CA students race to the finish of the Seventh-day Adventist 7-Bridges Marathon


Leanne Eckhart, writer

The thought of running a full or even a half marathon is daunting for many; nonetheless, several Collegedale Academy students choose to face the challenge by competing in the 7- and 4-Bridges marathons on Sunday, October 15.

Despite a foot injury that cut her training short, Senior Emily Craft took on the full marathon (plus an extra mile, due to a course mishap).

“Running in a marathon is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but I had fears that I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Craft said.

The Renew program, a 6-week God-focused mental, spiritual, and physical refresh program started last year at Collegedale Academy, inspired Craft to start seriously running.

When race time came around, Craft’s injured foot held up until mile 9.

“My leg started to hurt really bad and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race,” Craft said, but thanks to fervent prayers, the pain ceased and she was able to finish. She was super thankful for all of the volunteers from Collegedale Academy who cheered her on the whole time.

Caleb Traxler, another senior, surprised himself with his half-marathon time despite needing to cut training short because of pending school work. He ran as support for his “uncle who is a competitive quadriplegic runner; he’s only the second person in the United States to do so.” Although he wasn’t able to train as much as he would have liked, classmates Christian Beasley and Noah Muhs were able to catch up to him and pace him to the finish line.

Another runner, Senior Kelly Schwarzer, ran because someone else signed her up, but she’s always wanted to run a half-marathon. The run felt a lot longer than it did in practice, but she says “the thought of crossing the finish line kept her going.”

Pictured above: Emily Craft and Devin Vaudreuil crossing the finish line together.