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The Midnight Sun
Local woman places 61st out of 460 in 26-mile Alaska marathon
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Lisa Hanson, a local runner from Covington, made her mark in the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska on June 20.

An avid runner for most of her life, Hanson began training for this marathon in early spring and in her very first marathon she was able to place 61st out of 460 runners. Hanson ran the 26.2 miles in four hours, six minutes and 47 seconds.

To train, Hanson began running with a marathon training group from the Atlanta area, tried her hand at several half marathons and began following training programs she discovered in different running magazines.

"I have run half marathons and thought that if I can run those I should be able to do a marathon," explained Hanson.

Hanson, an Alaska native, made her way to Georgia after her college years. She is married to local cardiologist, Dr. Mark Hanson. Together they have two daughters Sarah, 10 and Grace Anne, 8.

"Without Mark and his support I would not have been able to get my runs in, he helps with the girls when I am running and he even runs with me when I let him," Hanson said with a smile.

Hanson and her husband both enjoy running, but it was her goal-oriented personality that drove her to compete in a marathon.

"I got really home sick so I decided to run this marathon, which takes place in my home town, and on my favorite day of the year, summer solstice," she said.

Running is an individual sport; Hanson describes how she needs to work towards her own personal running goals to better herself physically and her running times.

"I want to motivate others to get into exercising and motivate my girls to set goals for themselves as I have and accomplish them," Hanson said.

Hanson explained that running keeps her going and that running is her time to herself. Her favorite time to run is first thing in the morning, and she tries to run every day.

There are a few people Hanson explains that were a major part of why she was able to run this marathon and train adequately. Nanette Watson and David Croom were wonderful supporters of her running and great friends throughout her preparation.

"I am fortunate to be healthy, have a healthy family and to be able to do what I love – running," Hanson said.