Approaching the big 5-0, it was very apparent that metabolism has not been as kind as when I was younger. I know that I need to live a healthier lifestyle. Then I saw in the church bulletin that Molly Wade is starting a new ministry that involves training for a 5K race. That year, the whole family ran five 5K races. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I join Run for God every year.On the second year, I also ran 10K and 5-mile races because I wanted to participate in the Seacoast Roadrace Series where you get a cool jacket. The next year was the first running of the first half-marathon in Dover, NH. Since it will almost pass my house, I felt like I had to do it.
Noticing that I've increased my race distance every year, it only made sense for me to run a marathon the next year. Honolulu was a great first marathon because there is no time limit.
I really wanted this to be the first marathon that I run, When I did not get in the lottery the first time, I did two things: (1) I registered for the Honolulu Marathon; (2) I volunteered for the NYC marathon. It galvanized my want to run the NYC marathon. I do consider this the best marathon, so far.
I wasn't planning to run Chicago. But while on the web one night last year, I saw that it was the deadline to join the lottery. So, I did. Two weeks later I got in. While looking for online information on this marathon, I learned about the Abbot World Marathon Majors. I then decided that I will be seeking the holy grail of marathon medals.
Towards the end of my training, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had double mastectomy two weeks after the marathon.
This is the only majors that does not have a lottery. Since, I live 60 miles outside of Boston, I cannot use Marathon Tours. So the only way to go is to be a charity runner. I proved that there is no better time to raise money for cancer research than when you are battling cancer -- for the third time. I raised over $20,000.00 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
It was an epic marathon weather-wise. It was raining the whole time, cold, and strong wind. So when the devil whispered to me "you can't weather the storm, I yelled back "I am the storm!"
This was my first marathon in another country. I got in through the lottery. The more i think about it, the more convinced I am that this has been the best marathon so far. Two to go. My charity for the London Marathon let me wear their running vest in advanced. A couple of runners approached me during the marathon to thank me for running for breast cancer. Just like a lot of people, their lives have been touched by the disease.
This was a very memorable one. Early in my training I started feeling pain on my right thigh. The orthopedist that I saw advised me to immediately stop running. I did. I continued my training by aqua jogging. I was very concerned because Tokyo has the strictest (and also crazy) rules on making your time. I resolved to run it anyway. It was definitely the right decision.
It was also memorable because my sister, Aurea, was there to see me do it. Accompanied by my friend who lives in Tokyo, Chris Hoskins, she saw me on the route several times including the finish line. That made it extra special.
I raised funds for building a Ronald McDonald House in Tokyo.
I ran with the charity team Breast Cancer Now. Their mission is that by 2050, anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer will live. This will only happen if we act now. Click below for the video that they made after the race. It almost feels like a personal video for me.
My favorite niece, Kay and her husband, Miguel came from Bristol to see me run. They cheered me on at a couple of spots on the route and celebrated with me at the team reception. It's extra special because this is where I received my Abbott World Marathon Major Six-Star Medal.
2018 Virtual NYC Marathon
I asked runner friend to run with me on any portion of my route. A corporate sponsor pledged $25 for each mile ran. A total of 27 runners ran with me and I raised 2,500 UKPounds for my 2019 London Marathon Charity.
NYC Marathon 2019
Philadelphia Marathon 2019
(Collect medals, ask for medic, straight to a wheelchair. This is what a marathon injury looks like at the finish line.)
Baystate half Marathon 2019
(This is what happy looks like.)