114 Massages in 4 Hours: Massage Therapy Students Assist at Fargo Marathon

Fairly new to the massage therapy program program, Travis Peacock found himself face to face with a top athlete who was looking to him for relief. The athlete had just run 26.2 miles with 8,000 other runners from around the world. Looking over his shoulder, Travis saw a long line of sore, tired athletes waiting for him. So Travis took a deep breath and put his textbook learning into action. Within moments, the athlete was feeling good and ready to join the post party of 28 live bands playing outside.

Massage Therapy Program

The massage students and instructors before the Fargo Marathon

Both the athlete and Travis were part of the Fargo Marathon. Over 20,000 people were in town for the 10th Annual Fargo Marathon. Each year, Globe University-Moorhead students take the opportunity to provide massages to those who run the full 26.2 miles. Fifteen students provided 114 massages in four hours! Students from the massage therapy program worked on athletes from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Maryland, Kansas, New York, Arizona, Montana, Virginia, Wyoming, Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Student Travis Peacock said, “The variety of issues I was able to work on taught me so much. Being fairly new, I was able to make such a difference in someone who came in hobbling but left walking upright with energy. I was able to learn from other students who have almost completed the program. This experience confirms why I chose this program. It’s great to see immediate results from my work.”


Randi Olsen, massage therapy program chair, said, “There is no other place locally that students can gain this kind of experience. To be able to work on athletes who train year round, who know their bodies so well and are willing to entrust them to us is actually quite humbling. These students have been able to work on so many different issues today. We take them back to class, discuss them, and talk about what the runner could do going forward for therapy. It is such a great opportunity!”

During the massage session, Randi Olsen and Instructor Toby Mulvihill circulated between the tables demonstrating additional techniques and explained in real time the situations students had only read about or attempted to try to simulate in the classroom.

Massage Therapy Program

Travis Peacock, upper right, in action with his fellow students and athletes

Back in the classroom the following week, the students shared their toughest issues while the rest of the class was able to learn from experiences of the other students.

The marathon also gave students insight into what it is like to work on client after client after client.

“It’s difficult to take a break when there are 50 people waiting for us so we had to keep working even though our arms are tired as well,” said student Mona Mendez.

For Travis, he concluded, “I can’t wait to see what I will learn next!”