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42 Marathons Later, 2 Mercy Degrees in Hand, & Breanna Keeps Running!

Posted by Jim Tagye on Jun 22, 2018 2:34:49 PM

Between miles 15-19 she is spent, but she turns up her music and pushes forward, as only 6 miles remain. 

!st Public Health Graduating Class

Breanna Severin BSHS '18 & BSPH '18, (2nd from right), celebrates with Public Health Chair Joelle Stoelte and the first graduating cohort of the Mercy College Public Health major.

What encourages her to run 8 marathons, 8 days, and 8 states is mainly because of the people. Every runner treats you like family and encourages one another to finish the race. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, how big or small you are, every person there encourages you to do your best and finish the race. For every person out there that is having trouble deciding if they can finish the race, you can do anything that you set your mind to.

Marathons for her is more about meeting new people and encouraging others to finish. She always tell them, “I am right there with you, and you can do it." Although, yes there can be health consequences associated with running, like excessive knee and hip use, but there are worse things that one could be doing to their body.

Every person has a different reason as to why they choose to run. Whether it be to get in shape, to meet new people, or simply because they enjoy it,  no matter what the reason is, she encourages each and every person to try running a marathon or to start out with a half marathon. People that have an alcohol or drug problem, running could be good for so many things. It could give these people an opportunity to find a new addiction and to find people who are a family. The running community doesn’t judge you for who you are, they simply encourage you to do your best and finish the race. Who knows, you may come to find that you actually enjoy running.


Breanna's current running club membership includes the following groups:

  • Marathon Maniacs complete 2 marathons within 16 days OR complete 3 marathons within 90 days.
  • Half Fanatics complete 2 half marathons within 16 days OR complete 3 half marathons within 90 days.
  • 50 States Marathon Club members complete 10 marathons in 10 different states
  • Double agents complete 2 marathons and 2 half marathons within a 16 days OR 3 marathons and 3 half marathons within 90 days.

 As most agree, earning a college degree is not easy and it takes a lot of dedication. It takes a lot of time and commitment. She has learned from experience that by putting your mind to something, one can achieve anything you set your sights on, even if it means completing a double major. While obtaining her educational goals, she has learned to relieve some stress. Running has been a great outlet for stress over the years for her. 

Her goal is to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. So far, Breanna has completed 42 marathons, of these, 31 took place in 31 different states. 

MarathonStates-BrennaSchool is like running a marathon in a lot of ways, it gets tough sometimes but you just have to keep moving forward. Just like putting one step in front of the other to get to the finish line, it’s like getting one paper done at a time and taking it semester by semester and eventually you will get there. She also would have not got through all this if it wasn't for the support of her family and fiancé.

This journey all started when Breanna was standing on the sidelines eating a donut, then saw her mom when she was running her very first half marathon. When her mom showed her medal to her, Breanna was hooked. So far, her mom has run 74 half-marathons and 6 full marathons and step dad has run 73 half marathons and 5 marathons.

Now, Breanna has another avid supporter in her fiancé who has run 11 half marathons so far and looking forward to joining her in the half portion of the upcoming 8 marathon series as well.

"It has also taught me that all 42 marathons are not the same and each has its own obstacles, which is like my career will be. Not every day will be the same, and sometimes life throws you curveballs and you just have to be willing to push through those curveballs that life throws at you."

Breanna encourages students to find some type of healthy outlet, like running, swimming, kayaking, or anything that will get them motivated to get away from the books and be active. She truly believes that her running and training for marathons throughout almost five years of college has gotten her through the hard times that school has thrown at her and maybe it can help you too!

While her career goals are not crystal clear just yet, she does know she wants to help people and give back to the community. As a Mercy College graduate double majoring in public health and health sciences, she is sure these credentials will open many doors of opportunities for her.

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Topics: Amazing Alumni, Public Health, Health Sciences