Friday, November 9, 2007
SON professor runs Detroit Marathon
By Dawn Pauli, staff writer
|OU nursing professor Sharon Heskitt finished the Detroit Free Press Marathon in 4:51:26.|
Sharon Heskitt attained one of her life goals when she ran – and finished – the Detroit Free Press Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 21. She came in 69th place among women in her age group, and 16th for first-time runners in her age group, clocking in at 4:51:26.
The School of Nursing visiting professor started running six years ago, and decided she wanted to run a marathon before she turned 50. At 47, she thought, “There’s no time like the present,” and started training seriously in May.
Heskitt’s other driving force was her students. “I have an example to set for my students. In nursing my focus is to maintain wellness as much as possible, and I think we have to lead by example,” she explains.
To prepare for the marathon, she ran three to five days a week with a group of friends. “Their support was a good motivator,” she said. “They all ran the Free Press half-marathon.”
The Free Press marathon is 26.2 miles, and crosses the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, and winds through Belle Isle and historic neighborhoods.
“The weather couldn’t have been any better,” she said. “It was amazing and great to be surrounded by a group of people with a common goal. You have to be in a positive mindset to do something like that.”
In addition to running, Heskitt does aerobics and strength training. She recently joined OU’s recreation center.
When she isn’t teaching or training for marathons, Heskitt runs a mid-wife practice, where she helps deliver babies for women who prefer to be at home for childbirth.
Heskitt has set her sights on running another marathon, though she hasn’t decided if she’ll do it before the next Free Press Marathon. “When I started running, I thought, ‘Oh right, this is impossible and not very likely I can do this.’ But, when you do it, it’s amazing, what it does to your ability and the power of thinking you can do more in the future.”