Running 26.2 miles is more than most students run in a week, or even a month. But on October 10, Muriel Solberg ’12 will do just that: run the Chicago Marathon.
A native of Rockford, Illinois, Solberg has been around athletic events of this caliber for her entire life. She has many times been a spectator at the Chicago Marathon, cheering on her father. The Reverend J. Michael Solberg has not only run numerous marathons, but has also completed two Ironman triathlons.
Training for a marathon is no small task, so Solberg has a fall athletic exemption to help her train. Since June, Solberg has been running two or three times during the week, usually following a schedule of four miles, eight on the next run, then four for the final run of the week. On off days, she bikes, swims, or ergs for extra cardiovascular work.
The weekends, however, are when Solberg puts in her real work. Every other Saturday, she runs for a longer distance. Early in her training, the long runs were six miles. Now, as the race day approaches, her long runs have been as long as 22 miles.
Solberg seems to be taking the challenge in stride, not letting the marathon stress her out or interfere with her daily life. However, when asked if she had any fears about the marathon, she simply replied, “dying,” while chuckling.
Although minor hamstring strains have troubled her from the start, Solberg seems calm. “I’m really not that worried. My dad will be running with me, and my only goal is to finish, even if it takes forever.”
Race day is October 10, but Solberg does not intend to stop after the race is completed. Afterwards, she plans to stay in shape for swimming and crew seasons.
Muriel’s father’s accomplishments have not only impressed her, but they have also sparked a particular motivation looking ahead.
“I want to do all that he’s done, only at a younger age,” said Solberg. By running her first marathon at 16, she is off to a strong start.
Her next major endeavor will be an Ironman triathlon, which entails a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full marathon, all in immediate succession.
When Solberg does turn 18 and becomes eligible for the Ironman, nothing will stop her from taking on her next challenge.