Five members of marathon elective complete Shamrock’n Half

(Photo used by permission of Sonja Hansen)
Senior Austin Talamantes and junior Sonja Hansen point at the inflated leprechaun behind them before joining the third wave.

Hundreds of runners dressed in green at the 13th annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed Shamrock’n Half Marathon on March 12.

One runner had a green mohawk and wore fuzzy green Uggs. Another ran dressed as a Viking. And every few miles, local bands played Irish tunes on the side of the road.

These 7,000 racers, including 50 high schoolers, were joined by the five members of the Country Day running elective.

High-school teacher Patricia Jacobsen advises the elective. Her class has been training for six months, running along the Sacramento River Trail three times a week after school.

Jacobsen said the elective started running one mile and built up to six-mile runs.

At the culmination of their training, Jacobsen and her students (sophomores Mehdi Lacombe and Sophie Naylor, junior Sonja Hansen and senior Austin Talamantes) participated in the half-marathon race, which began and ended in Raley Field and wound through Sacramento.

To cope with the additional seven miles in Sunday’s race, the students ran in intervals: running for four minutes and then walking for one.

Hansen said she enjoyed running around downtown.

“It was fun running around Old Sac, the Capitol and all the neighborhoods that I’ve passed by for years,” she said.

Naylor most liked the bands that played “Irish-y kind of music” on the side of the race route every couple miles.

Running her first race of this length, Naylor said that she felt prepared.

“I knew it would be a challenge, but it was what I expected,” Naylor said.

Naylor said that if she had run more before the race, she could have improved her time, 2:18. Her busy schedule, however, prevented this.

Talamantes, who was competing for the second time, said he felt confident about the race.

“The first six miles felt like nothing after our training, and the last part was tough, but no more than you’d expect,” he said.

(Photo used by permission of Sonja Hansen)
High-school teacher Patricia Jacobsen, her husband Wayne Strumpfer, François Lacombe (father of sophomore Mehdi), Mehdi, sophomore Sophie Naylor and senior Austin Talamantes take a picture in front of the inflated leprechaun.

Talamantes finished in 2:27.

Hansen found the race to be easier than she anticipated.

“I expected to be in a lot more pain and to walk more often,” she said. “I didn’t take into account that we had been training for months and months.”

But according to Hansen, there was one frustrating part.

“When we passed over the Tower Bridge, we could see Raley’s stadium. That part was tough because you can see the finish, but you still have to run a couple more miles,” she said.

Hansen’s time was 3:11.

The fastest of the running elective group was Lacombe, who finished in 2:14.

Jacobsen was pleased overall with how her students did. “Austin beat his time from last year by 38 minutes!” she said. “Everyone finished, and everyone was well enough to be at school Monday!”

Independent from Jacobsen and her after-school elective, physics teacher Glenn Mangold also ran the Shamrock’n half. He finished in 1:27, which was first in his 55-59 age group.

The fast runner overall was Brendan Gregg, who finished in 1:07.

Over the course of the after-school elective, Hansen has come to enjoy running as a sport.

“This elective was great for me because it’s so different from other sports,” Hansen said.

“Even though you always have to push yourself, there’s no stress or pressure over winning. This elective is especially great for students who can’t be dedicated to going to every practice and match but still want to be active.”

Now the members of the elective are considering participating in the Davis Moonlight Half Marathon night run, on Saturday, July 8.

By Garrett Shonkwiler

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