Oct. 26, 2012 — Ah, Chicago. A town known for polish sausage, ‘da Bulls,’ and of course, its windy winters.
Sunday, Oct 7, “Chi-Town” played host to its annual Bank of America Marathon.
The 45,000-participant race had its 35th running that Sunday afternoon, and among the participants were a few of Morehead’s finest.
Morehead’s Darryl Caskey, Diana Caskey, Lee White, Tonya White, Rhonda Flannery, Marisa White and Patti Hough ran alongside a collection of athletes both young and old from all across the country.
While participants were enduring the 26.2-mile trek throughout the city, they were also treated to a scenic tour of the landscape, beginning and ending the race in Grant Park.
Darryl Caskey, a local business owner, finished 909 in the 50-54 men’s division.
Caskey spoke about the event and what it was like to compete among such a diverse field of athletes.
“The Bank of America is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike,” Caskey said. “It’s absolutely invigorating. A person must have great courage and inner strength to conclude the strenuous and time consuming training. The feeling of running side-by-side 40,000-plus others who have the same agenda is one of the best feelings we have ever experienced.”
Training was something Caskey and his marathon comrades committed a lot of time toward, but it’s something he says served its purpose in preparing them for the event.
“We started in mid-summer running over 500 miles within a three-month period, many times pounding the pavement up and down the connector, behind Tractor Supply and around downtown.” Caskey said. “But when you are running a race like this one, preparing your body for the event is a necessity to endurance.”
A recent survey released by the government revealed Kentucky is one of 12 states with a high obesity rate. The Centers for Disease Control suggests that 30.4 percent of Kentucky adults are overweight, making it the fourth highest in the nation.
The 52-year-old Caskey pointed out the benefits that being physically active can bring.
“There are tons of benefits to exercise, such as strengthening body muscles, improving cardiac output, aids in positive mental health, boosting your immune system and weight loss,” Caskey said. “Staying physically active could constitute a daily walk or hike. It provides a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that your legs and body are strong and capable.”
As far as running in a group, Caskey says these benefits cannot be measured with a scale or finishing time.
“There is a phenomenon of running with other people in a group; the camaraderie gives you the opportunity to socialize and build strong lifetime friendships. These benefits are invaluable to the human spirit.”
A man of his community, Caskey spoke for himself and his fellow teammates as he closed by thanking their supporters.
“It’s stimulating and energizing to have spectators on the side line cheering for you,” Caskey said. “The Chicago Marathon hosted 1.7 million spectators, including local friends Ray White, Billy Hough and Mark Flannery. We totally appreciate all the support, especially from the local waves and honking of horns as Morehead drivers pass us each day. It was a fun and fantastic journey for us, that’s for sure.”
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.