Marywood runs at the Steamtown Marathon


Erica Nealon, Sports Editor

People from all over the world will come to Scranton on Oct. 7 to run the 17th annual Steamtown Marathon. This year, a Marywood University student and faculty member will be among the thousands of participants.

Sophomore Steve Skierski is stepping up to the plate, running the 26.2 mile race this year. Skierski ran the “Run for the Red” Marathon in the Poconos in May and has trained for similar marathon events before.

“In my prime training, I like to put in 8-10 miles per day, six days a week,” Skierski said. About four months from the race, Skierski said his training schedule shifts substantially. “Instead of running a good volume every day, you run long once every other week and do relatively short runs on all the other days. You do it that way to prepare your body for the strain of running 26.2 miles at once.”

Skierski added that it is important not to wear yourself out before the race. “Pace doesn’t matter on long runs; time on your feet is the most important factor.”

Many runners seem to follow Skierski’s routine, incorporating one good, long run a week and several shorter distance runs.

Philosophy professor Dr. Sarah Kenehan is also running in the marathon this year. Kenehan runs every day and likes to include weight training and yoga in her workouts. The start of race day is like the start of any other day before her once a week long runs.

“I get up and prepare for my run in almost the exact same way that I would prepare for a long training run; race day is not the day to experiment with a new routine.  So, I get up, have some coffee, eat the same thing that I have been eating every Sunday since I started training for this race,” Kenehan explained. “My main focus is to stay relaxed and loose.”

Cross Country coach Kevin Borrelli is no stranger to the Steamtown Marathon. Borrelli actually won the race in both 2008 and 2009. “The first time I won (2008) was a very overwhelming feeling. It was my second marathon ever and I had such confidence in my training. I don’t think I ever worked harder at something in my entire life than I did building up for that marathon,” Borrelli said. “It was such a great feeling to have all the hard work pay off.”

Borrelli will not be participating this year, as he will be joining WNEP-TV’s Ryan Leckey and supporting Ryan’s Run in the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 4.

“Its hard to say no to a marathon in your own back yard but I got an offer I couldn’t refuse,’” Borrelli explained.  “I thought about running Steamtown as a tune up but I knew that if I stepped on the line up at Forest City I wouldn’t be able to help but try and win. So I’m putting all my efforts into running the New York Marathon this year.”

The Steamtown Marathon is not exactly held to NYC marathon standards, but is still widely recognized. In 2009, the Steamtown Marathon ranked 6th best overall marathon in the country according to a Runner’s World survey. About 25 percent of all finishers hold qualifying times for the Boston Marathon.

The race begins at Forest City High School and and passes through 13 communities before finishing at Courthouse Square in Downtown Scranton. The Steamtown Marathon benefits the children and residents of St. Joseph’s Center.