Cece Bowe ’19 had a very eventful spring break as she traveled to Bethlehem, Palestine, to run a half-marathon. This race started in April 2013 and has been an annual thing since then.
The marathon is organized to raise awareness for the movement of freedom for Palestinians, and Bowe ran to raise money for an infant and maternity hospital called Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem. This hospital is the biggest employer in the West Bank of Palestine and promotes peace and empowers women.
Bowe knew about this race since her freshman year of high school. She said she would see ads everywhere on social media, and she finally decided to run it because it landed during St. John’s spring break. Planning for the race and learning where to stay weren’t very difficult for Bowe, because her mother works in Bethlehem, which was very convenient. Knowing she was not going to be alone in another country allowed Bowe to finally pursue her dream of running a half marathon in Palestine.
This 13.1 mile race went all around Bethlehem. It started in Nativity Square and went all the way through refugee camps on the outer border of Bethlehem. Not only did she complete the half-marathon, she finished in under two hours and raised about $5,000. She ran with over 8,000 other participants.
This is the first half-marathon Bowe has ever run, but she has been a Cadet cross country runner for three years, so long-distance running was nothing new for her. Unfortunately she was injured this year with stress fractures, but her doctor cleared her in January for running, and that is when her two-month-long training process began.
For training, she ran three to four miles two or three times during the school week and on Sunday did longer runs. She started out running five miles and progressively built up to 12. She said, “The two weeks before the race, I tapered my mileage and just ran 5ks.”
To prepare for this race, she made sure she listened to her body. She said, “Some days I just did not feel like running, or would be super sore, so I would take an extra rest day.”
Bowe also made a really pumped-up playlist to help her get through the miles. While she was training, she would specifically eat healthy fats, fibers, grains/carbs, and protein and drink lots of water. Sometimes she would drink chocolate milk to help refuel muscles after a hard workout. All of this helped prepare her for the race and helped her enjoy herself during it.
Bowe gave credit and thanks to all those who supported her in the lead up to this event. “Thank you everyone who donated to the Holy Family Hospital! And thanks to the cross country team, who taught me to love running,” Bowe said.