Cross Country coach finishes among top in Boston Marathon


Megan McKay, Staff writer

Mercyhurst’s very own alumni and Cross Country Coach Mike Williamson recently completed one of the most prestigious races in the world, the Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon is no simple task running over 26 miles and qualifying alone requires competitive time standards. The marathon is not only one of the best known road racing events, but is also one of the world’s oldest marathons.
The marathon first began in 1897 and has been running for over 126 years. The event was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics.
Williamson described the feeling of being a part of the race.
“There is nothing like the atmosphere at Boston. You get to run 26 miles with 30,000 of your closest friends and thousands along the course cheering you on,” he said.
Williamson was able to run a 2:36:25 and placed 403rd.
As Williamson mentioned there are over 30,000 runners in the marathon and placing in the top 1% is no easy task.
Coach Williamson is already looking forward to next year’s event hoping to improve both his time and place.
His commitment to excellence is nothing short of inspiring especially for the athletes he coaches.
He described his influence on the community.
“I hope the lesson my athletes, as well as athletes from other sports, take from me doing the event is the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to succeed at any sport, not just running.”
Working a full-time job in addition to being Mercyhurst’s Cross Country coach and training around 80 miles a week is no easy task.
Student-athletes should not just recognize what it takes to be a top 100 American race finisher but also the discipline it requires.
Spending up to 9-10 hours per week running, lifting and recovering your body can be done no matter where you are at in your life.
Williamson described the mindset it takes saying, “To be able to put that much time and effort into training, you truly have to enjoy what you do. In order to find success, you have to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, success becomes much harder to find and attain.”
Coach Williamson could not have put it any better.
No matter what you’re looking to achieve in life, if you have lost the excitement factor it will be impossible to continue. It is so important that in whatever you do to prevent burnout you have to constantly find what you love and stay true to yourself.
Completing the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon multiple times, Williamson has built quite an impressive resume along with his time running at Mercyhurst.
While at Mercyhurst he earned a degree in Social Work while participating on the cross country team during the 2010-2013 season.
He was team captain for the Lakers and helped the men have the highest conference and regional finish at the time.
Now as head coach for the Cross Country teams Williamson continues to leave a legacy and set the ultimate standard. He is the definition of if you see it you can be it.