My inspiration to become a runner started when my daughter Morgan joined her cross country team freshman year at the same high school I attended. My younger brothers were runners for this same high school, both XC and Track. I came to running just a few years ago in my 50’s and was never an athlete growing up. When my daughter was invited to Disney in 2013 to run a half marathon with her cousin I said I would go along and try the 5k. I did and have never looked back. I have now run numerous 5k’s, a 10K, a 14K, and one ½ marathon. I am currently training for my second ½ which takes place this weekend.
To have the opportunity to run with an ultra-marathoner who would be doing part of his run not only where I currently live, Stratford, but through the city I grew up and presently work—Bridgeport, was something that I wanted to experience, especially since this start was a few blocks from my workplace!
To say this was an honor is an understatement. I was very humbled to be able to guide Simon and Neil through the streets of Bridgeport with its massive construction sites and endless stoplights. I learned a lot from them in the mere 5 miles of their 26+ journey that day.
I discovered that maybe, just maybe I too might be able to take on a marathon and have begun to really think hard about the reality of the challenge…
They were both so awe-inspiring and in our brief talks had the belief in me that a marathon is something that I too may accomplish!
One of the highlights of the journey was passing by one of our local high schools. Without missing a step Neil began reading to us the words on a sign attached to the school’s wall. Meant for our inner-city youth it was also quite a fitting mantra for what runners do- “Turning your dreams into a reality take attitude, discipline, focus, determination.”
Our leg ended in Fairfield where my daughter Morgan’s XC team and high school principal met up with us to guide them through Fairfield. I left feeling a bit sad since I had to go back to work, and would have loved to continue on with them. However, I was elated that I had the opportunity to have participated in such a historical moment that is now a part of my running journey. The high lasted for the rest of the day! I feel truly blessed and thank Ali and Runkeeper for reaching out to me so I could have this incredible experience with two amazing runners.
To read more about Simon’s trip after this, be sure to check out Chris’s recap blog!