By CINDY CROSBY
A local group of runners decided to make lemonade out of lemons after discovering the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon they were training for was canceled due to COVID-19. Instead, local runner Holly Mardell decided to organize a local half marathon to be held on the same day. Although Saturday’s early morning weather brought less than ideal conditions, with a heavy downpour mixed with a little thunder and lightning, the runners determinedly finished the 13.1 miles.
“It wasn’t until I was picking up mile-marker signs along our route tonight that I realized, literally, how far we have come,” said Mardell, Saturday evening. “Thirteen.one miles is serious business, and we handled those miles like bosses in extremely inclement weather. Some personal records were set, as well as distance records – and I am pretty certain none of us had ever run so far in the rain.
“I am so proud of my training partners, who have indulged my crazy ideas of signing up for these half marathons and then put the work to make it happen,” said Mardell. “Many early weekday mornings spent running in the dark and weekend mornings pounding pavement before our families are even awake, along with time spent strength training and planning our running schedule. Yes, we are #halfcrazy, but we have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.
“I am also immeasurably grateful for our family, friends, and community who held the fort down, shown up when needed, and celebrated our victories,” said Mardell. “The show of support today, during and after a torrential downpour, was both humbling and refreshing. I cannot imagine a better finish to a half than breaking through a streamer held by people who love and support you.”