Are you willing to go the distance? Marathon enthusiasts can find fantastic races on their very own community college campuses. Through marathon clubs
, community college students not only race against their colleagues but against their professors too!
If you're curious about what it takes to become a marathon runner, or if you're hoping to find fellow students to join for long-distance running, consider community college marathon groups available in your local area.
Benefits of Joining Community College Marathon Teams
Marathon teams are literally springing up at community college
campuses across the country. For example, Highland Community College
, located in Highland, Kansas, offers a highly competitive Highland Marathon Team for eligible students. In examining the Highland Women's team, runners were able to compete at the National Junior College
Athletic Association Half Marathon Championships, where participants raced in a 13.1-mile event.
Hosted at a different community college campus each year, the 2008 race was held at Johnson County Community College. Setting a six-year record for the Athletic Association's, 185 runners representing a total of 27 different colleges participated. Individual runners hoped to earn fast times, and each college team strove for a top prize and ranking. According to the Highland Women's Marathon Team records, several of the school's top runners completed the race in under 1 hour and 45 minutes!
If you're curious about how to join your community college marathon team, you may need to try out to showcase your speed and skills. Most community colleges limit their number of participants, as the cost of training and competing can be prohibitive. Subsequently, only individuals who can prove their endurance and running times may be eligible for team entry.
However, there are many benefits associated with joining a community college marathon team. In addition to coaching and competition sponsorship, students who are officially part of a community college marathon team may also be eligible for scholarships! The National Junior College Athletic Association
generously provides 30 scholarship
opportunities for community college students competing in either cross-country or marathon teams at the collegiate level. Some of the scholarships are very comprehensive, covering all educational and living costs. Additional grants
and financial aid
endowments are also available for eligible teams.
This video reports on a marathon on Long Island, New York.
Reasons to Run on Campus
Even if you are not a competitive runner, there are many rewarding marathon opportunities on community college campuses. For example, as Mlive
reveals, nearby residents and students attending Mott Community College
, located in Flint, Michigan, are welcome to join the school's "Healing Hands" race. Although this 5-kilometer race is not a full marathon, all participants' entry fees are subsequently donated to the nearby Genesee County Free Medical Clinic.
Elsewhere in the country, schools such as Hartford Community College
, located in Bel Air, Maryland, offer fun marathon opportunities for runners of all levels. At Hartford, leaders have created a "Walk-A-Marathon" team-based competition, where students work with fellow walkers and runners to complete the 26.2 marathon distance over a set period of time. By offering rewards, group support, and teamwork benefits, Hartford Community College
students can partake in fun marathons, regardless of their experience level.
While each community college may offer its own half marathon or full marathon events, some of the most popular races in the country utilize the support and facilities of local colleges. For example, the Arizona Marathon, scheduled for February 14, 2010, brings in hundreds to thousands of athletes ready for the long-distance challenge. The Arizona race takes off from the Estrella Mountain Community College
campus, located in Avondale, putting this community college right in the center of the running action.
This video offers some reasons why to run a marathon.
The National Championships
"What are the college course requirements for eligibility in national championship races?
The requirement is very simple: If you take any college course in the US or abroad (if a US citizen) regardless of level (undergraduate, graduate, medical school, law school, etc.), status (on-line, part-time or full-time) or degree status (degree seeking or non-degree seeking), you are eligible to compete. Students without US citizenship that are taking a class in the US are also eligible to compete. You can be an undergraduate student on your way to a degree at a four-year institution or you can be a master’s runner returning to school to take one class and everything between. The Collegiate Running Association national championships are ALL-ENCOMPASSING for collegiate students.
*The only exception is that each participant must have a high school diploma; a high school student taking a summer college course for credit is not eligible."
Whether you are a novice or competitive marathon runner, opportunities abound at your local community college!
Questions? Contact us on Facebook. @communitycollegereview