EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Dreamfar marathon club athletes after running a marathon

May 5, 2016

On May 1, 10 students from the high school participating in the Dreamfar High School Marathon program ran the ninth annual Providence Marathon. Shared here are some of their stories. For a full list of participants, see below.

Physics teacher and teacher leader Kate Wooley-Brown

Physics teacher Kate Wooley-Brown was a teacher leader for the Brookline Dreamfar marathon club. This Wooley-Brown's second year mentoring a Dreamfar team.
Susanna Kemp / Sagamore staff
Physics teacher Kate Wooley-Brown was a teacher leader for the Brookline Dreamfar marathon club. This Wooley-Brown’s second year mentoring a Dreamfar team.

What was your role in this process?

I helped out during the weekday runs. I just came after school and helped the kids choose their running routes, and if they had any questions, they could ask me. I ran with them some of the time, and some of the time I didn’t. I led cardio if we weren’t running that day.

What did you get out of the experience?

Oh, of course. Last year I did Dreamfar. I ran on the weekends and ran the marathon. This year it was good to check in with the kids every week and follow their progress. The first time time that somebody says, ‘Oh, it’s only 12 miles this weekend,’ you’re like, ‘You just said that! You just said it’s only 12 miles this weekend.’ The kids will say that they can’t do it, and we’re like, ‘Just try it. Just try it.’ To see them cross the finish line is really cool. I went and cheered on everybody at the marathon. That was fun.

Did you learn anything from helping out?

I just have an admiration of the students who did it. They discovered that they could do something that they thought they couldn’t, and that’s cool.

Sophomore Carina von Huene

Sophomore Carina von Huene runs in the Race the Rhode marathon in Warren, Rhode Island. Von Huene had been training for the marathon since October.
Gameface Media / contributing photohgraphy
Sophomore Carina von Huene runs in the Race the Rhode marathon in Warren, Rhode Island. Von Huene had been training for the marathon since October.

What was running the marathon like?

It was hard. It’s really fun in the end and in the beginning. But in the middle, the miles get really slow.

What did you take away from the experience?

I now realize how nice it is to stop and all of the exercise paid off. There’s a lot of training. We started in October and we trained until the marathon. If you skip out on too much of that training, you really can’t run the marathon.

What was your relationship with your teammates like?

At first, since I did it last year, and last year there were so many seniors, this year was a bunch of new people, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool I guess. They’re pretty nice.’ I’m pretty close with most of them now, especially the teachers. At first I had no idea who Ms. Mahoney was, and now I can just go to her room whenever and chill.

Who was one of your biggest motivations?

The girl I was running with, Janice, she was having a hard time because this was her first year running the marathon. So helping her was the motivation: ‘I have to do it so that she doesn’t feel so sad and so that she finishes with me.’

Participants

 

High school participants

Tohm Barron (marathon)

Carina von Huene (marathon)

Aleks Bourgoun (marathon)

Joseph Katz (marathon)

Chenyu Wei (marathon)

Xueyan Mu (marathon)

Vandana George (marathon)

Michaela Davis (marathon)

Grey Fahrner (marathon)

Julia Napolitan (half marathon)

 

Teacher Leaders

Katie Curran

Brenna Mahoney

Kate Wooley-Brown

Elsbeth Leslie

 

Mentors

Bruce Mallory

Tyler Wooley-Brown

Eric Hansen

Junior Grey Fahrner

 

Junior Grey Fahrner runs the Providence Marathon, which was on May 1. Fahrner completed the marathon along with nine other students at the high school.
Gameface Media / Contributing photographer
Junior Grey Fahrner runs the Providence Marathon, which was on May 1. Fahrner completed the marathon along with nine other students at the high school.

What was running the marathon like?

It was pretty amazing. It was definitely difficult, too. I think the first half was a lot easier than the second half just because I’d already ran a half marathon. I think the hardest miles were probably 18 through 23.

What was the training like?

It was a very slow build up but I also joined late. The training was pretty good because we had a lot of breaks and there would always be tables that had food, so we wouldn’t go a really long time without food. That was good. It’s hard to describe, but the feeling of running a marathon, it feels so great. Like it’s such a struggle, but at the end it’s like no feeling you could ever imagine. I never thought I would be running a marathon, ever, and just to be doing it is crazy. I’m still in disbelief. I’m still in shock.

What did you learn from the process?

Yeah. Persistence is the key, really. You’ve got to go to practice, you’ve got to work hard. If you miss a long run on the weekend, I would say it’s really important, even if it means running by yourself, which I had to do. I would say running by yourself on a long run is even harder than running a race with a hundred other people. Just because running alone is a lot more difficult than you would ever think it is. Having the motivation without a coach to go do it by yourself is really hard. If there’s anything I would take away, I’d say I would recommend this program to anyone because it’s just so fulfilling.

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