UPDATE: Hannah Reinke's unofficial chip time in the Columbia SC marathon was 4:28:38.
By the time you read this, Hannah Reinke will already be on the Columbia SC Marathon course. It’s the USC physical education student’s first time running 26.2 miles.
Reinke, from Marietta, Ga., said that running a marathon has always been on her bucket list.
“It feels like my time,” Reinke, 21, said.
She can thank Hank for the timing.
Hank is a two-year-old copper-colored retriever and Reinke’s near-constant companion. One look at Hank’s svelte build and it’s obvious the dog can run.
When Reinke got Hank from her aunt and uncle in October, she started running more, simply to keep his high energy in check. She usually takes him out twice a day — bike riding in the morning and running in the afternoon. But that’s still not enough to tire Hank out.
“I took him on a three-hour run the other week,” Reinke said. “When we got home, he started sprinting laps around the backyard. Sometimes he’s pulling me up the hills. I’ll look at him and see he’s totally fine and I’ll think, ‘Ok, I can do this.’ ”
While Hank has been instrumental to Reinke’s marathon training, today she had to run alone because dogs aren’t allowed on the course.
Picturing the finish is what will get her through it, she said.
“I’m nervous about getting lost in the distance and not seeing the light,” said Reinke, whose aunt and uncle will be at the finish line with Hank to support her. “It’s a long time to be running. But I’ll have to run farther than I’ve ever run before and that’s encouraging.”
What else makes her nervous? Eating. She’s never had to eat while running, but given the grueling nature of the distance, refueling is a must. She said energy gels will be her best bet.
Reinke estimates that she’ll finish in around 41/2 hours, adding that the experience, not the time, is what she’s enthusiastic about.
“I’m excited about being with a group of people who are all trying to run a marathon,” Reinke said.