Woodlands Marathon rounds out athletic weekend

March 19, 2013 by  

VIP-level sponsors of the latest Woodlands Marathon received a special bonus at the end of last month – the opportunity to meet an Olympic gold medalist.

Lauryn Williams, a member of the 2012 Summer Olympics 4×100 relay team that took the gold in London, held a private signing for the group at the St. Luke’s Performance Medicine campus. Members of the general public got their chance recently at the Woodlands Marathon Health & Fitness Expo, where sponsors did enough flyer, brochure, and poster printing to ensure that everyone had something to sign.

Williams, a Woodlands citizen since October, expressed her appreciation for all the support she received, both from the community and St. Luke’s. Her road to the gold, while ultimately rewarding, was long and hard, with both the 2004 and 2008 teams suffering disqualification. Williams said:

“To finally get that gold medal was awesome.”

The Woodlands Marathon itself was held Saturday, March 2, starting at 7:00 am. Now in the second year of its rebirth after a 19-year hiatus, the north Houston event hosts endurance athletes nationwide.

Runners hailing from neighboring Spring and Conroe braved the Saturday morning cold and wind, alongside racers from much farther afield. Richard Kessio, a Kenyan who resides and trains in Toledo, Ohio, ran the fastest men’s race at 2h:26m:28s, or about two hours faster than the current average American male’s time of 4 hours and 37 minutes. Mary Akor, a Nigerian currently from La Harba, California, won the women’s division with a similarly blistering pace, finishing at 2:41:16.