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      Running the Canal Run: Part 3

      Over 800 participants signed up for the 39th Annual Hancock Canal Run this past weekend to run five miles, ten miles, or a half marathon.

      I challenged myself to run in the five mile race this year and spent a little over one month training for it with the help of some fitness experts.

      It was my first time running a long distance in almost seven years, and my goal was to run as much of the five miles as I could and finish with a smile. At the race, I discovered I wasn??t the only one there challenging themselves.

      ??Last year, half marathon in the Canal Run was my first half,?? said Houghton resident, G. ??I didn??t do very well, but I got a really good group of friends, and they??ve been suggesting workout improvements and such for the last four to eight months.??

      The first half of the race went well, and I made sure to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth, and kept my eyes up like my trainer taught me.

      I still had a walk a couple of times to catch my breath, but I had nothing wrong with that, and I met other people who thought the last half of the race was the hardest, too.

      ??It probably would have helped in the end to train a little bit more, especially with the last two miles,?? said Jessie Baroni of Mohawk. ??It kind of kicks you in the butt.??

      In just under one hour, I crossed the finished line and felt great! I certainly wasn??t the fastest out there, but I finished with a smile on my face and even had some chocolate milk to refuel, like my sports medicine trainer told me.

      I also got some great advice from other runners for my next race.

      ??Get a really good group of friends around you, especially some that don??t mind telling you things as they are,?? said G. ??Sometimes you need a kick in the pants, and sometimes you need a hug. Either way, get those group of friends to help you.??

      ??Start off slow, don??t think that you have to run a marathon right away,?? added Baroni. ??Pace yourself and you get better as you go.??

      Five miles may not seem so long to those who frequently run in marathons, but for those of us just getting into running, we accomplished a great feat of which we can be proud. And who knows? Next year I might run ten miles and maybe one day a half marathon!