Nielsen, also a senior at Montreat, ran the half marathon in a time of 1:18:59. He finished 12th overall and his time was also a personal best. Nielsen, who plans to run a full marathon later in the season with the goal of qualifying for nationals, used the half marathon to train and further prepare for the full 26.2 mile competition. “This is one of the most enjoyable races I have run in a while,” commented Nielsen after the event. “It served as a great confidence builder for a marathon later in May and more than that, it was just exciting to see my teammate, Lindsay, not only qualify, but win the race! God gave us strength, we give Him our best efforts, and we leave the results to Him.”
The course for the half marathon was not easy. When asked about the race Mizok said, “It is one of the hilliest courses I have ever run on, but also one of the most pleasurable ones. One of the bikers that was with me gave me this quote of encouragement: ‘You can accomplish anything you set your mind to; don’t give up on yourself.’” Clearly the encouragement helped as Mizok passed the lead female in the last twenty meters of the race.
“The last two miles had a significant climb,” notes Nielsen. “Generally, there was a good bit of headwind we had to combat, but otherwise the weather was perfect.” The temperature was 38 degrees at the start of race and 43 degrees at the finish, with sunny skies along the way.
Coach Herbert, the Head Coach of Cross Country and Track & Field at Montreat, was very pleased with the outcome of the event. “I’m so proud of both of these athletes,” he remarked. “They have both worked so hard this year that to come here and see both of them run personal best times is really awesome.”
Mizok and Nielsen are both captains on the Track team and are planning to graduate from Montreat this May. Mizok will be earning a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Professional Biology and Nielsen will earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Nielsen is from Chalotte, NC, while Mizok’s hometown is near Weddington, NC.
To learn more about Montreat College’s Cross Country and Track & Field program, visit montreatcavaliers.com or visit the team blog at cavrun.com.