HURON — While a lot of people were just rolling out of bed on Saturday morning, one Huron resident was beginning a 13.1-mile trek.
Former Huron High School standout Heather (Sieler) Goehner had planned to be participate in the Brookings Half Marathon, but due to damage from the high winds that rolled through the area the event was cancelled.
“I was disappointed that the Half Marathon I was registered to do last weekend got cancelled,” Goehner said. “One option I was given is to receive a shirt and medal in the mail, but I did want the medal without actually completing a half marathon.”
With the help of her husband, Ryan, and the encouragement from her sons Lincoln and Logan, Goehner put together a 13.1-mile course that stretched from their home in southeast Huron to all four corners of the city an ended back at their residence.
Goehner, who will be turning 39 this year, was set to run the half marathon she had been training for since march. It would be the third time she had lined up to achieve the distance, with her most recent one being in August of 2021.
However, this half marathon would have a different feel to it. In the two previous outings she was joined by several hundred runners.
“Running by myself was very challenging,” Goehner said. “During a normal race there is a lot of energy from other runners and from the crowds.”
Although her route didn’t have the crowds a normal race setting would have, Goehner did receive encouragement throughout her race from a variety of individuals.
“I want to recogonize Erica Woodbury. She heard I was going to run the half marathon by myself and then helped organize some people to encourage me along the way,” Goehner said. “She is a great leader in our community and I am thankful for her encouragement and support.
”I am so fortunate to live in Huron and get so much love and support from family and friends,” she said. “It was humbling to see people give up part of their Saturday to encourage me and cheer me on.”
As for the run itself, Goehner described it as quite challenging.
“The middle of the route was difficult for me, from about mile 6 to mile 8.5. I started to cramp up so I had to stop frequently to stretch,” she said. “After I got through that part of my route, I started to feel a little better and Ryan and others kept encouraging me to keep going.”
A handful of supporters were on hand when she crossed a makeshift finish line set up by her family in front of their home to stop the clock at 2 hours, 16 minutes and five seconds.
“When I crossed the “finish line” I felt major relief. It was hard but worth it,” Goehner said. “I did not run my best time, but it isn’t about that for me anymore. I hope I can inspire a few people to do something God calls them to do, even when it’s hard.”