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My First Marathon with St. Jude Hero Michelle

My First Marathon with St. Jude Hero Michelle

Five years ago, I never would have believed I could run a half marathon but Saturday, December 2, 2017 I finished my first full marathon running for the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I finished 6th in my age group and had a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

Training for this race was one of the most difficult things I have ever done: long runs on the weekend in blistering 90 degree heat or frosty winds of 20 and below. All of this was achieved ONLY with the support and encouragement of the CRC running group. I had never before been a part of a running group or had a training cycle for any of my half marathons. I know for a fact, my success in the St. Jude Marathon would never have been achieved if it wasn’t for the Columbus Running Company.

This race was not necessarily my best long run. My celiac got the better of me the week leading up to the race. Race day came and I was still getting sick (even in the middle of the race) and at mile 15 I tripped in a pothole and added another level of anxiety by tweaking my already stressed IT band.

My driving moment was seeing the patients of St. Jude lining the streets in their coats, holding signs, and cheering - and all of the families crying for what we, as runners, were doing: giving their children hope. The money raised pays for the children’s medical bills, housing, and food so the families focus on helping their child beat the dreaded disease of cancer. All of my training and any pain at that point didn’t matter. What mattered were the looks of pride and awe on the patients' faces. Pride that so many people were running for them and awe at what runners would go through for total strangers. These children fight every day simply for another breath. I fought to finish the race to give them hope.

The day after the marathon I was convinced I would not run again because of the pain in my muscles. Then I got a call from my younger cousin saying she wanted to run a half marathon because of me. It was that instant I changed my mind forever. Now I just need to decide which race to run!

Just hanging with Elvis post-race

 

And grabbing post-race Memphis barbecue with Dad

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