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Political science professor completes Twin Cities marathon

October 7, 2011

On Oct. 2, more than 8,500 participants from around the world participated in the renowned Twin Cities Marathon. The participants and bystanders included competitive runners, the Saint Paul Saints’ mascot (who set a world record for a mascot running a marathon), former Minnesota Viking and Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Alan Page, who played his tuba to encourage the runners, and UW-River Falls Political Science Professor John Evans.

Evans ran in his first ever marathon, finishing the race in just under four hours, a goal that Evans said he had set for himself before the race began.

The weather conditions were crisp and cool for a fall morning, which made for perfect running conditions.

But as Evans and the other participants inched towards the starting line, Evans stated that he wondered what he had gotten himself into.

However, the crowds that were lined up throughout the entire race and the camaraderie of fellow runners kept Evans from thinking more about the task at hand and more about taking it one step, or one mile at a time.

Finishing a marathon is no simple task as participants run a span of 26 miles to the finish line, and Evans was pleased just to finish the marathon, something he had wanted to do for many years. Evans said he began training for the Twin Cities Marathon towards the end on May and beginning of June, when he had to fully commit to running in the TCM.

His training involved a gradual accumulation of miles, starting with eight or nine in June, and building up to 11 or 12 by July.

Over the last three weeks, he reduced the number of miles to prepare for the main event.

“Running takes a lot of discipline,” said Evans, “But it also offers a way to relieve stress and to form friendships with people who share a common bond.”

He also added that finishing a marathon, at item on his bucket list, ranks high on his list of personal accomplishments, which include getting a Ph.D.

Now that the training and actual competition are over, Evans offered sound advice to future runners or to anyone who dares to dream big.

“If the task ahead looks like Mt. Everest, build up and take it one step at a time. Believe, and if you put in the time, you can do anything. Don’t think about getting to the top, think about the next task or the next mile,” said Evans. “If you look at it from the big picture, 26 miles seems almost impossible, but if you take it one mile at a time, the end doesn’t seem so far.”

After the race was all said and done and the adrenaline started to kick in and his body began to feel the aches and pains, Evans didn’t hesitate to answer if given the chance would he do it again–he is already planning to go back next year.