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Millington’s Copeland takes steps toward completing his goal of running the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Chicago Bean Jake Finish fade

Today’s generation is considered a fast pace group, consistently moving in this highly technological world.
From social media programs to the Internet, a teenager can communicate across the world in mere seconds and be informed of major news in no time. But there is one teen in Millington who used an old-school method to see the world, move fast and make news of his own.
Jacob Copeland, 17, finished the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 4 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds. That time was good enough for the fifth fastest time in his peer group. Copeland finished 55th for his age bracket (16-19 years old).
“It was worth it,” he said. “It was tough, especially the last 6.2 miles. They were the hardest by far. But it was so worth it because of the sense of accomplishment. To accomplish something like that just feels so awesome.”
Copeland was joined by his parents Kathryn Copeland and Michael Cowgill and about a group of 10 supporters including classmates Carter Hawkins, Greg Hairston, Luke Walker and Tyler Harrison in the Windy City.
Before taking on the course that ran through North Chicago Oct. 13, Copeland had to first get his mind and body ready for the challenge. The Millington Central High School senior used the web to check out the 26.2 mile course.
And it helped watching his stepfather Michael take on the challenge in the 2012 Chicago Marathon. It was late May when Copeland made the commitment to run the 2013 Chicago Marathon.
He went from running an average of 15 miles a week to 30-plus in that time period after his decision to run the marathon.
Used to training as a Trojan Baseball player and Cross Country runner, Copeland increased his running regiment to 20 miles before heading to Chicago. He noted that was the reason the last 6.2 miles of his run through Chicago was tough.
“It was inexperience,” he said. “I didn’t have enough left. But I finished. It was good for my first time.
“I was so relieved feeling so accomplished,” Copeland added. “I set my mind and achieved it.”
When he crossed the finish line his parents and brother Matthew were the first ones to greet Copeland. The first thing he did after completing his first marathon was grab a bite to eat.
Then Copeland and his group went to a local Nike Store to buy the appropriate “Finisher” running gear. Once shopping was done, Copeland headed back to his hotel and finally crashed.
Copeland did a lot of sight-seeing during his run seeing Wrigley Field, the John Hancock building and the Willis (Sears) Tower.
The marathon started at 7:30 a.m. with more than 40,000 participants. Copeland said he was proud to represent Millington and the Mid-South among the runners. And he can’t wait for his next opportunity to do it again.
Copeland and friends have shared photos online and his status was updated days ago on his finish. The 17-year-old said he will be making more marathon news in the near future.
“I will run another most definitely,” he concluded, “as soon as possible. It’s just that feeling of achieving something like that. I always want to be better and improve.”

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October 2013
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