High school sports intrigued Bailey Fish, but never did she think she would turn to running once she got to college, especially completing a marathon.
Fish is a junior accounting major from Brandon, S.D. The Kappa Alpha Theta member started running when she got to college and recently completed the Sioux Falls Marathon.
Fish said she always enjoyed sports in high school, but she never did track. Fish began running during her first year at the University of South Dakota.
“I always liked playing sports in high school, but I became a runner in college because I wanted to do something,” Fish said. “I was bored, and I’m a person who needs to always be working toward a goal.”
Junior Kayla Pochop, a sister in Kappa Alpha Theta said watching Fish complete a milestone in her life was incredible.
“Running a marathon is such an accomplishment — Bailey is such a passionate person in every aspect of her life. She does everything with so much drive and her running is no different,” Pochop said.
Fish found the inspiration to start running from a woman she babysat for.
“There was this lady that I babysat for that runs races, and she used to be overweight and she started running races and she’s always inspired me that anybody can do it,” Fish said.
The first race Fish ran was a 5k. From there, she moved to a 10k, a half marathon and completed the Sioux Falls Marathon last September. She trained by herself by running three to four times a week and about 20-40 miles per week.
Fish met her goals for the marathon and said it was one of the best experiences she could have.
“It was awful, but it was the best experience as well. During, it was long and hot, and I said I’d never do another one again, but I probably will do another one eventually,” Fish said.
The heat and humidity slowed Fish down, but she still made her goal of finishing in about four hours.
“I wanted to finish in around four hours, and I did. The only thing that brought me down was it was really hot in the 80s with high humidity, so that slowed me down, but I just wanted to finish,” Fish said.
Pochop said understanding Fish’s need to run was essential to their friendship.
“Marathon training is really rigorous, so just being understanding of Bailey’s harder days was really important to her as a friend,” Pochop said.
Junior Kaylee Bahr, another sister of Fish’s in Kappa Alpha Theta, said she is inspired by Fish.
“Bailey definitely inspires me. She motivates me to set my own goals and then encourages me to do my best to reach them. Her positive attitude and determination are even more inspiring,” Bahr said.
Fish was surrounded by her friends, family and sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta cheering her on the whole race.
“Finishing it and all of my family and friends would follow me around each mile, it was nice to have someone always there,” Fish said. “For a while I was at a point where my brother would run along side me. That was the best part, everyone being there.”
Fish said she was happy she finished, but next time she is hoping to train with somebody. The first time was a test of her own.
“I was happy with what I accomplished, and it was just a bucket list thing to complete it,” Fish said.