Johnson has a passion for running

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Parkersburg South’s Seanna Johnson will be running in her first News and Sentinel Half Marathon next month returning to her heart’s preferred long-distance running.

PARKERSBURG — After Seanna Johnson runs her first Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon Aug. 18, she’s going to be in a car for nine hours en route to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Talk about a full day on the road.

“Yes, after I claim my trophies, I’ll go back to Michigan,” joked the 19-year-old Johnson. “I move in Aug. 19.”

Johnson, a 2017 Parkersburg South graduate, will be starting her sophomore year at Calvin College, an NCAA Division III school and a member of the MIAA (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association).

Calvin College?

“It’s just where I got called to go to college,” said Johnson, smiling.

At Calvin, Johnson is “studying psychology and concentrating on neural science.”

“I’m minoring in Spanish, and I’m on a pre-medical track,” she added. “I want to be a pediatric pyschiatrist. I’ve got about 15 years of school ahead of me.”

Next January, Johnson is planning to study abroad in Honduras in Central America for the spring semester.

This past spring, Johnson competed in the 800 on the Knights track and field team, and covered the distance in a PR (personal record) of 2 minutes, 32.93 seconds in a late April meet.

“It’s definitely a sprint,” she said of the 800.

Johnson said that she’s been running since middle school. At South, she ran track all four years and cross country for two.

“Our 4 by 8 team went every year (to state in Charleston) that we ran,” she said.

While Johnson definitely likes competing in middle distance, she really prefers the long distance runs.

“Since going to college, I’ve gotten away from my long-distance running,” she said. “And, that’s where my heart is.”

Johnson paused.

“This summer, I’ve been able to rekindle that love by training for the Half Marathon,” she said.

By training, Johnson has been at several of Monday’s 5:30 p.m. runs, which start at City Park. The latest distance was 10 miles.

“You’ve got to love running, otherwise 10 miles is a long run,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty brutal but it’s worth it when you’re done. You’ve accomplished so much, like that runner’s high.

“I haven’t felt it for a so long but since training for the Half, I remember after a 9-mile run, I felt like could do anything, like my body wasn’t tired. I could’ve gone for another nine miles. It just felt great. It was crazy.”

And, there’s other benefits to the training runs at City Park as well.

“I’ve made a new friend,” said Johnson, smiling. “His name is Stan. I don’t know his last name, but I always run with him. He could totally beat me but he’s always like ‘How ya doin’? Good job.’ He’s definitely helped me to improve.”

A very active and busy lady this summer, Johnson is also working at Jan Dils as an intern, is a part-time lifeguard at Southwood, and attends South Parkersburg Baptist Church.

As for Johnson’s running future….

“I really hope to continue to do half marathons, and maybe, before the year’s over, I may do a full marathon,” she said, smiling. “I don’t know. Gotta talk to my coach first. Just got to keep the momentum going before I lose it all.”