By Brian Edsall
Poughkeepsie - There is something special about being part of a team. An unbreakable bond is formed – a bond that endures a lifetime. Sunday’s 3rd Annual Walkway Marathon demonstrated this as dozens of present and past Red Foxes ran united, donning the red and white singlets of Marist College.
“Our alumni love this race,” said Pete Colaizzo, head coach of the cross country and track and field programs at Marist College. “They love the chance to return home to their home at Marist and to connect with other alums.”
“What’s also cool is that they are forming relationships with our current team members,” Colaizzo continued. “It keeps the bond of our program strong through various generations.”
Michelle Gaye, class of 2015, agrees that the Walkway Marathon demonstrates the strength and character of Marist’s running program which stretches far beyond the current student-athletes.
“As an alumnus, I enjoy telling stories and offering advice, as well as meeting the new team to talk about their experiences,” Gaye said. “It is great to see friends, teammates and coaches to reflect on the past and to have the opportunity to see Marist’s future with new faces on the team and the evolving campus.”
“I know that many alumni of other running programs do not stay connected – Marist alumni are different” Gaye added. Spencer Johnson, class of 2017, was the only current Marist runner to complete the full marathon, finishing in a time of 2:39:32. He was ecstatic as he crossed the finish line, completing a major milestone in his running career while surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches.
“I saw everyone stand up and cheer me on as I rounded the final hill before the finish line,” Johnson said. “I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I ran a grueling 26.2 miles in pretty hot temperatures, but I owe it all to my great support system getting my through.”
Johnson describes how he will never forget the experience and atmosphere of the event. From beginning to end, teammates and alumni who came to compete and spectate were extremely supportive.
“The Walkway Marathon is a great event for Marist running,” Johnson explained. “It allows Marist cross country and track to have an event on our campus – something that is not possible during the school year because of the absence of a track. I definitely look forward to participating in the Walkway events in the years to come.” Colaizzo described how special this event is and how he believes it has become a great part of Marist running traditions. “I think with each passing year, as current athletes become alumni, they will recall the fondness of the Walkway races.”