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Third-year law student completes Boston Marathon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LAWRENCE – Finals start on Saturday, but third-year law student Lisa McDermott already took the most strenuous test of her semester last week on the streets of Boston.

McDermott ran the Boston Marathon on April 18, completing the challenging, hilly course in 3:41:49.

“The Boston Marathon was the most satisfying race I’ve ever experienced – partly because it is such a mecca for marathoners, and partly because it was such a demanding course,” she said. “The weather was perfect, the wind was at our backs throughout the race, and the spectators were incredibly supportive.”

McDermott, of Lenexa, qualified for Boston in October at the Chicago Marathon, where she completed the race in roughly 3:37. She needed a 3:40 to qualify.

She has now run five full marathons, shaving about 50 minutes off of the 4 hours and 30 minutes it took her to complete her first race in Traverse City, Mich., and three half marathons – all while enrolled as a full-time law student.

“Luckily, my training hasn’t been too demanding,” she said. “During the week, my workouts take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete, a feat I can easily accomplish early in the morning. I have found that if I can complete my workouts first, I can concentrate on my law school obligations the rest of the day.”

Law school doesn’t require a lot of physical activity, McDermott noted, so she has plenty of time to rest.

“On Saturdays, I complete my long runs, which can last between one and three hours,” she said. “I usually try to budget my time so that I have the weekends to myself, so I just consider those runs to be part of my personal time.”

McDermott plans to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October in Washington, D.C.

“I am excited about this one, as runners pass a number of historical sites along the way,” she said.

First, though, McDermott has a full plate in Lawrence: finals, graduation and studying for the July bar exam. It’s nothing she can’t handle.

“I think for many people, running a marathon seems like such an accomplishment,” she said after her first marathon in May 2009. “You go in with this mentality where you figure that if you can train yourself to run 26.2 miles nonstop, you can do anything so long as you put in time and preparation.”

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