Ready, set, go!
Roosevelt alumna set to participate in marathon.
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 19:09
Four months of training will prepare Roosevelt University alumna Briana Burns for the big day: a 26.2-mile course on Oct. 7. She’ll be participating in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Burns is running with Crossroads Runners, her Old St. Patrick’s Church fundraising team. They’re raising money for the Center for Social Concerns, which works to end poverty.
Burns said it’s been an interesting journey.
“The longest distance I’ve ever ran was 18 miles in the rain last Saturday,” she said. “I saw parts of Chicago I’d never seen before. Before that, the farthest I’ve ran in my life was maybe five or six miles.”
“Briana is a wonderful student,” Burns’ personal trainer, Coach Brendan Cournane said. “She’s been doing very well in training, so far. For a lot of first time marathoners, it’s a wealth of experience they’re going through.”
Cournane is also training Crossroads Runners and said most people run marathons for passion or challenge. They also, like Burns, run for the mission of a charity.
“I want people to run marathons so they feel good about themselves,” he said. “My focus is safety. If people run safe and train safe, they can have an enjoyable experience and transform their lives.”
Cournane said that training programs are very important for new runners. He also said most programs are 18-20 weeks long with distance running required 2-4 times per week. He teaches that walking breaks are optional and can improve performance.
“We have long runs on Saturdays, and we’re adding more mileage,” Burns said. “Sometimes life gets in the way of things, but [Cournane] is really great about letting us make up or skip workouts.”
Burns also stressed the importance of running in a group and maintaining a good diet, even if it doesn’t necessarily change while in marathon prep.
“I try to eat healthy anyway. I’ve just been eating more carbs. I never liked milk, growing up, but I thought I should start drinking it more to help my knee pain.”
Burns said that milk has made a difference in her pain. She also purchased new running shoes.
“The pain does start to creep in around mile 14,” Burns said. “I can start to feel the wear and tear of the pavement. I’m kind of apprehensive about what the pain at mile 25 will be like.”
Last year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon boosted the Chicago economy by $219.7 million, the most in race history, according to a study from the University of Illinois. In 2011, 10,000 charity runners raised millions for local, national, and global causes, according to the marathon’s official website.
“It’s great because you can use your arms and legs to help people who need help,” Burns said.
“Physically and psychologically, running will lead to a lot of rewarding experiences,” Cournane said. “If you learn how to run properly, you can have a great time. It’s a stress reliever, not a stress inducer.”
The marathon is hosting nearly 10 of its own official charities, including Team to End Aids, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, and Paws Chicago.
Join in on the charity fundraising fun and Bank of America marathon deets with Burns @MsBrianaRae and @RUTORCH.