Students train ahead of ‘toughest half in Texas’

Knoxville, Tenn., junior Joey Fulcher runs in preparation for the Bearathon. Assoah Ndomo | Photographer.

By Jacob Boone | Staff Writer, Claire Goodyear | LTVN Reporter

The Bearathon, an annual half-marathon presented by Student Foundation, is known as “the toughest half in Texas” and has students preparing for it weeks and months in advance.

The Bearathon, which is scheduled for March 23 alongside the Sic ‘Em 6K, will start and end at Fountain Mall. Its difficulty is derived from the three-mile stretch that scales Cameron Park’s winding hills.

See it for yourself as students prepare to hit the trail

Last year, close to 1,400 runners finished the race, with the fastest one clocking in at 1:08:27. While many have begun training to make the most of the opportunity, others plan to put on their running shoes just before the race.

Frisco junior Cade Hanshaw said he sees the Bearathon as a “cool milestone” on his way to a goal of completing a full marathon in the future.

With the Bearathon just weeks away, Hanshaw said he is in the process of training. He said his goal is to “start small and increase in increments, working up to three-quarters of the distance the week before the race.”

“I am running with a group of guys,” Hanshaw said. “I think the plan is to stick together for a bit and let the faster guys break off if they want to.”

One of those guys is Knoxville, Tenn., junior Joey Fulcher, who completed a full marathon in Dallas in February.

“If you run five miles and you are really out of breath, then you should probably train a little more,” Fulcher said. “Definitely start out pretty slow. When I got into running, I would try to push it and got stress fractures and swollen knees.”

Cutting through Baylor’s campus, the Bearathon’s route gives students a home-field advantage. Frisco sophomore Beau Wehrley said he wants to get the most out of the opportunity, so his training route depends on the day.

“For three miles or under, I will run near my house, but anything longer than that, I will go to the Bear Trail or Cameron Park,” Wehrley said.

Like most students, Wehrley’s schedule is full. But for him, the challenge of fitting in training has been a welcome one.

“I usually end up running at night after I finish schoolwork and hang out with my roommates,” Wehrley said. “It’s a good way to get energy out before bed.”

Training is easier said than done. For those looking for extra motivation to run, Littleton sophomore Jack Sargent has some words of wisdom.

“It’s more than just 13 miles,” Sargent said. “It’s a great challenge to expand yourself physically and mentally, test limits and pursue achievable goals. This is a goal anyone can achieve at their own level.”