We often ask our Runners and Walkers to share their stories about why they are inspired to run. Their stories inspire, motivate, and move others: runners, spectators, sponsors, people everywhere.
We are grateful for those who have responded; their stories are uplifting and inspiring. If you would like to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org for submission guidelines.
Here are a few of our runners’ stories.
I started my journey in December 2011. I weighed 300 pounds, my friend brought me to the gym. I worked hard but didn’t realize I had an eating disorder and food addiction problem. I hit rock bottom in 2012. I got the help I needed. I dropped 160 pounds. In 2015 I signed up for my first tough mudder. I found a great trainer. I fell in love with obstacle course racing. I signed up for my first half marathon at Disney in 2017. In 2017 I ran 40 races, last year 30. This year I’m going for 40 again. I have a service dog that runs all the smaller races with me. She is the best thing in my life.
Let’s face it! We don’t want to get old; however, getting older enthusiastically is rewarding. I hate to admit it; I was a smoker … it wasn’t until the dreaded 40’s that I tried running to break the habit. I did not have any health issue; it wasn’t impending doom. It was a smart thing to do. Now at 67, I have been smoke-free for almost 25 years. Thanks to running!
I am known as a perfectionist, a competitor. A run around the block led to my first 5K, to a 5.5 miler, to a 10K, to a half marathon … and, then the ultimate, a full marathon in 2009 at 57 years old. …. My competitive nature has kept me going. …Sometimes I win, sometimes I place. Sometimes, simply finishing a difficult race is all I need. Sometimes, just knowing that I can run at 67 is my prize. … Everyone has 20/20 hindsight. I look back and ask myself, “What if I never smoked?” or “What if I began to run during my 20s?” Then, I tell myself, “Don’t do that!” I say, “If it’s beneficial, begin now! Not tomorrow, but now!” We all get older, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get old.
When I was 33 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage 2b breast cancer. After significant treatment which included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I chose to start running because it helped and continues to help combat the side effects of the medication I need to take for the indefinite future. Exercise helps; I am living proof that it does.
As a young woman, it was difficult to lose my hair and watch my shapely figure fade away. But since I have started running, I have had a surge in confidence. I feel strong, empowered and grateful for every day. The camaraderie with my fellow carpool friends as well as my 169 Towns Society mates has been imperative for my physical and emotional health. I have completed over 125 races, three of which have been half marathons. I ran my 93rd town in the state of Connecticut on January 26th. This race* will be my 110th town completed.
I recall asking my oncologist at our first appointment to help me see my two-and-a-half-year-old son’s high school graduation. He’s nine now, and we are well on our way to that goal.
I will never be the fastest runner in the group, but knowing that I can wake up every day and run is motivation in and of itself.
*24th Annual Bradley Road Race, March 30, 2019