Last April, about 40 women from my chapter (Zeta Iota) raced in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC. Wearing matching yellow shirts that read “THANKFUL” across the front in honor of our sister, Casey Schulman, these women fearlessly conquered the 13.1 miles that would scare off most people.
Since so many students at the University of Virginia live in or around DC, they were able to coordinate places to stay the night before the race, and groups to carpool with to the race. There was even an on-going Googledoc so that everyone could plan times to run together during the months leading up to it! Each of my friends who participated said that it was an amazing experience, and that not only did the live entertainment on the side of the race course keep them going, but knowing that they were running with other sisters and friends helped them push through to the end.
This year, convinced by the incredible memories from some of my friends, I made the bold decision to sign up for the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I will admit that immediately after signing up, and realizing that the most I had ever run in my entire life was 3 consecutive miles (I’m up to 5 now! …baby steps), I had a slight case of “buyer’s remorse”. However, ever since the reality set in that I would eventually be forced to run 13.1 miles straight, I have been looking forward to April. I can’t wait to cross that finish line, along with the other 35 sisters who will be racing alongside me.
Though the Nike Half Marathon is not an official sisterhood event, it might as well be. It is not uncommon to see a few Alpha Phis running together around campus, and you are always guaranteed to have a training partner. I am particularly lucky to live in the Alpha Phi chapter house, which is filled with women who love to run, many of whom will be racing in April as well. This event is very special to my chapter, and I hope that it will continue to be a tradition for years to come.
Lindley Smith is a collegiate member at University of Virginia (Zeta Iota). Learn more about Lindley by clicking here.