Starting in 2000, I got hooked on running. I did the Chicago Marathon, a number of half marathons, and even more 5K and 10Ks. I loved it! Then I got into the triathlon world and pushed my body (in between getting married and having kids) to do more and more.
In May 2007, about a week before the Wood Lake Triathlon, I was told I had a brain tumor. My life stopped at age 30. I had been married for 6 years and had a 3 year old girl and a 10 month old boy. I still did the triathlon though as an attempt to block out my new reality.
On June 13, 2007 I had my tumor removed. All the side effects put me down physically, mentally, and emotionally. I didn’t even think about running. I was more worried about what the doctor was going to tell me next. I was too down about how my life had changed and living with the idea that I could die any day.
Then I heard about a new 5K race coming to S. Pines! It was titled The Reindeer Run. Something in me got excited and for some reason I thought a new life for me needed a new start! So I started to train. I did a one mile loop and worked slowly up from there not sure how my body was going to respond. This race woke me up and got me running again!
I’ve done every Reindeer Run since they started in 2007. I’ve moved up with them from the 5K to the 10K and the 12K. This race woke me up and told me I can get my life back. Every year I run this race I’m reminded how precious life is and how thankful I am for each and every day. In the race I never worry about how fast or hard I run. I simply enjoy being here on earth to participate and have fun! And for that reason, I plan on running every Reindeer Run every year until God calls me to heaven. I pray every day I will be able to cross that finish line when I’m 100 years old with the same feeling of happiness and accomplishment I felt in their first run in 2007!