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McCain: 'Where's Capac?'


Alumni catch former candidate's eye at Phoenix marathon



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February 17, 2010
CAPAC — Palm trees? Chinese bistros? Presidential candidates?

Not necessarily the usual sights on Main Street, but for a group of fun-loving Capac High School grads all of that and more was part of a recent experience during the P.F. Chang's Marathon and 1/2 Marathon in Phoenix, Arizona last month.

Kim Kot, a 1979 Capac grad joined '84 alumni Lisa McCarthy, Karen Zora, Lori Hannon-Fouchey and 1996 grad Kelly Hargrave for a reunion trip to the sunny state to take part in the January 17 marathon.

Kim, Lisa and Kelly are sisters—the daughters of Neil and Liz Hargrave—but Liz is quick to add all the women are as close as family.

Kim has been a longtime half-marathoner, Liz adds, with Lisa having a few full marathons under her belt. This year Kelly joined in what has become somewhat of a tradition.

"Five Capac girls had done it before, and they just all decided this was the year to do it," Liz says. "And you know, Phoenix is a nice place to be in January."

The Capac grads signed up for the half-marathon, meaning they could walk or run 13.1 miles. Every one of them finished, evidenced by the medals they're wearing in the photos.

The 'Capac' t-shirts, in the school's colors, came from Doodling Outback Embroidery in downtown Capac, courtesy of Liz—who sits on the village council.

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Kim Kot, Capac Class of 1979 joins ’84 alumni Lisa McCarthy, Karen Zorn and Lori Hanon-Fouchey and ’96 grad Kelly Hargrave at Phoenix, AZ marathon.

"I had the five jerseys made and asked 'will you guys wear them?' and of course they said 'you bet!'"

Those hometown jerseys ended up catching the eye of one very special guest featured at the Phoenix marathon: Sen. John McCain.

"The five girls started out together and they finished close together," Liz says. "John McCain looked down and said 'Where is Capac?' and they said 'Michigan!'"

That was one of many high points the alumni experienced during the adventure.

"These girls are as close as if they were all still going to school together," Liz says. "They really had a good time."

Their enjoyment has become infectious. Liz and her husband Neil have become involved in marathons and half-marathons for a number of years.

"The girls got together in 2003 and Neil and I said 'you know, let's try this, we could do this,' so we trained and trained," Liz grins. "The first one we did was a half marathon in Cleveland in the fall and it was beautiful, a beautiful course. And we finished it and we were so pleased."

Since then, Liz and Neil have walked in Phoenix, Cincinatti, and closer to home in Flint, Imlay City and elsewhere.

"We do them together," she says. "That's our commitment."

Liz says training is important, but you don't have to be a star athlete to experience the sense of accomplishment.

"My philosophy is start out slow and cut back," Liz laughs. "The thing is you feel real good about yourself when you participate."

Recently, the Hargraves enjoyed a marathon experience with seven family members: two granddaughters, three daughters and themselves.

"It's really a lot of fun," Liz says.

For more information on upcoming PF Chang's 'Rock N Roll' Marathon series, google "PF Chang marathons," or visit www.pfchangs.com.

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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