His legs heavy, ankles in pain, and music suddenly off, Alex Crompton ’20 was at mile 18 of his impromptu marathon to raise money for his local community affected by the pandemic when he encountered a mental crossroads.
“This isn’t just for me, I’ve got to push through for these people,” he thought to himself.
Before stepping off, he knew he would face challenges like these throughout the 26.2-mile route, just as people around the world have for months faced a similar test of endurance that is the coronavirus outbreak.
Finding influence in the people he longed to help, Crompton battled through those final miles, finishing his feat in 4:43.
“You can overcome anything you set your mind to,” he said. “Related to the coronavirus, this was an obstacle none of us saw coming, but we have to push through it.”
A Challenge to Inspire Others
Before last week, Crompton, a men’s soccer forward, had never run more than a few miles at any given time.
Motivated by two good friends who planned to and trained to run the now-postponed 124th Boston Marathon, he decided in less than a week to run his own marathon on the back roads of Vermont to raise money for local community members affected by the coronavirus.
In the days leading up, Crompton ran a pair of 5-mile runs, loaded up on carbohydrates, and tried to adhere to a proper sleep schedule.
“(I wanted) to challenge myself, I’d never done anything like this,” he said. “You’re looking for something that inspires you.”
Support Virtually, and In Person
Crompton’s course between the Vermont town of Killington and village of Quechee was relatively flat. The run was broadcast live from cars traveling alongside the entire route, where Crompton received encouraging comments from viewers.
“It was not bad at all, I thought I had a really good pace,” Crompton said looking back on his achievement.
He raised about $2,800 in the effort, split evenly and donated to The Killington Food Shelf at the Little White Church and The Killington Relief Fund.
Crompton hopes to continue to find ways to fundraise and play his part in the fight against the pandemic. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of running a future marathon on a larger stage.
“People were telling me, ‘Now you’ve got to do the Boston Marathon,’ ” Crompton said. “You never say never.”