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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

Running has always been somewhat a part of my life, in various sports and going on the occasional run with my mom in middle and high school. However, I would say I started to take it slightly more seriously around this time last year when I impulsively signed up for my town’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. I signed up thinking it was a 5k (or 3.2 miles), but as it turns out I unintentionally registered for a full five-mile run on that crisp Thanksgiving Thursday morning and I was not excited about it at all.

Being that my only goal was to make it across the finish line, the run went better than expected. I had to stop and walk a few times, and was basically speed walking when I was running at certain points, but I finished and that is what matters. This run jump-started my motivation to start running consistently, which I somewhat began to do back at school before Christmas break. It was the perfect release from the stress of finals.

I slowed down at home during the holidays, partially due to the hecticness of the season and partially because a girl can only stay motivated for so long. Although now that I had run up to six miles on my own, I knew that I wanted to eventually work my way up to more and continue running when the spring semester started.

On Monday, February 13 2023, my friend Siobhan texted me: “Wanna run a half marathon”. I immediately said yes, and she proceeded to tell me about a new group called Women on the Run. This group formed as a celebration of 50 years of Women at Holy Cross and consisted of female students across all grades that were going to train for and run a half marathon together on April 30, 2023. 

They gave us a training schedule that was mostly done independently, with the exception of our long runs being group runs on Wednesday mornings at 6 A.M. This is truly when I discovered how much my body is capable of, and when I knew running would forever be an extremely important part of my life. The morning runs were tough to get up for at times, but it was always worth it to watch the sunrise while hitting a new distance record.

I ran the full half marathon in the pouring rain in the hills of Gloucester Massachusetts without stopping, and at a pace better than I expected to. Now, I try to run as many days a week as I can. I’m going to try to sign up for another half marathon in the spring at some point and know that I will run at least one marathon in my lifetime. Running is 90% mental and 10% physical, so if you’re looking for some new therapeutic way of exercising you can definitely pick it up!!

Bridget O'Toole

Holy Cross '26

Hi! I am a sophomore at Holy Cross and am majoring in English and minoring in Architectural Studies. I'm from Long Island, New York, and my favorite things include skiing, reading, yoga, and the beach!