Participating in THON at University Park
in February will be, left to right,
Tori Haney, Micah Victoria, and T.J. Legel.
Aching feet, sore backs, sleeplessness, and a remarkable feeling of exhilaration combined to make THON 2010 a memorable experience for two Penn State Harrisburg students.
T.J. Legel, a junior Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Morgantown, and Tori Haney, a sophomore Elementary Education major from Collegeville, found that enduring the 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping event February 19 to 21 was tough, but they would do it all again.
The marathon in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus this year raised a record $7.8 million to fund the fight against pediatric cancer at the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey, surpassing the 2009 total by more than $347,000. Funds raised by T.J., Tori, and related efforts on the Penn State Harrisburg campus netted more than $11,000 this year for THON.
Supported by their “coach and inspirational leader,” senior Micah Victoria, T.J. and Tori both described THON as an “amazing experience.”
“It was rough, but also a whole lot of fun,” T.J. says. “The worst thing was trying to stay awake – I actually fell asleep standing up! My feet hurt, but I am absolutely glad I did it.”
T.J. also credits the more than 30 Penn State Harrisburg students who drove from Middletown to University Park to encourage the two dancers for giving them extra incentive to finish. “Now that they have seen what THON is like, I hope they will take part next year as dancers,” he adds.
Tori, who says she’s still catching up on sleep, also said the marathon “was a lot harder physically than I anticipated. About 30 hours in, I really got tired. My feet and back were killing me. Near the end, I injured my ankle and burst into tears, but T.J. calmed me down and I finished!”
And would they do it again?
T.J. says, “Right now, no, but in a year, yes.” And Tori adds, “Yes, definitely! But I had no idea how bad my feet would hurt.”