By Noah Gulino ’19 / Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – On Saturday morning at 8 a.m., senior women’s lacrosse player Allison Wylie and her mother, Michelle, plan to be lined up with the rest of the throng on Capitol Avenue and Washington Street for the 16th running of the Hartford Marathon.
And after several months of hard training in their hometown of Ellington, they believe they are ready for the full 26.2 mile trek through Connecticut’s capital city.
The unique thing about this race compared to training for the others is that both Allison and Michelle believe that all of the marathon training has made their mother-daughter relationship much stronger.
The Wylies began running together from the time Allison was young when they began running 5ks together at the Veteran’s Day race in Windsor.
“Ally and I have always been close, but training has really brought us closer as a mom/daughter”, says Michelle, whose day job involves teaches first grade. “We have supported each other throughout training. Some days one of us might have a bad run and the other is there to help keep positive.”
Picking each other up and pushing through the hard training is something special that both Michelle and Allison are able to use in order to get the other one to keep up.
The training is very excruciating for a marathon but Allison is convinced that she is ready to take on the challenge of a full 26.2 miles, “I think that all of the training for doing a marathon will help greatly with my upcoming lacrosse season,” says Allison. “It will make me faster and be able to run for longer without getting winded.”
Allison, who plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps with a career in education, finds enjoyment in training for marathons because she is extremely self-motivated. “Training is easy when you enjoy running, it’s easy to say ‘only three miles left’ and be able to push yourself and look forward to finishing a tough run.” said Allison. However, the best thing about training for this marathon is the constant support she is receiving from her mother. “Our relationship has definitely gotten stronger; there’s days where we fight during the training but in the end there is nothing but constant support.”
Allison’s main goal -- much like her mother’s -- is to finish the race. “Finishing is my main goal but hoping to run an entire 26.2 at a respectable pace,” points out Michelle. “I think training with a 20-year-old helps. Since it’s my first (marathon), I don’t have an exact time to finish.”
The two of them both are aiming to just finish the marathon instead of aim for a certain time.
Allison doesn’t know yet how she will like running a full 26.2 miles, but she plan to try to eventually train for the New York and Boston marathons if she enjoys her time in Hartford.
Both are eager to race and believe that they are capable of accomplishing their goals through all of the training that they endure. “I am currently feeling positive about it with small bits of nerves,” admits Michelle.
Feeling nervous is a very common theme with running in marathons but Michelle and Allison seem ready to take on the challenge, after training nearly every day for the past year, and pushing each other for miles and miles on end to continue running.
The endless support that these two athletes show for each other will hopefully allow to push through the exceptionally difficult 26.2 mile run.