also apart of the Leavitt Marathon Club, which is led by health teacher Georgia Vallee. The challenge also had a purpose behind it.
The Marathon Club’s Facebook Page reads: “Students at LAHS have accepted a challenge to run a marathon as a way to build resiliency to endure and overcome the struggles we may face in life.”
“(Mosher) was giving a discussion about suicide and running is a great way to build strength and perseverance,” said Pratt, a Leavitt junior. “He challenged the kids who were there at the presentation to run the Maine Marathon in October.”
The 23rd annual Maine Marathon took place on Sunday in Portland. Veilleux led the charge to get the other two to do the marathon.
“Well my friend Carter said he wanted to run it,” Pratt said. “I just wanted to support him with his decision to run it. I decided to challenge myself to join him as long he keeps up with it.”
The three started training in the summer, with Georgia Vallee by running in the mornings to beat the heat. Doubt didn’t creep in because they had a lot of support to complete the challenge.
“It was something we just got up and did. We didn’t really think about it that much because we had other people relying on us to be there for those long runs.” Pratt said.
Cross country coach Dustin Williamson helped out by making sure they did their long training runs during the season on Saturdays.
The three didn’t put a time goal on their finish, but the goal was to finish. Pratt always had a goal to run a marathon.
“We have a training plan we are going on where we run 20 minutes and walk five minutes to prevent injuries for ourselves,” Pratt said.
Pratt finished 791st with a time of 5:12:12. Veilleux, Rabon, and Vallee weren’t far behind as they crossed the finish line together with a time of 5:18:00.
This life experience has created a strong bond between the four of them.
“Very much so as well as our relationship with Vallee as well,” Pratt said of their friendship being stronger.”
Local teams compete in conference meets
With most of the teams in the tri-country area competing in the Festival of Champions on Saturday, a few teams that didn’t compete got in a conference meet in this past week.
Poland hosted a Western Maine Conference meet with Freeport and Fryeburg on Friday. Lake Region and Sacopee Valley also competed. Freeport won the boys’ race followed by Fryeburg and Poland. Lake Region and Sacopee Valley didn’t have enough runners to record a team score.
Fryeburg won the girls’ race followed by Freeport and Poland.
Spruce Mountain took part in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet at Erskine Academy last Wednesday. Sam Brenner was the Phoenix’s top boys’ runner, finishing 12th with a time of 20:08.36. His teammate Sam Greenleaf finished three spots behind him with a time of 20:27.53. The other two runners, Brody Guild and Connor Beaulieu, finished 37th and 40, respectfully.
Erskine won the meet followed by Lincoln Academy, Skowhegan and Maine Central Institute. Spruce didn’t qualify for the team event.
One the girls’ side, Anneka Dubord finished in 19th for Spruce with a time of 26:39.81 followed by her teammate Mallory Mercier, who finished in 20th with a time of 27:01.29. Megan Mercier finished in 25th, while Rylee Delaney came in 28th. MCI won the girls’ event followed by Skowhegan and Erskine.