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Emily Oren, who won the women’s half-marathon, poses with Alan Peterson, who won the men’s marathon. Both are coached by former Hillsdale Assistant Dis­tance Coach Joe Lynn. (Photo: Joe Lynn / Courtesy)

Emily Oren had never run a race over six kilo­meters before she ran the Detroit Half Marathon last Sunday. But it didn’t matter for the 2016 graduate and nine-time NCAA division II National Champion as she beat out over 6,900 other women to win the race by more than two minutes.

Oren said that after the gun went off and she got over her pre-race ner­vousness, the race was “pretty chill,” as she slowly cut down her pace to well below six minutes per mile over the dis­tance of the 13.1 mile com­pe­tition.

She fin­ished the race in 1:19:48, aver­aging just over six minutes per mile.

“I talked with the people around me and it was sur­prising how it didn’t seem to drag on,” Oren said. “I wasn’t starting off in a sprint or any­thing.”

Oren’s plan going into the race was to push herself a bit more during miles five through 10, and finish hard in the last 5k.

“I think I did that a little bit before mile 10, so by the end I was a little bit tired, but I still neg­ative split the whole thing,” Oren said.

Although Oren was a steeple­chase spe­cialist in college and she admitted that trying to find the right pace was a little bit “weird,” she even­tually found the right rhythm, and didn’t even look at her watch after mile six.

After a surge in the second mile, Oren began to sep­arate from the race’s lead pack of women, and then she said she began to sep­arate from the second-place woman at mile six.

“That’s what made the last mile so hard, I knew if I held it together, I had it won,” she said.

Oren’s coach, Joe Lynn, who coached her for two years as Hillsdale’s assistant dis­tance coach before leaving the program this past summer, said Oren’s race is a tes­tament to the training she’s put in this fall.

“We’ve really focused on getting her out of her comfort zone and into sit­u­a­tions that not only are chal­lenging phys­i­cally, but also involved a great deal of mental focus and resiliency,” Lynn said. “I’m really proud of her not only because of the tremendous job she’s done in this training we’ve done this fall, but in doing all this while working a demanding full time job.”

Moving forward, Oren said she hopes to run indoor track and post a time fast enough to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Cham­pi­onship.

Lynn added that Oren’s training for the half-marathon is part of her training for the coming indoor and outdoor track seasons.

“I’d like to see her make a run at sub 4:30 in the mile and sub 9:00 in the 3k this indoor,” Lynn said. “For outdoor not only see her progress in the steeple, but run some national elite level 1500s and 5ks.”

Although Oren said that she would like to become spon­sored by a shoe company and be paid to run full-time, she cur­rently works in the Hillsdale College admis­sions office.

Emily Oren’s younger sister, Molly, is a senior at Hillsdale and is the captain of the women’s cross country team.

During her running career at Hillsdale, Oren set three indi­vidual school records as well as the NCAA Division II record in the steeple­chase when she ran 9:50 at the GLIAC Con­ference Cham­pi­onship last May.