Former Pointers Impress at Chicago Marathon

Connor Daniels

The 36th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon took place on Oct. 13. The 26.2 mile course was lined with approximately 1 million spectators.

Among those racing in the 2013 Chicago Marathon were University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduates Brandon Dworak and Brian Finnel who both placed in the top 50. Dworak graduated in 2010 and Finnel in 2011.

Both Dworak and Finnel ran for the Pointers cross-country team as well as the indoor and outdoor track and field.

Dworak completed the marathon with the time of 2:20.46, finishing 30th overall and 14th among Americans.

Having experienced only one marathon prior to the Chicago Marathon, Dworak ran a well- balanced race.

“I got out in the first half in 1:10.03 and managed to come back in 1:10.43, which is a pretty much even race when it comes to the marathon,” Dworak said.

Finnel completed the marathon, his first, in 2:23.47, which placed him 42nd overall and 21st among Americans.

“Honestly I wasn’t really sure what it was going to feel like,” Finnel said.

Though a few years have passed since graduating from UWSP and the meets and team events have come to an end, the training for Dworak and Finnel has not.

Dworak is currently the assistant coach for both the cross-country and track and field at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

Using motivation from the end of his college years, Dworak decided to push himself even further to achieve more goals.

“I did not end my collegiate cross-country and track and field seasons quite how I had envisioned and that drove me amazingly hard to continue training post collegiately,” Dworak said. “I felt even though I had performed pretty well throughout college, I still had a few jumps to make and wanted to see that through.”

Finnel takes his training just as seriously, as he runs with the cross- country team at Middleton High School.

“In my normal training phase I will run about 90 miles to 110 miles a week,” Finnel said.

Looking forward, both Dworak and Finnel will continue down their path of running competitively.

For Finnel, he hopes to reach the Olympic standard time of 2:18:00. On top of this goal, he is aiming for the 2020 Olympic trials.

“I think it can be possible if I keep training at a high level and keep thinking it is possible even if any set back occurs,” Finnel said. “In running you really have to stick with it and be dedicated, more or less be disciplined to go out and run daily.”

Dworak is also looking to continue his path of running.

“You carry a lot of pride going from being a Division III runner to being considered one of the better half marathon/marathoners in not only the region, but in the country,” Dworak said. “I see no end in sight to this running thing and will ride it as far as it can take me.” 

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