by Donny Nadeau
Saint Mary’s University, Sports Information Director
Talk about taking off-season training to the extremes.
Cody Balogh (Batavia, Ill.) and Ryan Geidner (Antioch, Ill.) are spending second semester studying abroad in Italy, and while in Italy, the Saint Mary’s University men’s soccer players decided do as the Italians do — run a half-marathon.
Well, at least what 8,000 Italians do.
Balogh and Geidner took part in the Giulietta e Romeo Half Marathon — completing the 13.3-mile race in a time of 1:45:50.
“Running through the streets of Italy was a lot different — there are a lot of sudden turns and curves,” said Geidner. “Add to that the fact that the streets are cobblestone and much more narrow that streets in the states, and it made for a pretty interesting race.”
Like Geidner, Balogh enjoyed the experience.
“It was really an awesome first experience for my first half-marathon,” Balogh said. “You got to run past all the old buildings, and the churches, and Verona’s soccer stadium — not to mention that part of the race was on cobblestone streets which made the running part a little more interesting.
“The coolest part of the race was the finish,” Balogh continued. “We ran through the Coliseum — which is in the city centre — and as soon as you came out the other side, there was the finish line.”
And according to Balogh, the half-marathon was just the latest in an ever-growing list of amazing experiences for the Cardinal duo.
“Italy has been amazing,” explained Balogh. “Getting to travel to all the different cities, so far we have been to Paris, Brussels, Venice, Florence, and now Verona — with trips to Barcelona, Munich, Rome, and a few others still in the works — has been a tremendous learning experience.”
“Learning about all the cultures and seeing how different they can be has been really fun and rewarding,” added Geidner, noting that he and Balogh are also planning to make a trip to a Barcelona game in March.
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