Earning my Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal was a dream come true! I started running in my late 30’s as a way to cope with my father’s death. Running ended up becoming a passion that I combined with my love of travel. I have found inspiration from my dad, who wrote me a note before his death that said “Your future is unlimited. Remember to have fun with it.” I wore a gold dolphin charm pinned to my clothing near my heart for each of the AWMM races. It contains a pinch of my dad’s ashes. I draw strength from him and this also became his journey through these incredible cities with me.
My biggest obstacle was getting into the Boston Marathon. I am not a fast enough runner to qualify with my age group. However, I was fortune to earn a bib thru the Travis Roy Foundation. I raised $10,850 in memory of my dad, who became a paraplegic after an accidental puncturing of his spinal cord during back surgery. The Travis Roy Foundation provides monies toward research to find a cure for paralysis. And, TRF provides individual grant funds toward the purchase of adaptive equipment to help quadriplegics and paraplegics to live their lives more independently.
My journey started as a way of coping and to better my health. It has evolved into a way of life. Running makes me feel alive and younger than my age. I wasn’t an athlete as a kid. I became an athlete once I started running. I am so thankful to be able to run. My next challenge will be to become a first time Ironman, later this year at Ironman Louisville in Kentucky.