CORALVILLE (KWWL) -- Raymond Yang set an ambitious goal last fall.
"About 5 months ago, I was talking to my friend," said the Iowa City West senior, "and she said, we should do a marathon.
So, the training began. Yang put in 50, 60, and sometimes 70 miles a week as he hit the roads. He loved the grueling workouts even more with every stride, but then it came to a halt.
"My motivation for everything just dropped to zero," he said, "I don't think I've ever felt that empty at all."
That's because just four days prior to his planned departure to Huntington Beach, California, for the SOCAL River Marathon, Yang received an e-mail. The race, his first ever marathon, had been canceled.
"Just thinking about running, made it hurt," he recalled, "I trained all this time just for this one moment only to have it taken away."
But Raymond's friends, including some West High cross country and track teammates, wouldn't let that happen."
"They were like, 'we're not going to let you get away from this. We're going to have you run 26.2 miles, because you deserve it.'"
They planned a route, and on March 21st, the date he was supposed to run in California he was running alongside his friends bicycles in Johnson County. The emptiness was gone and just over 2 and half hours later, the goal was in sight.
"Coming down those last few miles I knew I had it in the bag," said Yang.
Raymond completed his first marathon in 2 hours, 46 minutes, an unforgetable experience that he says already has him looking forward to the next."
"I'm going to have some great experiences in the future, so, I'm thankful this happened."