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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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A Day of Firsts

Senior Luke Beveridge wins the Honoring our Heroes Marathon
Nearing the halfway mark, Beveridge pushes through the last 12 miles, maintaining his first place spot. The race consisted of a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon, hence Beveridge passed runners of all races as he approached the finish line. “I thought someone was on my tail the whole time so I kept my speed. The reality of the win didn’t hit me until the last three miles. I thought to myself I could really win this thing and hoped no one could pass me,” Beveridge said.
Makinsey Drake
Nearing the halfway mark, Beveridge pushes through the last 12 miles, maintaining his first place spot. The race consisted of a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon, hence Beveridge passed runners of all races as he approached the finish line. “I thought someone was on my tail the whole time so I kept my speed. The reality of the win didn’t hit me until the last three miles. I thought to myself I could really win this thing and hoped no one could pass me,” Beveridge said.

Checking running a marathon off his bucket list, senior Luke Beveridge powered through the sixth annual Honoring our Heroes Marathon. Alongside the rolling hills and plains of Rolla, Mo., Beveridge passed the starting line at 7:00 a.m., against 18 F weather and cold winds. 

Led by police vehicles, the course took contestants 26.2 miles from Salem to Rolla. Straight out of his final cross country season, Beveridge trained for this day for over two weeks: running between 50 and 60 miles a week, 9-18 miles a day, while maintaining a seven-minute pace. Beveridge finished at 2:58:45 — passing the finish line at 1:17:34, faster than the average time for an 18-year-old male. 

“[When I showed up], there were about 400 runners. I knew the kids my age were going to be my biggest competition. I got to talk to some other guys who run cross country and track and wanted to train, which comforted me and reminded me if they can do it, so can I,” Beveridge said. “I’m never nervous during a race, but almost always before, so I listen to music to help ease those nerves and hype me up.”

Beveridge’s pre-race ritual is composed of a sufficient amount of sleep, water and carbs. He followed his predetermined strategy for the event: using two gel packs for energy, starting slow for the first half, drinking two small cups of water from the supplied stations and tapering down towards the finish. Because most of the course was on the highway, marked with memorial flags every 20 meters, Beveridge could see the course in front of him. 

Rounding the home stadium, Beveridge trains with alumni Zeke Hathaway in his junior cross-country season. A personal tradition initially sparked Beveridge’s win. “Every year around Thanksgiving, I decide to run the farthest I have ever run. Two years ago, I ran a half-marathon unofficially. The next year I ran 14 miles with [Hathaway], and last year [Hathaway] and I ran 17. So this year, I signed up for a full marathon. It’s all for fun, but ultimately I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, especially because people doubt I can.” (Kristen Witt)

“I like to see where I’m running because it helps me get into the zone and put on cruise control. When I’m running that far, it’s 18 degrees outside, and I’m wearing shorts so layers don’t slow me down; it’s nice to not think about it,” Beveridge said. “Everyone encouraged each other. I was never out of breath, [but the running] took a toll on my body, so I was able to say ‘good job’ to people I passed. Being on the highway was fun, too, since random people would honk on top of all the existing volunteers.”

The race is an all-charity event to raise funds for local veterans’ causes and to honor those who served. With immense support from his family, friends and teachers, Beveridge had motivation from the sidelines and his brothers in the military in Texas and Washington state. 

“My parents and sister went with me. My sister is a screamer, and I can pick her voice out in the crowd. They stopped every four miles to cheer me on. Once it was over, I hugged my Dad and drank the entire Gatorade he brought me in about two minutes,” Beveridge said. “I cramped up and couldn’t sit down since everything hurt, but having family there helped. My parents even had my brothers on FaceTime, so they got to see me a couple of times.” 

Beveridges’ brothers and parents have all served in the military, prompting him to participate in this year’s race.  

“I always want to support and honor our veterans because I know how much they put into their careers. Supporting them when they’re outside of the military is equally as important because they’ve supported and protected us, so we should do the same in return,” Beveridge said. “[My brothers and I] are very close; they made me the competitive person I am today. Growing up, I always wanted to keep up with them, whether with keeping my strength up in the gym or anything else with which we all share a passion.”  

In preparation for his 23 mile race, senior Luke Beveridge lines up for the 2022 Cross Country West Invite. Beveridge cut seconds off of his personal records one race at a time, building speed for the marathon. “I like to switch up running alone and running with other people. In the off-season, [I prefer] to train by myself, but during the season, it’s important to run with your team since it’s a team sport. That time together strengthens the team as a whole,” Beveridge said. (Kristen Witt)

Throughout his athletic career, Beveridge reminds himself of words of motivation from his parents.

“I credit God the most for my success. My parents always told me God gave me all my gifts, and I need to use them constantly through sports and school. That stuck with me because I know I can push myself harder because of the gifts I was given, especially mentality,” Beveridge said.

— Luke Beveridge

On top of motivation from his family, Beveridge set the stakes with English ASC and Girls Track coach Kristen Witt. Witt has worked with Beveridge and his brothers athletically and academically and continues her tradition of rewarding runners with baked goods when they beat their PR or record. 

“Witt said if I beat her son’s marathon time, she’d make me a batch of cookies, and I couldn’t pass up that challenge. I wasn’t planning on running sub-three [hours] and was going to stick to a 7:15 pace, but I picked up my pace, and it just happened,” Beveridge said. “It felt great considering people said I couldn’t do it and my coaches said it was a dumb idea. With my specific body type, many people think I can’t run that far or that fast. All my coaches and family tell me I shouldn’t lift and run. I wanted to show them I could. At the same time, I enjoy improving, and this time it was a greater, more real achievement.” 

For his first-place performance, Beveridge received a medal, a plaque for his age group (15-18), a plaque for overall and an appearance in two local newspapers. The runner’s time would have qualified him for the Boston Marathon had the race been a Boston qualifier. Beveridge plans to repeat the whole 26.2 miles in the future. 

“I want to do it again because it was a great experience. If you put in enough time and effort, you can accomplish anything, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Mentality is really important, especially in a race sense. It’s 26 miles, so you have to believe in yourself. The mental part is what gets you through the training, you’re not going to want to spend 2 hours a day running. There are other things you’re gonna want to be doing,” Beveridge said. 

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Makinsey Drake, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What was your favorite childhood TV show? Jessie What is your favorite book? Where the Crawdads Sing What motivates you? My passion, purpose and pride
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A Day of Firsts