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Hardin wins San Francisco Marathon

When Emily Hardin of Madison started running three years ago, she never dreamed of winning a major marathon in one of the country’s largest cities.

But that’s exactly what happened, as Hardin, 26, captured the San Francisco Marathon women’s division championship July 25.

“It was like a fog,” Hardin said of the experience. “Honestly, it went by so quickly.”

Hardin joined 25,000 other runners in the 26-mile marathon, and she outran all the women in the cool, foggy weather.

“It was very excited,” Hardin said. “I didn’t know how to react (when I won).”

Hardin, a former soccer player at Lipscomb University, said she never aspired to be a long-distance runner, but it just happened one day.

“I got bored one day and hit the door and started running,” Hardin said. “And I decided to keep running.”

Since that day, Hardin has competed in four marathons, and plans to do more in the future.

But running a marathon isn’t something a person just decides to do, and Hardin said it takes weeks and months of preparation.

To prepare for the San Francisco Marathon, Hardin said she ran long distances every day, and ran a 20-mile run at least once a week for six weeks.

And running in this summer Alabama heat helped Hardin when she competed in the 55-degree weather in San Francisco.

“It did give me an advantage (running in the heat), because it was very, very cold to me (in San Francisco),” Hardin said.

Although Hardin said she has no plans to run, or win, marathons like the one in Boston, she said it would be an honor to participate in such a world-renowned event.

“Boston has never really been a goal for me, but it would be nice to carpe diem — seize the day,” Hardin said.

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