For two years, Jeremy Breuer had his sights set on Nov. 6, 2016 and as many of his friends and classmates slept in on that Sunday morning, Jeremy was preparing to run the 42 km/26 miles that make up the TCS NYC Marathon.
Though completing the marathon had been a main goal of his since seeing his older brother run a half-marathon a couple of years ago, he didn’t do it only for himself. The IB student and former professional tennis player from Switzerland ran for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and before the big day, he was able to raise $3,500 by collecting donations from his friends, teachers and family.
“I’ve been training specifically for this race for the last eight months, but it’s been on my mind for two years,” he says. “I was so tired and the 42 kilometers were longer than I expected. It was such a huge project for two years and so that made it very emotional. The last 16 kilometers were so hard. It was incredible to complete this race.”
Memorial Sloan Kettering is important to Jeremy because he has known close friends and family members who have battled cancer and when he saw that he could raise money for the cancer center, the decision about who to fundraise for was an easy one to make.
“It’s hard when you’re 18 because you’re asking for money from people who have worked their whole lives and that is tough. But people have been very kind to me,” Jeremy says.
Balancing an IB timetable with a strenuous training schedule was no easy feat and Jeremy says that he sacrificed a lot to achieve his goal. But it was all worth it for him.
“At the beginning, my biggest fear was to train for that long, but once you’re in it and you have your goal it just becomes something you have to do. You don’t even consider if you should go, you just do it and it becomes a normal thing,” he explains.
Now, Jeremy is already planning to start training for a triathlon and he wants to run half marathons and marathons in the future, he just doesn’t know where or when yet.
For those aspiring to run a marathon the way Jeremy did, his advice is to get a coach who will give you a program and tell you what to do and how to increase progressively and slowly so you don’t injure yourself. Jeremy has an athletic background and he says this is what allowed him to jump into his training and begin running long distances right away. This isn’t something he recommends to people who are just starting out.
When asked how he stuck to this strict schedule, Jeremy says he went “running everyday right after class” because he didn’t have time after dinner. “The good thing about running is you just need shoes.”
Others would beg to differ – to accomplish what Jeremy did, one needs dedication and heart as well.