Growing up I played lots of different sports, but I wasn’t ever very ‘fit’ and never thought I could be a runner – I couldn’t even run a mile! A couple of years ago, inspired by my sister and friend, I decided that I would actually start training for all these half marathons I had been doing (I’ve now completed 21).
I was so excited when Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana was chosen to be a charity team for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon last year! The chance to combine two of my passions gave me a lot of motivation – and I rolled out of bed a few mornings a week at 4:30am to get miles in before work.
This year I set a goal to raise $1,000 for Team RMHCK – a huge goal for me, as I don’t like asking people for money! Training started in January and I faithfully tracked my miles. I found a wonderful training buddy and friend to do the long runs with each week.
As with most things in life there were bumps along the road – including the unexpected passing of my stepmom, Vicki, in March. Vicki was a wonderful lady that always put others before herself and I wanted to do something special to honor her. I decided to raise money for Team RMHCK and run this year’s Derby miniMarathon in her memory. Thanks to my awesome family and friends I surpassed my fundraising goal!
With the support of Team RMHCK, my family and friends I crossed the start line on race day and never looked back. I had a goal of finishing the Derby Mini-Marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes – what would have been a new personal record by about 4 minutes. Despite the rain, race day was perfect for me – and I finished in 2:23:45! I know this is slow compared to a lot of people – but that was 37 minutes faster than the same race two years ago. It turns out training makes a BIG difference – who knew!
I’m so proud of all that Team RMHCK has done to help raise funds to make the Ronald McDonald House a warm, comfortable place for families to stay when they need it the most – and glad that I could be a part of it. My next challenge will be completing my very first full marathon in October. With lots of support and the desire to succeed anything is possible – even me being a runner!