marathon 12-16_mcdonald
CRUISING THROUGH THE FINISH. Junior Davis Coleman ends his journey of 26.2 miles. photo courtesy/DAVIS COLEMAN

By TOMMY MCDONALD

As the finish line became visible, junior Davis Coleman felt a surge of motivation while entering the final stage of his 26.2 mile run.

On Dec. 16 in Jacksonville, he finished 427 out of 1034 finishers and broke the four hour mark with 3:58.

The JaxBank Marathon was Coleman’s first marathon, but his accomplishment is nothing new to his family. His father, John Coleman, has completed four marathons in his lifetime, and has qualified for the Boston and New York marathon, in 2013.

“My dad ran marathons and I said to myself, if your father can run marathons, you can run marathons,” D. Coleman said.

Despite this being his first marathon, D. Coleman has competed in three seasons of cross country which gave him a base training.

“My dad prepared me for the arduous journey that I was about to embark on. He gave me a training plan [which contained] a few long runs on the weekend [that were about] 20 miles,” Davis said.

Even though he came off the cross country season and trained, the marathon was still a challenge for Davis. He placed first for 16 and under and top three for 18 and under.

“[The hardest part was] not stopping and forcing myself to continue. It was very hard to keep running. The trick is to not think or you’ll quit,” D. Coleman said.

He met his goal of breaking four hours and hopes to improve by 30 minutes for his next marathon. The marathon experience was a mental and physical journey for D. Davis that he had to endure without his father with him.

“We have created a bond that few fathers and sons can share by experiencing the different stages and challenges to finish a four-hour marathon,” J. Coleman said.

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