by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
Built between 72-80 AD, the Colosseum in Rome has an outer circumference around 545 metres.
Millions of tourists have sauntered around this world famous structure, while others have run around it.
One such runner was Kim McEwan.
Currently a third-year student (Psychology) at St. Mary's University in Calgary, the 30 year-old McEwan was a globetrotting runner of sorts.
Following graduation from Oilfields High School in Black Diamond, Alberta, "Where I played volleyball and we did pretty good," McEwan enrolled at SAIT to study Business Administration for two years.
After spending a few years "working" in the world of "accounting", McEwan decided to see the actual world.
"I was 23 and I decided that I wanted to travel the world," reminisced McEwan, of the three-year adventure. "I went to Western Europe and then lived in Australia for two years and then went to Southeast Asia for six months.
"I just wanted some more life experiences and to know myself a lot more and put myself in that position. So away I went."
It was during this time that McEwan, now entering her third season as a member of the St. Mary's Lightning cross country running team, would go on her runs when not working, be it in the hospitality industry or on a farm.
"Some of the places were a little polluted, so I could not do much running...the air quality was not that good.
"In Australia it was very humid and quite hilly as well. When I was running in Thailand, a lot of Thai people would stare at me wondering what I was doing. They thought I needed a ride or a taxi. People would ask me if I needed a taxi?
"I ran past the Acropolis of Athens in Greece and it was on a big hill that was a bit of a steep one.
"I ran around the Colosseum in Rome. It was neat and I did not realize how big it was. While running I envisioned the spectators (from Ancient Roman times) walking in and thought that was neat."
Returning to Canada, she later enrolled at St. Mary's and became a member of the cross country team in 2016-2017.
"I did a little bit of running in junior high school but I have always done running on my own. Entering 10 K runs and stuff like that," said McEwan. "I enjoyed running on my own and it was therapeutic.
"Being part of a team was neat as I just wanted to meet new people...people that also liked running."
Last season McEwan was clocking the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Running Room Grand Prix events with times between 32:14 and 34:23.
This year, her times have improved drastically for the six kilometre distance, with the 5-foot-8 runner clocking 28:30, 29:03 and 29:47 to date.
Of the improvement: "I just have a lot of good supportive friends and they have pushed me to different limits that I thought I could not do."
Her goal is to crack the 27 minute mark in her final year of ACAC action.
"That is the goal I set for myself and I would like to hit that goal."
When asked if there are any other historical places that she would like to run?
"I would love to run on the Great Wall of China. It would be quite hilly and the view would be incredible."