From Left, Emily Cooper, ’22, Bentley Hicks, ’21, Cate Glackin, ’22, participated in the eighth annual Bethlehem Runner’s World Half marathon on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2019. This was the eighth annual Bethlehem Runner’s World Half & Festival Weekend. (Shana Lichaw/B&W Staff)

Lehigh students to run Bethlehem Runner’s World half-marathon

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On Sunday, Oct. 20, Cate Glackin, ’22, will proudly place the long-desired “13.1 sticker” on her car, confidently saying that she ran a half-marathon—something Emily Cooper, ’22, can also check off of her bucket list.  

Lehigh students are preparing to break out their running sneakers and motivational playlists for the upcoming Runner’s World Half Marathon, celebrating the eighth annual Bethlehem Runner’s World Half & Festival Weekend.  

According to the Runner’s World website, the race courses will include various historic neighborhoods in Bethlehem and feature a portion of the town’s original 1741 settlement, Moravian College and the former Bethlehem Steel complex.

Glackin said her best friend since kindergarten motivated her to give the half-marathon a try. Glackin’s friend ran the NYC Half Marathon with Fred’s Team last winter, which raised money for cancer research. 

Her main inspiration, though, came from her father, who used to run full marathons.

“While (my father) can’t run (marathons) anymore due to a heart condition, I wanted to do this to make him proud,” Glackin said. 

Glackin said her dad has been there for her every step of this journey.

“He has done everything from setting up my training plan, following up with me after runs and would even meet me with water in the middle of my runs during the 100-degree heatwave in the summer,” she said. 

For Cooper, running this race serves as a fitness goal and epitomizes her commitment to be fit and stay in shape at school. 

“It’s truly empowering knowing that I’m doing something that is pushing me to my limits physically,” Cooper said. “Running is very therapeutic — just taking a break and running, personally, makes me feel good about myself.” 

Cooper, who is participating in the half-marathon with her friend from Lehigh, said the two of them have been planning to run the race since the beginning of the summer.

“We have been working up until this point because it is our first time running a half-marathon,” Cooper said. 

In preparation for the race, Cooper said they do one long run and then several short runs throughout the week together. 

She said they train together, running eight miles last week and 10 miles this week. They ran during pacing break and plan to complete shorter runs leading up to the race.

“We really like doing our long runs together,” Cooper said. “It is what pushes and motivates us.” 

Similarly, Glackin said she is running the half-marathon with a friend who has run a full marathon in the past.

Glackin said she first started her running plan toward the end of May. 

“Since (May) and now, I have been following a plan, running about four times a week with one long run and three shorter runs,” Glackin said. “Here and there I’ll skip a run, but my weeks don’t feel complete until I get all my miles in.”

Although keeping up with training during school can be hectic, both students implement running into their schedules and daily routines. Glackin said it is tough to stay active during school, but she has been making time in between classes or after classes are done.  

“There is a great trail right across the bridge to the North Side that I am able to run to from my room,” Glackin said. “Because it is so accessible and I don’t have to drive to it, I don’t have much of an excuse to not squeeze in the time to run.” 

This summer was the ideal time for Cooper to implement running into her daily schedule. She said the timing worked well with training in the summer without being preoccupied with schoolwork

She said with classes in session, it’s more about just staying in shape.

Cooper said she will be using the Nike running app to motivate her during the race. The app serves as an informative tool that provides insight on how to pace oneself through a half marathon, while incorporating motivational sayings to keep going. 

Emma Bentley-Hicks, ’21, who ran in the Runner’s World Half Marathon last year, said she is loosely following the Nike half marathon training plan to guide her while training for the race this year. 

Bentley-Hicks said her plan of action on race day is to run fast, but stay comfortable for the first part of the race.

“My goal is to feel good the entire race and have the endurance to be able to push myself at the end,” Bentley-Hicks said. “I want to feel like I put in a good effort during the race and that my training paid off.”

Glackin said she has recently started listening to the podcast “True Crime” to keep her mind busy while running. 

Both Glackin and Cooper said they look forward to celebrating with family and friends when the race ends.

“I don’t really have a set action plan for the day off,” Glackin said. “I’m just hoping to stay on pace and stay strong during the hills, which are supposed to be tough.”

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