AMHERST – The training had been going well and she was pumped and ready for the Hypothermic Half Marathon. But due to circumstances beyond her control, Amherst Strider Tanya Sparling had to miss the run she had been training very hard for.
“She worked so hard to get ready for the race and unfortunately, work commitments took over and she couldn’t go,” said fellow Strider Alan Theal.
Because Theal and the other members of the running group felt Sparling should be recognized for all the hard work she put into getting ready for the half marathon, they concocted a plan in order for Sparling to get the medal she’d been training for.
“I arranged through the Running Room to get her medal all her goodies and run the Hypothermic Half (part two) right here in Amherst with the Amherst Striders,” he said.
Sparling started out on run with her fellow Striders but as she neared the end of her session, the same distance of what would have been the Hypothermic Half Marathon. At the end, her friends, family, a makeshift finish line and her souvenir bag greeted her. After some cheering and congratulations, the runner received her medal
“It feels wonderful and I did it with all these wonderful people from the Striders,” she said after the run.
But there was more reason to celebrate. Sparling had hoped to finish the half marathon with a time of 2.30 but shaved some time off, finishing of 2.29.29.
“My ultimate goal was finish with a smile on my face but I thought, if I could do under 2.30, that would be fantastic and I did it,” she said.
While holding her newly acquired medal, Sparling was nothing but smiles.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “I’m really thankful to the running group for putting this all together for me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the other run but they made it happen for me.”