Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Half marathon brings runners, support.

By Kristen Suarez

Plattsburgh, N.Y. — On Saturday morning the streets were filled with screaming

fans as hundreds of runners made their way to the U.S Oval during the 7 th annual

Plattsburgh Half Marathon.

“Running 13.1 miles with hundreds of people by your side and amazing friends

and strangers cheering you on brings an indescribable sense of euphoria,” Christina

Niglia, half marathon runner, said.

The runners met at 7:30 a.m at the City Recreation Center. Seven hundred people

lined up to begin the race at the Oval that overlooks the lakeshore. Everyone seemed

calm but eager to start the race they had been training hard for.

“The hardest part of the marathon was keeping up with the twelve weeks of

training and preparation, while balancing work, school, and a social life,” Meghan

Giacalone, half marathon runner, said.

Every two miles volunteers handed out water and Gatorade to sweaty runners

pushing to the finish.

“The SUNY Plattsburgh soccer team volunteered and handed water and Gatorade

to the runners at the 6 mile mark, and we did our best to cheer them on and keep them

running,” Max Delavalle, volunteer, said.

The marathon has raised over $200,000 for Team Fox for Parkinson's Research

charity since the start of the event back in 2010. The race takes runners along the Saranac

River, through SUNY Plattsburgh campus, and along Lake Champlain.

Delavalle was inspired by the amount of young kids running the race with their

parents. He says that it was amazing to watch them accomplish something so difficult at

such a young age.

“It made me want to go out and run a half marathon myself,” Delavalle said.

During the final loop runners head back towards Bridge Street, and crossed over the

bridge over the Saranac River for the second time, towards the U.S Oval where the finish

line awaits them.

At the end of the race people stand waiting for their loved ones to finish strong.

Music is playing loud, and the energy is high as the race is about to come to an end. Not

even the rain can stop the excitement of the race.

“I knew how hard my friends trained for this marathon, and watching them cross

was extremely emotional. We just held each other and cried,” Erin Kelly, supporter, said.

Supporters banged cowbells, and embraced the runners after they finished the

13.1-mile race.

“I was overwhelmed with emotions because of how many of our friends came to

cheer us on,” Emily Bida, half marathon

runner, said.

As soon as runners crossed the finish line they

received a water bottle, medal, t-shirt, and

goodie bag for their accomplishment. Inside

the bag was a pint glass that allowed them to

receive a free drink at Olive Ridly’s, a local

bar/restaurant, along with discounted food.

Emily Bida, Christina Niglia, Meghan Giacalone. All seniors

at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Runners, and supporters gathered inside the City Recreation center waiting on line

for their oranges, pizza, and hero’s. The big race was over, and now it was time to


“Crossing the finish line as the people I loved cheered me on was symbolic and

empowering. This race showed me the power my mind has over my body and I can't wait

to one day run a full marathon just to prove I can,” Niglia said.

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