By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN Sarah Getty makes marathons look easy.
The 31-year-old physical therapist wins first place on occasion, and has a personal-best time of 2 hours and 52 minutes (which averages to 6 minutes and 34 seconds per mile).
“My goal is to do a marathon in all 50 states,” said Getty, who began working at Phenomenal Rehabilitation in Howard Lake Oct. 6.
So far, she’s done the 26.2-mile challenge in Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon, Kentucky, and Nevada.
“I’ve got 44 left,” she said.
Getty, who grew up in Remer (near Grand Rapids), has been a runner her entire life. After high school, she ran indoor/outdoor track and cross country at St. Cloud State University.
She majored in bio-medical science with an athletic coaching minor, and then went on to earn a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.
In 2009, Getty began her career at Outpatient Physical Therapy in Auburn, WA. While in Washington, she served as a high school girls’ cross country and track and field coach for five years.
She recently moved back to Minnesota to be closer to family, and is living in Rogers.
Ready to run
Getty isn’t exactly sure how many marathons she’s run so far, but it’s a lot.
“Probably 13 or 14,” she said, adding that she’s done seven full marathons just in 2014. In addition, she’s also completed several half marathons and triathlons.
Getty conquered the Ironman triathlon in 2013, which involves a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run. In September, she plans to go to Wisconsin for her second Ironman.
Her most recent full marathon took place in Las Vegas Nov. 16. She won third place out of 1,265 women, with a time of 3 hours and 7 minutes.
The day before, she participated in a 5k, placing eighth out of 2,932 women.
“I was kind of surprised, because I didn’t try very hard for that one,” she said.
The weather was in the 50s for the full marathon, which started at 4:30 p.m. Getty said it was fun seeing the Las Vegas Strip at night, and the scenery helped make the miles go by faster.
People were everywhere, in part because a half marathon was going on at the same time. The half marathon had a total of 25,172 participants, while the full marathon had 3,208.
In order to stagger the crowd, runners are split into waves (called “corrals”) based on their predicted finish time.
“There were 48 waves,” Getty said.
For her, the most challenging time in the race is typically miles 22 through 25.
“The last mile usually goes pretty fast,” she said.
One race Getty hopes to do in the future is the Boston Marathon.
“I haven’t been able to in the past, because it’s always been cross country season,” she said.
Getty is also excited to do some exploring closer to home.
“I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can run near the local lakes,” she said.