UT runner wins Warrior Dash MichiganWritten by Jason Mack | | email@example.com
Most athletes tone it down in the offseason. Hannah Brisson jumps through fire.
“There’s never a point when we’re not training,” Hannah said. “In between seasons we take a week off, but other than that we’re training year round.”
Hannah, a senior from Casco, Mich., runs cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track for the University of Toledo. She raced at Warrior Dash Michigan for the second straight offseason on July 29, and for the second straight year she won. After missing the victory last season because of a business trip, Hannah’s mother Claire Brisson was excited for an opportunity to see her win.
“I thought ‘Gee, nice of you to do this twice Hannah,’” Claire said. “I was really disappointed that I missed it last year. As the day progressed, we were getting more and more amazed and excited. We were really enjoying the whole cultural event that it is. Everything about it is so quirky and different.”
Hannah placed first out of 4,566 women, finishing in 27:27.15 despite the wind resistance from the cape of her Robin costume. She continued her winning ways with a championship in the corn on the cob eating contest. Warrior Dash is a 5K race filled with obstacles including mud pits, wall climbs, barbed wire, rope ladders, flotation devices and fire pits. Hannah first learned about the event when a friend on UT’s men’s track team posted about it on Facebook.
“I looked it up and thought it was really cool,” she said. “I thought it would be just another 5K, but I saw it had a bunch of obstacles in it. I asked some of my friends back home if they wanted to do it and they were all for it.”
They were more than all for it, showing up as Batman and Catwoman to pair with Hannah’s Robin costume. Hannah ran unofficially with her friends after racing for time earlier in the day.
“We actually had time to enjoy all the obstacles,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Much to her mother’s dismay, Hannah discarded part of her costume after the second race. She was one of thousands of runners who tossed their shoes in a pile to donate to charity.
“My mom was like, ‘You have to hold on to them because they’re special,’ but I donated them,” Hannah said. “She wanted to make a mold of them. My mom and dad are very trinkety. They like to keep memorabilia of everything to do with me and my brother. It’s my shoes though. It’s kind of gross.”
“She wore the same shoes twice and won twice, so I would have liked to bronze them,” Claire said.
“The next thing I know, I saw her barefoot and they were in a pile with thousands of shoes. Hannah has a big heart and that was a wonderful thing to do.”
Claire will have plenty of opportunities to collect trinkets in Hannah’s two remaining seasons at UT. Hannah will return in 2013 for a fifth season of eligibility after redshirting and switching majors from nursing to business and health. She almost stayed in her home state of Michigan for college, but Toledo swayed Hannah in the end.
“I was torn between Michigan State and Western Michigan University,” she said. “At the last minute, someone mentioned UT had a good running program and nursing program. I emailed the coaches, and a week later they were at my house talking to me. A week after that I was on a tour at Toledo. I fell in love with it.”
Soon Hannah will have less time to devote to obstacle races and her shift management position at Hollywood Casino Toledo, and she can’t wait.
“We have our first practice next week, and I am dying for it to get here,” she said. “I can’t wait to see my teammates. I miss my coaches so much.”
Hannah credits her success at Warrior Dash and in other aspects of life to her coaches.
“The coaches are amazing,” she said. “There are so many things they have taught me through training that help me even with Warrior Dash. They teach you how to eat right, train right, be disciplined and make sacrifices. You can apply that to any aspect of your life just from the training we do at school.”
Hannah plans to apply those lessons to a new challenge next summer.
“It’s been fun, but I think it’s time to move on to something else,” Hannah said. “I think I’m going to try the Tough Mudder next year.”