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EUGENE, Ore. — Many people set a personal goal of finishing a 5K, a full or half marathon. Some train on their own, others with a friend, and friends may just be their co-workers.

A group of students, faculty, alumni, and friends from Northwest Christian University have their sights set on the finish line.

“That crossing the boundary from the classroom into the community, and to do that alongside students and your faculty, together, it’s just a fun experience,” said Greg Brock, Northwest Christian University dean of students and director of resident life.

It’s the second year the university is taking part in the Eugene Marathon Corporate Wellness Challenge. Brock is ready to lead his team of runners across the finish line.

“No one thinks they’re a runner. It’s just training versus trying. We could all try really hard, but we could fail. If you build slowly over time and slowly progress and work through a training plan then you can achieve something you didn’t think you could achieve before,” Brock said.

The Corporate Wellness Challenge supports companies that make health and fitness a priority.

“We do some group runs on a couple Saturdays leading up to the race, for the just the encouragement for being together, the accountability to get out there, and just to have fun and spend time together,” Brock said.

For some, it’s their first time running a half marathon.

“It just looked like a lot of fun last time. So I was one of the spectators last time and I got to go cheer on my colleagues. And teammates. And so it looked like a lot of fun and I wanted to try it and this year I just wanted to have a solid plan so that I could get into fitness consistently,” said Mary Jo Goosmann, Northwest Christian University administrative assistant for academic services and the tudor coordinator.

For others, it’s a chance to improve from last year.

“I want to improve my time from last year, so I think under two hours is my goal. But again crossing the finish line and having fun is most important to me,” said Miles Adkisson, Northwest Christian University associate director of admissions and alumni.

But whether they’re first time runners, or have run a big race before, it’s the importance of connecting with the community that’s a major motivator.

“So this was a really great way to stick to a plan and do it together as a community,” Goosmann said.

“It’s just fun to be active. I think it’s just a good time to spend outside of work. Just hang out. Enjoy the community, enjoy the beautiful scenery around Eugene. That’s been the cool part,” Adkisson said.

And this group of runners and volunteers from the university won’t be hard to spot on race day.

“The NCU Beacons will be present with their beacon shirts and be representing our beacons well. As well as a lot of our fans on the sidelines who will be cheering us on,” Brock said.

For more information on the Eugene Marathon weekend or how you can sign up, click here.