Huntingdon residents run ‘COVID-19 Half Marathon’
HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — The Huntingdon High School cross country team was all set on the Andrew Jackson Half Marathon this spring. When the marathon was pushed back to September, they didn’t let their training go to waste–instead, they helped set up the COVID-19 Half Marathon, which the community could participate in.
“We put this on for people who need to run their first half marathon, so they can have an experience that is pretty special for most people,” said Keller Smith, a sophomore at Huntingdon High School.
“Every year they also did the half marathon, which this is kind of taking the placeholder for, and it’s always been a very big experience for me. It’s been one of the motivating things of my life,” said Dawson Gremmels, a sophomore at UT-Martin and Huntingdon High School graduate.
The half marathon began right before 7:00 a.m., giving runners a taste of the experience.
“I know many people that are getting to do this the first time. I remember my first time running a half marathon, it’s such an accomplishment and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life,” Smith said.
It also gave residents a chance to challenge themselves.
“1:55 is what i’m aiming for, but we’ll see how that turns out,” Gremmels said.
“I’m hoping to get under 2 hours,” Smith said.
After running the 13.1 mile loop, the participants were rewarded with a special handmade plaque.
“We’re so happy we were able to do it in our own hometown of Huntingdon. It’s just a surreal experience, and I’m so glad I get to experience it here,” Gremmels said.
The students gave special thanks to their cross country coach Elizabeth Lott for helping come up with the idea.