by Rachel Jordan
Last Sunday, October 22, Vanderbilt law student and 2006 Gay Games gold medalist Patrick Cooper returned to Chicago for another race – the Chicago Marathon. Although participating in the Gay Games helped familiarize Cooper with the city, he says running the marathon was a “completely different experience.” Over 33,000 runners participated and received huge spectator support along the 26.2 mile route.
While the Marathon may have felt different from Cooper’s other running experiences, his result was the same and he again represented Nashville well. He placed 376th overall and 60th in his division with a time of two hours, 45 minutes and 18 seconds; this equates to a rate of six minutes and 18 seconds per mile. To give a little more perspective, the course remains open for seven hours to give all the runners a chance to finish.
For Cooper, reaching another finish-line means preparing for another race. He alluded to some “big goals”— not ready for public announcement just yet. He did give a few hints about the future, including tentative plans to run in the Chicago Marathon again next year. As for local races, you can go out and show your support in March when Cooper races in Nashville’s Tom King Classic, which he describes as a race that attracts “a lot of top people.”
So the next time you’re driving around Nashville during morning hours, keep an eye out for Cooper training around his afternoon class schedule. Just don’t try to catch him.