Senior finishes Chicago's hottest marathon in history
RELEASED: October 11, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—On October 7, Chicago confirmed a record-high temperature for the day. Despite the intense heat, Michelle Wade '08, a psychobiology major from Louisville, completed a personal mission one year in the making: to run the Chicago Marathon, a race totaling 26.2 miles through the Windy City.
"The volunteers were out of water at the first two stations," Wade says. "I wasn't able to get any water for more than an hour, which really hurt me." Marathon officials were quick to recognize the health threat and took drastic precautionary measures—they issued a cease—running order to anyone not at the halfway point by noon.
"I heard race officials telling everyone to stop running because the race was over," Wade says. "I didn't know how to react because I've never heard of a marathon being cancelled after it's already started."
Despite the cancellation, Wade decided to push forward to the finish, though walking instead of running.
"There were helicopters flying over us with people shouting from bullhorns for us to walk. People were being wheeled off in stretchers right in front of me and all of the aid stations were full," Wade says. "There were more than 300 people taken to the hospital, and tragically, a 35-year-old police officer died. Toward the end, all of the fire hydrants were open, flooding the streets with water, and volunteers were hosing down the runners. "
But the pay-off wasn't solely a moment of pride. At the finish line were Wade's roommates from Centre: they had made a special trip to cheer her on in the home stretch."I didn't know they were there until they called me the morning of the race to tell me that they'd see me at the finish line," Wade says. "It was great to see them after such a hard race!"
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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