Principal, staff members participate in Houston Marathon


Courtesy of Michael McDonough

Over 20,000 runners lined up at the starting point. Some were experienced veterans that had completed several marathons. Others were about to begin their first. The annual Chevron Houston Marathon on Jan. 19 was one of the largest single day sporting events in the entire city, according to 

Bellaire’s very own Principal Michael McDonough was in the race. 

“This is my first full marathon and I am very excited for the opportunity,” said McDonough. “I have run in many half marathons and other races before, but this is a whole different experience. Before I was focused on beating my times and getting faster with every race, but this time I just want to enjoy my time and be in the moment.” 

Qualifying and entering into the Houston Marathon was a longtime goal and aspiration for McDonough. 

“I was athletic when I was young, and even as an adult I played in a co-ed soccer league for 13 years,” said McDonough. “My dad was a runner, and even though I did not enjoy running, I felt like I was pretty good at it. When I became the principal here, in 2011, I entered the lottery to be selected as a runner in the marathon, but I was not picked. So, I kept on running in smaller races and worked on my endurance and speed, and I was very grateful for the opportunity to run this year.”

McDonough prepared for the big race months in advance, running on almost a daily basis to train his body.

“I ran five and a half miles this morning,” McDonough said. “My schedule goes: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday and the weekend, I prefer to run in the morning, but on Tuesday and Thursday I generally run after school is over. For morning runs I will stay in my neighborhood and finish about four or five miles. For longer runs, like on Sunday, I will spend about 10, 12 or 15 miles at either Buffalo Bayou, Memorial Park or Braes Bayou. Sometimes I will also go to Storey Park because I need a change of scenery every once in a while.”

Other staff members shared McDonough’s enthusiasm for running. Kelli Tomlinson, girl’s soccer coach and english teacher, ran in the same marathon in years prior. 

“I have completed three Houston Marathons, and I will be running in the Woodlands Marathon that comes up in March,” said Tomlinson. “I started running in my freshman year of college because I wanted to be active and keep up with my friends, and ever since then it has been about pushing myself to keep up the pace and see how far I can take myself. Running is difficult to stick with at first, but if you are patient with yourself and take your time it becomes worth it in the end. It does not have to be just about getting faster and faster, but rather enjoy yourself and what you are doing.”