Last Sunday, Sabina Hartnett ’18 finished the New York CIty Marathon with a time of 4:26:30, averaging 10:10 minutes per mile, despite a hamstring injury. 

However, for Hartnett, the most meaningful part of race was not the finish, but between mile 19 and mile 21.

“You start to question yourself at mile 19. You’re like, why did I sign up to do this?” she said.

Digging in and answering that question is what Hartnett said gave her the motivation to finish the race. 

“Mile 24 you enter Central Park, which is a game changer,” she said. “Mentally it’s a lot harder to run in the street than in nature. When you reach the finish line they put a medal around your neck and people cheer for you which is so nice.”

Hartnett noted that one of the greatest challenges of marathon running is a mental one.

 “You can stop whenever you want and it’s such a tempting thought. 61,000 people are going to cross the finish line anyways so it’s up to you how much you want to push yourself. There’s so many people,” she said. 

Last weekend’s race was Hartnett’s second marathon. She completed the 2014 Boston Marathon as a senior in high school with a time of 4:07:00. Growing up, she often went to watch the Boston Marathon with her grandparents because the halfway mark was in their home of Wellesley, Massachusetts. She said that running in it had been a long term goal.

In order to participate in both the Boston and New York City marathons, a person must either meet a certain qualifying time, or run to raise money for charity. Hartnett ran as a charity runner both times. 

For the Boston Marathon Hartnett raised money to benefit a fellow high school classmate, Hannah Randolph, who had passed away her sophomore year of high school. 

“It really made me think about all of the things you can do as a young person that she would never get to do and I wanted to run in honor of that and in honor of her,” said Hartnett.

For the New York marathon, Hartnett ran to benefit the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society. 

“I have always been interested in education and have been so lucky in my early childhood to have the education and the resources I’ve had,” she said.

Hartnett plans to continue running marathons in the future, but for her the most meaningful thing gained from this experience was finding out she was capable of it.

“I do enjoy running long distances, but when it gets to 26 miles, it’s not fun anymore. It’s more about being able to do it, and the feeling after, rather than the feeling during the marathon”