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Pandemic doesn’t stop Dulaney High runner from completing her first marathon | Cockeysville column

Dulaney Valley High School's Courtney May completed the virtual Baltimore Marathon in 5:41:37.
Dulaney Valley High School's Courtney May completed the virtual Baltimore Marathon in 5:41:37. (Donna May/Courtesy Photo)

Last year, 16-year-old Courtney May set her sights on running a marathon. Fresh off her first cross country season at Dulaney High School, she discovered a love of long-distance running as she was drawn to the pace, work and determination that it takes to run far.

Almost as soon as she signed up for the marathon at the 2020 Baltimore Running Festival, everything shut down.

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But May didn’t let that stop her, and she committed to completing the marathon even if she had to run it by herself. In June, she began training in earnest and worked her way up to running in her virtual marathon on October 10.

During the 20 weeks that May spent training for the marathon, she worked to build up her endurance and covered a lot of territory. Starting out from her home in Mays Chapel, May covered territory from Seminary to Ridgley to Cockeysville and every neighborhood in between.

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She noted “the Timonium area is not as big as you would think, from Hunt Valley to Towson is only seven miles so I had to do a lot of offshoots to build up distance.” This route eventually became her own personal, virtual marathon course.

Once marathon day arrived, May got an early 4 a.m. start and completed 13 miles before the sun even came up. The second half of her marathon included the more social part of her run. Unbeknown to May, her mother, Donna, had spread the word about the solo run and encouraged her friends and family, including sisters Kelley and Megan and dad, Matt, to cheer her on along the route.

Friends were even able to encourage May virtually, via the Racejoy app, which allowed supporters to send “cheers” that she received as audio messages through her ear buds as she ran.

May appreciated all the support and noted “it was quite nice and really helped me through a couple of the tough spots during the marathon. People made signs and rang cowbells.”

May also credited her mother for providing support on race day but also throughout the entire training process acting as the support crew during long runs.

May accomplished her goal in an impressive time of 5:41:37 and was the top runner in her age division as of Oct. 22. She enjoyed her experience but for the time being plans to focus her next efforts toward half-marathons, a distance she discovered she really enjoyed during the course of her training. But first, she going to take a little time to rest, recuperate and enjoy the huge accomplishment of running a marathon solo.

The Dulaney Theatre Company is making the best of the quarantine situation and remotely debuting a new production, just in time for Halloween. The Juneau Incident, written by Dulaney High School seniors Austin Morris and Kai Smith is filled with mystery, murder and thrills. The Juneau Incident is a dangerous and terrifying tale set at sea and is stylized as an old-time radio show. The show will be performed live on YouTube on Oct. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. It will not be prerecorded in order to capture the magic of live theater and will feature Sabrina Kuhn, Pierce Elliott, Zoe Astifidis, Evy Kohler, Sara Schultz, Todd Williams, Mairead DeBrabander, Brooklyn Ritter, Aidan Slowey, Jenny Barbour, Maya Chebet, Isabella Briggs, Marley Edwards and Patrick Burgee. The Juneau Incident will be free to view on the Dulaney Theatre Company’s YouTube page but donations are always welcome.

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