For many students at the College, the most strenuous form of exercise they get is running to class. Some probably have not even run a mile since fitness testing in high school and most of us could never even imagine running a marathon, but that’s just what Daniel Adami, junior mechanical engineering major, did last month.
On Nov. 21, for the second year in a row, Adami joined over 6,000 other runners taking off from the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps for the Philadelphia Marathon. Adami ran the marathon last year with the brothers of Phi Alpha Delta to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Although no other fraternity brothers ran the marathon this year, Adami took on the challenge by himself and the organization raised over $100 for the cause.
People usually train specially for marathons but Adami didn’t have the time. Luckily for him, he keeps in good condition.
“To do a marathon you need to be in top shape, which I wasn’t,” he said. “I didn’t do any special training because I didn’t have the time, but I played rugby this semester and that kept me in shape.”
Rugby seemed to do the trick for Adami, who ran the 26.2 mile race in about four hours and seven minutes, placing him in the middle bracket of finishers.
“Last year I ran the race in about five and a half hours, so this was a big improvement,” Adami said.
Running through the streets of Philadelphia may not sound like the best way to spend a Sunday, but Adami enjoyed his second experience running the marathon.
“It started off as a cold morning,” he said of the 8 a.m. start time, “but after running for about an hour you’re not so cold anymore.”
And although there were times when he slowed down and felt it was hard to keep pushing towards the end, Adami said he never got to the point where he wanted to give up.
“It’s more of a mentality of ‘I want to finish,'” he said. “If you give up, you’re in the middle of Philly, so you really have nowhere to run,” he added with a chuckle.
Since everyone running the marathon has the same goal, there is a strong sense of camaraderie among the runners. According to Adami, people talk while they’re running the race and are very supportive of each other. If they see anyone stopping on the side of the road or slowing down, they’ll come and give them a pat on the back or encourage them to keep going.
Three of Adami’s fraternity brothers came to support him and saw him off when the race began. There wasn’t much they could do for him during the actual run, but they greeted Adami with a crown when he finished.
“I felt really relieved as I crossed the finish line,” he said. “I took a couple steps and then sat down.”
Adami’s family was very proud of him for running the marathon and were also surprised by how much he improved his time from last year. Now he is looking for other marathons in which to participate.
“I would definitely run the Philadelphia Marathon again because it’s fun,” he said. “My brothers (in Phi Alpha Delta) want to do it and we are thinking about running a marathon in Canada next May.”
When asked if he would recommend running a marathon to other people, Adami responded that he thinks running a marathon is a great accomplishment for people to have under their belt. However, he says, they should only do it if they have the heart and can go through with it.
In other words, he says, “you have to want to finish.”