Rosie Roessel ’13 ’14G, who graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in applied mathematics and a master’s in energy systems engineering, won the hat trick — 3rd place in the 5K, 3rd place in 10K, and 1st place in the half marathon (above)— at the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, PA. Rosie completed the 5K and 10K on Saturday, October 21, and the half marathon on Sunday, October 22.
What were your expectations for the Runner’s World Half Marathon?
RR: I went into the race weekend hoping to make the podium (Top 3) in the hat trick, but was not expecting to place in the 5k, 10k, or the half marathon individually. The plan was to go somewhat hard in the 5k, easy in the 10k, and then give the half marathon everything I had. My competitive side took over, though, and I went a bit faster than planned in the 5k and 10k to end up with 3rd place finishes in both. I paid the consequences and woke up on Sunday barely able to jog a warm-up — it was more like waddling! My new plan was to just finish the half marathon without pulling a hamstring, but when the gun went off, I somehow got in the zone and jumped into the lead pack. I’m still not sure how my legs didn’t crumble beneath me going up and down all the hills!
How did it feel when you crossed the finish line?
RR: I was very surprised and in a bit of shock! It’s been a bucket list item to be able to break the tape in a race, so crossing the finish line was surreal. To make it even better, the tape was held by Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half marathon!
When did you start running competitively?
RR: I started running in high school, but I put my running endeavors on a hiatus and actually played softball as an undergraduate at Lehigh. Toward the end of my senior year of college, Coach Troyan told me that I could use a fifth year of eligibility to run cross country and track for Lehigh. I had a really great experience doing so, and I’ve continued to run after college. Running became a zen thing for me after college, and in terms of successes, I’m not a professional by any means, but running is just really relaxing and peaceful for me to do.
How many races do you compete in each year?
RR: I train for two big races per year: one in the spring and one in the fall. Along the way, I’ll race some intermediate distances to gauge my fitness level. After my big races, I’ll take a month or two off to rest and cross train.
What does your training regime entail?
RR: A typical week of training would include one or two hard workout days, where I have to cover a specific distance in a specific amount of time for a specific number of repetitions, one long run day, a couple of easy run days, a cross training / weight lifting day, and the most important one, a rest day! A typical week is about 40-50 miles, although some may get up to 70-75 if I have a really long run.
Is there something special that you use as motivation for your training and races?
RR: The family of one of my good friends used to own a running store. When they sold it, they gave me one of their huge canvas print-outs of Bill Rodgers crossing the line at the Boston Marathon, and it says “Relentless: To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month, or even one year — but for a lifetime.” It’s definitely motivating when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m.!
What is your favorite food to binge on after finishing a race?
RR: For the first 24 hours or so after a race, I actually like to eat really healthy and a lot of protein, so that my muscles recover faster. That being said, I definitely stopped at Vegan Treats for some red velvet cake after the half marathon!