Ellen Campbell Triumphantly Completes the New York City Marathon

April 06, 2010

Dynamo Staff Writer

Ellen Campbell said running the New York City Marathon Nov. 4 "was pretty overwhelming. Something that is very hard to put into words [is] the feeling I got when I crossed the finish line."

Campbell, assistant director for student involvement and leadership, endured intense physical and mental training to prepare for the race. Mount Union staff Laurie Dienberg-Hoppe, Andrew Boothe, Dave Wolpert and Tiffani Tribble comprised the team who run together with Campbell. "We, as a group," Campbell explained, "have been running on Mondays and Wednesdays for about a year now. They are a great group of friends who always encourage me."

The process of entering the marathon is somewhat unusual. The race sets up a lottery to select runners, Campbell entered, and "on June 12, I got an e-mail that said, 'you're in!' I remember running through the office screaming about it!"

Campbell began formal training July 16, but had the benefit of previous running experience. Campbell has been in races for the past four years. Recently, she and Dienberg-Hoppe have run together in races. The pair ran the Akron Half-Marathon, where Campbell said, "From the first race, I ran with Laurie to the Akron, we had taken about 15 minutes off our time."

Campbell also ran the Parkersburg, W.Va. Half-Marathon. Parkersburg is a challenging course, she said, as it the National Championship Half-Marathon course.

Prior to the New York race, Campbell said she "wanted to get a sense of accomplishment out of the whole thing. I want to be able to hold my head high as I cross the finish line and say, 'If I can do that, I can do anything.' "

Campbell officially crossed the finish line in 5:50:33.

The race covers all five boroughs of the city. Campbell found the Queensboro Bridge "mentally, very tough," because the bridge stretches about two miles with sharp peaks and declines.

Immediately after finishing, Campbell first thought she would never want to run the New York race again, but later said she would do it. "It was a harder run than I thought it would be, [but] I got caught up in the excitement and adrenaline of it all."

Campbell now hopes to run in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

She advised future marathon runners to beware that "it is about 72 percent mental and 28 percent physical. Do the training, and mentally prepare yourself, and you can do it."

"The coolest part of the race was when I crossed the finish line and started crying," Campbell said. "A man who had finished just before me turned around and hugged me. I didn't know him, but it was understood sense of accomplishment that we both did it."

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