Edwardsburg seventh-grader runs in marathon

Published 11:40 pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Kara Shrider competed in her first marathon with family friend Tracy Eaves. (Photo submitted)

Kara Shrider competed in her first marathon with family friend Tracy Eaves. (Photo submitted)

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A lot of seventh-grade students wouldn’t consider running a marathon.

That was not the case for Edwardsburg’s Kara Shrider, 12, who competed in the Twisted Turkey Trail Marathon Nov. 30 in Portage, Ind.

Shrider ran with family friend Tracy Eaves and finished 25th with a time of 4:32:00.

She was one of just two females in the 10 to 19 age division to attempt the full marathon. She easily won her age group, besting the second place finisher by almost a full hour.

“I really love to run, especially the long distances,”Shrider said. “It gives me time to relax and think. I like training hard so I can look back and see my improvements and accomplishments.

“I would like to do more marathons in the future and someday do an Ironman Triathlon and even an ultra marathon.”

Overall, she was the seventh female to cross the finish line. Eaves, who also ran 4:32:00, was the sixth female to finish and placed 24th overall.

Shrider and Eaves got together to begin training during the fall. About a month before the race, Shrider made a monumental decision.

“She is friends with my son and they ran cross country together, so we just started talking about running a marathon at meets,” Eaves said. “My son said she was interested in doing a half-marathon. So I started training with her. She started out running 13 miles and then decided she wasn’t interested in that. She wanted to do a full marathon.

“So about a month before we switched from 13 miles and started building toward 26 miles. She is incredible. It was so much fun training with her. She was always happy.”

The Twisted Turkey Trail Marathon was run in Glen Park on a course that has many twists and turns as well as short, steep hills.

In many parts of the course there is only room for one runner. At best, it is only wide enough to accommodate three-wide running.

Eaves, who has run 43 marathons, said that Shrider has a bright future ahead of her in distance running.

“I would tell everyone to watch out for her,” she said. “She will be pretty well-known. She has a real natural stride and she is smart about it. She is also interested in other things, which is really important.”