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More than meets the eye

By Bryan Chu

April 13, 2004 9:00 p.m.

For students who go to Kerckhoff Coffee House, third-year Katie
Schettig could be just a person behind the counter making an
ice-blended caramel mocha.

She could also be just another student earning minimum wage at
Pauley Pavilion serving hot dogs at the concession stand.

She could even be just one of those smarter-than-smart students
who work as graders for the statistics department.

But for Schettig, holding down three jobs is not even the
beginning of her already packed college life.

Schettig is a marathon runner.

“It’s such a part of my routine, my daily
life,” Schettig said. “I’ve always wanted to have
new challenges in my life, and I’m the kind of person that
always adds things on to my busy schedule.”

Though Schettig is not part of a UCLA team or even a club team,
she is just as talented and just as committed to her sport as any
athlete the Bruins can call their own.

In the last two years, Schettig participated twice in the
grueling 26.2 miles challenge known as the Los Angeles
Marathon.

Her times?

In her first L.A. Marathon, with a field of 8,000 women,
Schettig finished in the top 100, and ninth in her age group of
18-24, with a time of 3:45.

On the second time around, this Antelope Valley native ran an
improbable time of 3:20, a feat that placed her at 32nd among women
and third in her age group.

Like any athlete, Schettig trains every day, has a grueling
regimen, and has sustained excruciating injuries.

“It was severe pain during and immediately following the
marathon,” Schettig said. “I’ll still run the
next day, but I’ll just run like “˜Oww,
oww.'”

Schettig, who ran track and cross country for four years at
Quartz Hill High School with an MVP award MVP her senior year, has
certainly managed to keep herself busy.

As if balancing three jobs and running 4-15 miles a day was not
enough, Schettig has managed to double major in psychology and
political science, while maintaining a whopping 3.959 GPA.

Furthermore, Schettig is part of the Student Research Program
for the psychology department and the Regents Scholars Society. She
also has aspirations to go to law school.

“It’s pretty ridiculous,” boyfriend Brian Yim
said. “She makes me want to work harder. The fact that she
works so hard at all her goals and running, it makes me want to be
better.”

For most people, completing one marathon, let alone two, would
be enough. But Schettig’s career as a marathon runner is not
over yet.

Schettig’s impressive time in her most recent L.A.
Marathon qualified her for the Boston Marathon, the most
prestigious marathon in the country.

Perhaps the most amazing thing for Schettig is that her decision
to run the 108th annual Boston Marathon was made on a whim.

“This girl that I knew that ran the L.A. Marathon came
into Kerckhoff and told me she was going to run the Boston
Marathon,” Schettig said. “The fact that someone else
around my time was doing it, I figured if she can do Boston, I can
do Boston.”

The Boston Marathon will be held this coming Monday.

“Boston is a privilege,” Schettig said.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the fact
that I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to do it
again, I might as well take advantage of it.”

As Schettig prepares for Boston, she has sworn to herself this
will be her final marathon.

Jenny Yadon, her best friend and a runner for the Long Beach
State track and cross country team, said she is definitely proud of
her friend’s accomplishments, regardless of whether or not
this turns out to be her last marathon.

“It’s an amazing story,” Yadon said. “I
don’t think people know how little training she has had. She
(had) never even run 12 miles before.

“She’s going off of pure talent. Mentally and
physically, she has a lot of guts.”

When asked if she was going to run any marathons in the future,
Schettig giggled and denied the possibility.

But is she really done?

Not likely.

Her next goal will be a 450-mile route called the RAGBRAI XXXII,
Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, this July.
Schettig, along with Yadon, will bike across the state of Iowa,
despite not even knowing how to ride a bike.

For Schettig it’s the love of the challenge that drives
her to succeed, not only in marathons, but also in life.

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