Sophomore interactive multimedia major Gabe Franc has been running since his senior year of high school, and now, three years later, he’s yet to look back. A once overweight high school student, Franc has amazed himself and others through his undying motivation to not only get in shape, but also to participate competitively in the New Jersey marathon.
The Newtown, PA, native began his road to marathon running slowly, starting with lifestyle changes. “I started to work out a little bit, doing simple things like push-ups and sit-ups and I watched what I ate. I knew that running was the best way to lose weight, so I started off small and ran one mile a day and slowly added on until I was running eight miles a day. Overall, I lost 80 pounds and had a lot of fun running. So I wanted a new challenge.”
Franc found that challenge in the New Jersey marathon. Training daily with his father, he went from running eight miles, to 12 miles, to 24 miles at a time. He finished his first marathon on May 1, stride in stride with his father, clocking in at three hours forty minutes. One year later, Franc cut his time by more than 20 minutes, crossing the finish line in 3:19.
Franc ran once again at the New Jersey marathon on May 5, achieving a personal best time of 3:09 and placing in the top three for his age group. Throughout his running career, Franc has supported the Kortney Rose foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports pediatric brain tumor research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Through three years of fundraising, he has raised over $3,500 for the foundation.