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COVID-19 can’t ‘Bench’ Hurney

Courtesy of Ben Hurney

By Emily Rosenberg


Ben Hurney ran past the Central Park finish line of the New York City Marathon Nov. 5 and received a medal around his neck celebrating the human accomplishment of finishing the 26-mile race.

But the journey to the finish line was not as he had planned.

Hurney, a junior studio art major, known to his friends as “Bench,” was coming down from his fair share of COVID-19 when he ran the marathon.

Just two weeks before the race, Hurney took a pause in his training program to rest and to ensure he wouldn’t infect anyone with the virus. When he set out to the City to run, he was still coughing, congested, and slightly fatigued.

“I couldn’t tell if I was struggling to breathe because COVID is a respiratory infection or because I was running 26 miles,” Hurney said.

He said he would definitely do it again, adding something he learned from the experience was that people are “incredibly supportive.” He noted how a runner dropped Clif Bloks at his feet when he stopped to cough on the Brooklyn Bridge, which he didn’t even need because he had some tucked into his shorts.

“I didn't even want them, but I was super appreciative,” Hurney said.

Hurney said having run cross-country and track in high school, it was always a goal of his to run a marathon, but it was just about getting the timing right. It was in his freshman year of college when he started thinking about it seriously and finally this spring when he committed to the challenge.

Hurney is a member of the FSU men’s cross-country team. Outside of athletics, he is also the illustrations editor for The Gatepost and the president of the Framingham State Activities Board.

Running with the Greater YMCA Charity team, he raised $3,000 for the organization.

Upon signing up for the race in April, Hurney said he picked up a training program his teammate sophomore Parker Winters wrote. This program started out with just 2 miles per day and slowly became more intense each week.

He thanked Cross Country Head Coach Mark Johnson and Winters for their help training. He also thanked his parents Suzy and Doug Hurney for their support.

[ Editor's Note: Ben Hurney is an Illustrations Editor for The Gatepost. ]



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