BYU sophomore Madison Flinders is well acquainted with the many paths around BYU campus, and not just because she works as a tour guide.
Madison is a runner. According to her dad, John Flinders, Madison had been training for the last several months to run in the American Fork Canyon Run Against Cancer Half Marathon, which was supposed to take place on Saturday, June 24. The event was cancelled because of the pandemic, so Madison decided to run a half marathon through the BYU campus instead.
“It was a really fun adventure. I love running, and I love the spirit of running on BYU campus, so I thought, why not combine the two of them?” Madison said.
Madison said she loves running on campus because it reminds her of the spiritual experiences she’s had, especially when she served a mission in the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in Rochester, New York. She used to give tours of the prophet Joseph Smith’s house, and she said she likes running through campus where many of the buildings bear prophets’ names.
“I just feel the spirit is strongest on campus, so when I thought about doing my own half marathon somewhere, I thought, what better pace than somewhere that has the spirit so I can just talk to Heavenly Father while I run!” Madison said.
What Madison didn’t know was that her family would be waiting for her at the end of her run with a surprise. According to John, they met her with a tape finish line for her to cross and “a medal, to celebrate her accomplishment, determination, and success, even during these crazy times.”
Madison said her family has always been supportive of her running, and that they’re always waiting for her at the end of her races.
Madison is studying exercise and wellness, and she has a goal to be on the BYU cross-country team, so a lot of her running has been to help her train to accomplish that goal.
“It’s just been a wonderful experience. I’m grateful that Heavenly Father lets me have a body that’s able to run,” she said.