Marathon test for Carr's mettle

Friday, November 3, 2006

Many Putnam County residents might remember that Sunday, Oct. 22 was a cold, rainy day. But for Makenzie Carr, 19, it will be a day she will remember for a lifetime. It was the day she ran and completed the Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon.

Carr, a sophomore at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., decided to run in the race along with three other girls. Two of them attend school with Carr.

To run in the Chicago Marathon, runners have to have ran for a year before signing up for the marathon. Carr said she ran on the side during high school and competed in an 8kilometer race during the last two years.

Even though Carr had never run a long distance race before, she said she had a excellent 18-week training program that helped to build her up to run the 26-mile road course.

Carr said her training started in June and she used Mapquest to map out and measure the distances of her routes.

With the program, Carr ran for five days and rested for one. That lead up to the long runs each weekend. She said that 20 miles was the farthest she ever ran at one time, and she had to do two of them while she trained.

Carr jokingly said that during her runs she learned all about the different local county roads she never knew existed.

On the day of the race, Carr said she felt really well rested, but was a little unsure because she did not run at all the week before the race and it had been three weeks since she had ran 20 miles.

While Carr was running the streets of Chicago with 34,697 other people, her family was watching her from several different vantage points along the course. Carr's mother, Julie, said the family split up and were able to see Carr eight times from different locations.

To help her daughter spot her more easily in the crowd, Julie said she wore a "hideous" orange hat. Carr said she ran on the outside of the group, which allowed for better maneuvering, and was able to spot her family members and friends who had come to cheer her on.

"It was amazing how that many people can create such an excitement," Julie said. "Everybody was cheering on strangers."

Carr completed the 26-mile race in four hours,18 minutes 48 seconds, and was the youngest runner from Putnam County to compete in this year's race. The race website also lists Jason Kreag, 31, who completed the race in four hours, 10 minutes 42 seconds and Rebecca Upton, 36, who completed in five hours, 55 minutes 35 seconds.

Carr said the race was a lot of fun and was an amazing experience, even with the freezing temperatures. "I want to do another one," Carr said.

Carr is thinking about competing in the Milwaukee or the Indianapolis marathons to improve her time, but she said it would be hard to do anything compared to the Chicago Marathon.

Carr said she thanks those who contributed to the JM Foundation, the charity she was running for. The money that was raised will go toward research on muscle disorders in children.

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