BOSTON — It has been nearly a year of preparation for Megan Feasel, a Mount Vernon High School graduate who also attended East Knox High School, but it has been worth it.
Today at 10:20 a.m., Feasel was one of over 35,000 runners to line up and run the 2012 Boston Marathon.
“This is my first time doing Boston,” said Feasel, who is the assistant director of the Student Recreation Center at Armstrong Atlanta State University in Savannah, Ga. “I did my first marathon in Miami in 2011. I qualified for Boston and that was my goal when I was there. Since then, it has been a whole year of training and progress.”
Currently, Feasel is working on a second master’s degree in Exercise Science at AASU. She did her undergraduate and graduate work at Wright State University, which she attended on an athletic scholarship that she earned in her days on the Yellow Jackets cross country and track squad at Mount Vernon High School.
Her coach at Wright State, Bob Schul, is known to Olympic officianados. Schul won the 5,000-meter run with a dramatic, come-from-behind finish in the rain in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Schul’s impact on Feasel’s life, as a runner and as a person, shows up in her work ethic.
“I have seen the video and heard a million stories about it,” said Feasel. “It was pretty phenomenal being able to transition from high school into college. In high school, I was one of the top runners in the area. Then, I get to college and I am with a bunch of Division I athletes. It’s a whole different ballgame.
“I dropped my time by about two minutes, training with Bob. He’s very good at coaching, he knows what he’s doing and I was one of the top distance runners at Wright State.”
All that learning had to be applied, however, for the results to show. Feasel said the training she underwent was like nothing she had been through before.
“The training was definitely a job — three to four hours a day of conditioning, training, running and speed work,” said Feasel. “We did a lot of nutrition stuff. We met with sports psychologists. It was more than just being a good runner and doing sprints. It had a lot of components. It’s very unique, when you didn’t have that kind of stuff in high school.”
The intense training regimen paid off. After her years of running at Wright State, Feasel was able to keep up the training on her own, which helped carry her to a first place finish at the Daytona Half-Marathon and the Tybee Half-Marathon, along with some high finishes in other races.
“It was very rewarding,” said Feasel. “I had that mentality of training in college and when I got out there, working a full-time job, I didn’t have that team bonding. It’s a little different when you are training one-on-one, but it kept me going.”