Genesis Vasquez

The Bank of America Marathon took place on Sunday, October 11, 2015. Over 45,000 people took the leap to run 26.2 miles on an amazing course through the city of Chicago. Former Phoenix student, Dennis Sebastian ran his second marathon this year alongside two present sophomores, Aldo Rojas and William Hernandez.

This was Rojas’s and Hernandez’s first marathon after completing the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon this past July. Rojas and Sebastian started running in 2014 and Hernandez this year. Without having a lot of experience with running, all three boys were motivated to accomplish running the marathon.

Hernandez likes to run because of the adrenaline he gets when he beats someone. Rojas was previously injured and wanted to get in shape, so his escape was running. Sebastian enjoys running because he likes meeting new people while running.

“Dennis asked me if i wanted to run the marathon and I said sure,” said Hernandez.

Rojas started running his freshman year because he joined Cross Country, meanwhile Sebastian and Hernandez ran because they joined CARA Road Scholars. Road Scholars is a program that helps students train to run the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon every year. All three guys liked how Road Scholars trained in groups, had mentors, and that’s what inspired them to continue onto the marathon. Sebastian decided to run the marathon because he wanted to add another medal to his collection and to spend his summer with the mentors.

“I want to get more competitive, and I want to compete against fast people,” said Rojas.

During the marathon the best moment for Rojas was when sprinted through the finish line because he had finally accomplished the full marathon. Sebastian’s favorite moment of the marathon was seeing his friends and family support his run. For Hernandez, his moment was when he cramped up in front of the finish line. He was so close to the end, but at the same time far because he fell.

“I was so close, yet so far at the same time. When you cross the finish line that’s when you completed the marathon,” said Hernandez.

Completing the marathon was a challenge for for Hernandez because he thought it was more difficult than the training, opposed to Rojas who thought the training was more difficult than the actual marathon. Sebastian thought it was not a challenge since he had previously done it and had experience.

“The training was harder than the marathon,” said Rojas.

The sophomores thank Sebastian for running the marathon with them and their mentors. Sebastian thanks his mentors from Road Scholars Steve, Conrad, Chad, and Jerry. He also thanks Hernandez for making training on Saturdays fun.

Sophomores Rojas and Hernandez ran the marathon side by side. Rojas finished the marathon in 3 hours and 39 minutes, while Hernandez finished in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Sebastian completed the marathon at a later time due to a toenail injury. He finished in 4 hours and 40 minutes.

After they finished the run, all the students that ran with Road Scholars were treated to dinner and ate pizza. The day after was Columbus Day, so Hernandez and Rojas had the whole day off to rest and relax their legs. Sebastian recently started college at Harold Washington and had to go to class.

“I had to go to school and feel the pain on my legs,” said Sebastian.

Hernandez wishes to complete more marathons throughout his life to be more competitive and do other marathons that are famous such as the Boston Marathon.

“I love running next year i’ll be at the Boston Marathon,” said Hernandez.

Each student that ran the marathon with Road Scholars were asked to dedicate their run to someone. Hernandez and Rojas dedicated their run to their mom because they love her and she supported them throughout everything. Sebastian dedicated his run to his friends in hopes of encouraging them to run the marathon next year.

“I dedicate my run to Genesis so she can run next year with me and Joshua,” said Sebastian.

The runners reflection on completing the marathon has made them become confident. Sebastian’s goal is to finish the marathon faster than Hernandez and Rojas.