Eau Claire Marathon Runner Crosses Finish Line for Credit

Rachel Haviland trains for the marathon by competing in previous races. © Meyen 2017

By Jessie Meyen

Rachel Ann Haviland is training for a marathon. It’s something that she’s had her heart set on since high school.

“Ever since I can remember I’ve been running. It’s amazing to still be running in the college level environment and training for something as big as a marathon.”

Haviland is a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She went to Grand Canyon University, in Arizona, for her freshmen year of college and transferred to Eau Claire in September 2016. Her major is kinesiology and human performance.

Some of her friends from her high school in Minnesota go to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and rave about the kinesiology program. So, she decided that transferring would be a better fit for her future as an athletic trainer.

Her career goal in life is to train athletes at the collegiate level.

Haviland is currently taking a class called kinesiology 101. It’s a class that meets every Saturday at 7 a.m.

Haviland saw posters hung in Davies Center on campus informing her of the class. She was interested because she had always wanted to run a marathon. Then, her friend said she was thinking about singing up for the class and Haviland knew it wasn’t something she could pass up.

She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the class because in high school Haviland made a goal. And that goal was to finish a marathon. She thought it was out of reach because she was too busy, but she was wrong. That’s why the class was perfect for her.

“This class is a perfect way for me to attain that high school goal and get college credit at the same time,” she said.

Haviland has learned many things from the class. She was amazed to find that she’s gotten something from almost everyone in the class. She’s learned from the instructors, her fellow classmates, and even herself.

“I love the community that it brings,” Haviland said about running.

Her instructor, Matthew Evans, agreed…

“Not everyone in the class is a previous runner. And I try to implement into every student that when running, you have to have a growth mentality, not a fixed mentality”, Evans said.

Evans’ love for the class was apparent when he talked about helping students like Haviland to move beyond the competitiveness of high school and see themselves as life-long athletes.

Haviland talked about the class with passion in her eyes. The class is an outlet for her to come and bring her stress and anxiety and leave it all on the track.

The thing she loves most about Evan’s teaching methods in the marathon class, is that he creates the structure for her to succeed. Then, that gives her the motivation to work hard and want to succeed.

Haviland describes herself as, “driven and hardworking”. She knows the marathon is going to be hard, but she’s willing to work hard to reach her goal.

Ever since middle school she has been running competitively.

When she was in middle school her mom was a custodial worker. So, she had to stay after school and be a part of running club. That’s when she first realized that running wasn’t just something she could do for fun, but she could do it competitively and make friends at the same time.

“My favorite thing about running is the feeling of being alone and having an open road to think about life.” Haviland said.

Haviland says her love for running is as a love for being done. It’s the feeling of accomplishment and a sense of being finished. That’s what makes everything worth it.

Haviland will be running her first marathon on May 7, 2017. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. It will start and finish in Carson Park and anyone is welcome to cheer on the runners. The course includes the Third Ward neighborhood, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Commons and Water Street.

She talked about running her marathon and what it will be like to cross that finish line. She loves to look back at all the battles she has faced while training for the marathon and think about how she will surrender all of her adversities at the finish line.

“I’m extremely excited and nervous for the marathon and I can’t wait to be done. It’ll be such an accomplishment to finally finish,” Haviland said.


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