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Forest Lake Academy Student Is a Winner in Half-Marathon

posted on January 26, 2015, under Member by

Austin Rodgers pictured after his first-place finish in the male 15-19 age group at the Space Coast Half-Marathon, Cocoa, Fla. (Photo by Robert Rodgers)

Austin Rodgers pictured after his first-place finish in the male 15-19 age group at the Space Coast Half-Marathon, Cocoa, Fla. (Photo by Robert Rodgers)

by Marvin Lowman

When Forest Lake Academy junior Austin Rodgers crossed the finished line at the Space Coast Half-Marathon in Cocoa, Fla., on Sunday, November 30, his 1:38:35 time put him in first place with an average pace of 7:31 for his age group. He was 63rd overall in a field of nearly 3,500 runners.

Austin has run in the Space Coast Half-Marathon for three years and twice in the Daytona Beach Half-Marathon. For him, the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a race is worth the discipline and perseverance of training 4-5 days a week. He prefers the half-marathon distance and, at this point, does not see himself running longer races. “My goal is to do a 1:30:00 half-marathon,” he says. In eighth grade, influenced by a friend, Austin decided to eliminate processed sugar from his diet—a practice he continues to follow. He calls himself a pescetarian, since the only meat he eats is fish.

Austin Rodgers with Tamara Ritterskamp, Physical Education and Health teacher at Forest Lake Academy, who also ran the half-marathon. She has provided encouragement to Austin in his running, and he has inspired several students to take up the sport. (Photo by Alex Bahn)

Austin Rodgers with Tamara Ritterskamp, Physical Education and Health teacher at Forest Lake Academy, who also ran the half-marathon. She has provided encouragement to Austin in his running, and he has inspired several students to take up the sport. (Photo by Alex Bahn)

Besides obvious health benefits, running is a stress reliever for Austin. He takes his schoolwork seriously. “If I have a lot of homework, I go for a run to clear my head and come back more focused than I would be otherwise,” he says. “If I go a few days without doing something active, I can tell the difference. If I want to reach my goal, I have to do it.”

This same determination carries over into his schoolwork and his job.


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