Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Solberg couple runs in San Diego


Courtesy Photo

Thea and Orvin Solberg at the 2018 Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon in San Diego.

A 1978 Malta High School Graduate and current cross country coach and her husband just participated in the 2018 Synchrony Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon in San Diego on Sunday, June 3.

Thea Solberg and her husband Orvin Solberg participated in the event for the third consecutive year at their third different venue having run the race in 2017 at Washington D.C. and in 2016 at Seattle. They were only two of 13,849 runners and walkers at the San Diego event.

"The Rock 'N' Roll Series is a collection of road running events owned and operated by Competitor Group Inc.," Thea told the PCN. "They infuse each course with live bands, cheer teams and other things. So, they really make it fun."

This 20-year-old event was full of sun, fun, and music. But runners in the 2018 San Diego race were in a potentially dangerous situation as an active shooter was found at the finish line in a parking garage just after the Solberg couple finished the race.

"This crazy woman had the shooting thing going on and they had to stop the race and re-route people to a different safe place until they apprehended the shooter," Thea said. "There was no connection between her and the race."

The only person hurt in the altercation was a policeman who shot himself in the foot, according to Solberg.

Solberg also believes the shooter had a pellet gun.

Other than the gun incident, the Solberg couple enjoyed the sights and sounds, that made the race a true fun run.

"It just peps you up and there are people along the course that also give out water as well as main water stations designated every so-many miles but there are people in the neighborhoods that got so excited about it and they want to help the runners."

Water wasn't the only beverage offered during the race.

"At mile marker 5.5, they had a five-mile bar, with all kinds of alcohol," Solberg said. "Mixing drinking and running, all I could think was, wow this was at eight in the morning."

Though it was early, according to Solberg, it was muggy.

"It was warm, it was humid and it was sunny," Solberg said. "It was humid because it was by the ocean. I felt hot running. You just lather on sunscreen and hope you don't get sun burnt. I thought that the faster I run, the quicker I would get done and I wouldn't get sun burnt.

Thea finished the 13-mile race in two hours, and six seconds, while her husband walked the race and finished at 3:57.

"I decided to run this race in San Diego kind of conservatively," Thea said. "I hadn't trained for speed for this race because of our awful cold winter. You are supposed to train for these races eighteen to twenty weeks out."

Though she didn't run for speed, Solberg still set a goal for herself.

"When I got to the race, I wanted to accomplish my goal, which was running the race under two hours and ten minutes," Thea said. "And I did."

She wanted to enjoy this year's run, rather than miss out on the sights and sounds along the course.

"I decided not to push myself too hard, so I wouldn't injure myself and enjoy the atmosphere because it is very celebratory," Solberg said. "There were so many people cheering you on and I have no idea how many cheer teams there were."

Runners run many races from one mile to a marathon, Solberg chose the Half-Marathon for a reason.

"A half-marathon is very challenging," she said. "It's not as far as a 26.2 mile marathon. Marathons take more time for training, but the half-marathon is becoming very popular because it doesn't take as much time but it is also very challenging because 13 miles is a long way."

While also having her own personal goals, Solberg runs all-year round and trains for these running events to set an example for the M-ettes Cross Country team.

"I like to keep running all year long because that's what we try to coach the team," Solberg said. "Cross Country isn't just a 10-week sport. It is a year-round sport. If you want to do well, you have to stay in shape all year long."

She went on to say that another reason she runs is to be able to keep up with and run with the Malta team in the fall months.

Thea has participated in many runs over the years including a full marathon.

When logging miles, one would think that running can get lonesome, which begs the question; Has Solberg ever run with a dog?

"When I trained for the only marathon that I ran, I ran with one of our dogs that loved to run, and I thought that he was going to die of heat stroke, so I sent him home after thirteen miles," Solberg said.


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