Senior Profile: Annie Cockerline

Senior Profile: Annie Cockerline

Anna Mullendore, features writer

With the Boston Marathon in sight, Annie Cockerline has found her stride during her years at KHS. Her feet striking the pavement evokes comfort. Her heart pounding in her ears and blood coursing through her veins charms Annie with each igniting step. Crossing the finish line when the last thing she wants to do is run any further holds a gratifying triumph.

Annie mastered running on the treadmill and paid no mercy to the cross country courses so it came without a shock when, in April of last year, she completed her first marathon, GO! Saint Louis. In January of this year she added the Walt Disney World Marathon to her resumé.

“I ran [Go! Saint Louis] by myself so it was really scary,” Annie said. “I was definitely the youngest person there so everyone who I met on the course was like 40 or something and I was only 17.”

Although Annie ran alone, she certainly did not train alone. Gina Woodard, health teacher and cross country coach, is a marathon fanatic herself and helped Annie train. Training is about a three-month process where Annie runs six days per week. For example, she has a speed day, two middle distance days and then a long distance day. Saturdays she would run anywhere from 16-22 miles. Training consists of a growing mile count that levels off weeks before the race.

As if running 26.2 miles did not already strain Annie’s body, hills only added to the sweat. Annie said she wasn’t expecting all the inclines on the Saint Louis course. There was one half mile that was straight up hill which really took it’s toll, according to Annie. Following the race Annie was extremely tired and went straight home.

“Most people say they’re really hungry after but I took a five-hour nap. I was so tired but [despite the drowsiness] you feel a great sense of accomplishment,” Annie said. “It’s not like most sports where you have a game every week. You’ve been training to run [the marathon] for so long and once you’ve accomplished it you get all that gratification in one moment rather than little moments.”

Recently Annie qualified for the 119th Boston Marathon in April 2015. For the upcoming 2014 race, 25,654 people sent in applications during the two weeks of registration, according to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). In order to gain her slot, Annie was required to meet a 3:40. time requirement which meant each mile had to be run under 8:05. or less. Annie met her time in 3:30., leaving her with 10 minutes remaining. This qualifying time earned her a spot among tens of thousands of other participants.

“People say running is the best therapy,” Annie said. “It’s good to have that time to yourself everyday where you can work through things.”