WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Fully dedicated to training for the Air Force Marathon, Staff Sgt. Kyle Hipol hit a road block along the way after suffering an injury, but there was no stopping his determination that he would go over, under and around that road block in order to cross that finish line come Sept. 21.
Training since April, Hipol completely committed himself to run the full marathon by following a running training program and had even made changes to his diet. But unfortunately, his initial concern at the start of his training on what the physical toll it would take on his body came to fruition.
“I was running strong and making plenty of progress until I hit week 12,” said Hipol. “My training came to a snail’s pace, figuratively and literally, I could not run as fast, or as far, my knees were starting to give out.”
Hipol, a Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System support office consultant at the 711th Human Performance Wing, said toward the end of July, he started to notice that the pain in his knees became more constant.
“I had pain with just about everything I did, walking up and down the stairs, playing with my dogs in the yard and even when I was lying in bed,” he said. “I’ve taken off the last five weeks to begin a daily regimen of rest, icing, compression, elevation and ibuprofen. This has been more challenging and stressful than the 12 weeks leading up to it.”
After a visit to his physician, he was advised he should not run the full 26.2 mile race so instead he has opted to run the half marathon.
Regardless of his injury, Hipol said his training and dedication to preparing for the marathon has not only given him asense of self-discovery but challenging himself to overcome any obstacles that may come his way.
“I’ve learned that this marathon isn’t just a run and it’s not just a new challenge, it has become a passion project,” said Hipol. “Great preparation and great will is required to do all great things, I never realized how the easy stuff in life never held much reward. I can’t wait to celebrate at the finish line, and start preparing for what’s to come next.”
Ready to meet the challenge to run the half marathon, Hipol is keeping his positive attitude and is looking forward to race day.
“Runners aren’t lying when they say running a marathon is more of a mental feat than a physical one,” he said. “The body can do amazing things if the mind wants it to. I might end up with a slow time in the end, but I’ll get to that finish line.”
The 2019 Air Force Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. The Sports and Fitness expo is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 20. The Breakfast of Champions is scheduled for 8-10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20 and the Gourmet Pasta Dinner is scheduled for Friday evening, starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information about the Air Force Marathon go to www.usafmarathon.com.