Runners Take to Hawaii

Recently, five BRFHS students made the trip to Hawaii to participate in the Honolulu Marathon.

The students were sponsored by the Ho-Chunk Nation under an initiative by Runners Against Drunk Driving (R.A.D.D.).

“They [Ho-Chunk Nation] paid for our plane tickets, hotel, food and the activities we did there,” said senior Jasmine. “We only had to bring spending money.”

Although the trip was paid for, it was by no means ‘free’. The students put in a lot of hard work prior to the trip.

“We [the other runners and I] started the last week in August. We ran Monday through Friday and on Saturday,” said Jasmine.

The runners started their training by beginning with shorter distances and gradually increasing as the weeks went on. The training program enforced by coaches Erwin Begay and Lani Blackdeer consisted of running 3-4-5 miles from Monday to Wednesday respectively. As the marathon date approached the distance the runners ran progressively got to be longer, in preparation for the 26-mile race.

“Thursday and Friday we ran on our own and Saturday was a long distance day,” said senior Tianna Pettibone.

On December 8, the runners departed for their trip to Hawaii. Despite their bus breaking down in Osseo and missing their first flight, they all made it there safely.

For Pettibone, it didn’t set in until she arrived in Hawaii.

“I wasn’t excited, but I couldn’t believe I was leaving. It didn’t hit me until we got to Hawaii,” said Pettibone.

When they landed, they took a bus to their hotel and got settled in. Later that night they went shopping and out to eat.

“It was so expensive!” said Pettibone in response to Hawaii’s high prices.

The night before the marathon the whole team went out for pasta. The following day, December 12, the Honolulu Marathon took place.

“We woke up at 2 a.m. and went to the starting area at 3:30 a.m.,” said Jasmine.

Prior to the start of the race, the runners needed to stretch, use the restroom and have a team meeting. The team consisted of 16 runners (3 from Wisconsin Dells, 13 from Black River Falls) aged 12-18.

The race started at 5 a.m. Just before the race, the runners were feeling nervous, anxious and scared, but they kept positive attitudes. Pettibone went into the race with a strategy.

“I kept a slow pace. I didn’t want to take off right away and get tired,” said Pettibone.

Pettibone also admitted to being lonely throughout the race. However, halfway through she tagged up with fellow runner Waverly Bird.

“My feet hurt really badly and I was so sore. Towards the end I would run, walk, run, walk,” said Pettibone.

But crossing the finish line was a great sense of accomplishment.

“I was happy. I feel like I accomplished something great,” said Jasmine.

It was a lot of hard work, but the runners say they would do it again.

“I won’t do it again soon, but in a couple years, maybe,” said Pettibone