When the race began, he was already tired.
It had only been 14 days since sophomore Garrett Evans last ran 26.2 miles in one day.
But 3 hours and 1 minute after the starting gun, he crossed the finish line of the 2013 Inaugural Irving Marathon.
That was 16 minutes faster than he ran two weeks prior.
“It was pretty crazy, that’s for sure,” Evans said. “[My parents] didn’t think I was ready at all, telling me I did not need to be out there running that race.”
The time qualifies him to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Evans, a political science major from Celina, Texas, began running during his junior year of high school and hasn’t stopped since.
At first, he ran to stay in shape after he stopped playing high school football. As he got better at running, he said he wanted to be a competitive runner.
Last year, he began running half marathons and ran a total of four. The 2013 Dallas Marathon was his first full marathon, followed by the Irving race two weeks later.
He said he runs everyday, if possible, usually 8-10 miles. In the TCU area, the most he has run at once is 16 miles.
Evans said running provides stress relief and time to clear his mind.
“No one is going to say they actually enjoy running 26 miles,” he said. “I think it’s just the sense of accomplishment when you finish.”
His friend and running buddy, junior history and sociology double major Chris Powers, described Evans as a machine when it comes to running.
“He does not run with music or even really think about how far he is running,” Powers said. “The energy he puts off when running pushes anyone around him.”
With his improving times, Evans said he wants to find an outlet where he can take running more seriously.
He wants to consider running cross country for the TCU track team. Last year, he emailed the TCU track coach about a spot on the team but never heard back. Now that his times have “exponentially improved,” he said now maybe he “can keep up with those guys.”
Powers agreed, saying Evans would instantly be a competitor among the fastest on TCU’s team.
“I am not sure of the times of the top TCU runners, but I am sure that the drive Garrett possesses will push him to match and, if possible, beat them,” Powers said.
Whether he joins or not, Evans does intend to run the Boston Marathon next April. With a time of 3:01 in this past race, he qualifies to run in the 18-34 age group, for which the requirement is a sub-3:05 finish, according to runnersworld.com.
Despite last month’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, Evans said he is not at all frightened to go next year. Rather, Powers said they two have been hoping to run in Boston next year in honor and remembrance of this year’s events.
“I think it’s the perfect time to go to Boston because it’s going to be a huge, huge ordeal. It’ll be cool to see everyone band together after a tragedy,” Evans said. “I’m sure it will be really well put together and a really cool experience.”
Until then, he said he hopes to run as many marathons as possible and is aiming for a sub-3:00 finish. He plans to run a marathon in Fort Worth this summer and a Tough Mudder race in the fall. The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile military-style obstacle course and claims to be “probably the toughest event on the planet,” according to its website.
With 11 months to prepare for Boston, he should be able to plan his 26.2 days more than 14 days apart.
That way, he won’t already be tired when the starting gun fires.
Here's a map of the routes that Evans usually takes:
View Garret Evans' Route in a larger map