I was never an athlete – my only activity was watching my boys play sports. At age 56, looking for ways to cope with some emotional upheavals, I discovered I loved to run. It changed me, brought me out of a depression I didn’t even know I was in, and gave me the courage and confidence to take control of my life and really start living in a way I had never thought possible.
With the help of three wonderful, inspiring women, I went from barely jogging a lap around the track to running the 2017 Boston Marathon. The first is Kim Laakso, a friend and co-worker who convinced me to join the Arvada Running Club, an informal group of fun and supportive women. Thanks to Kim and the ARC, at 58, I decided to run the Marine Corp Marathon in October, 2014, and I finished in 4:39:32. I loved the experience, but wasn’t sure I was up for another one. Then I went to an event featuring Kathrine Switzer – the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. When she suggested I join her 50th anniversary celebration at the 2017 Boston Marathon, it seemed like a pipe dream, but I couldn’t quite get it out of my head. In April, 2015, I met Jenni Nettik of Mercuria Running at the Highland Tap and Burger Run Club, and when I told her about my dream, she convinced me I could do it, and she showed me how! On October 18, 2015, the 13th anniversary of my father’s passing, with him, Jenni and a host of others providing moral support, I ran the Detroit Marathon in 4:17:20, good enough for a 60-year-old to earn a spot in Boston in 2017. While I was at it, Jenni encourage me to sign up for the New York City Marathon this November. I’m so excited to be training with Jenni again. She is a genius at breaking down the massive amounts of information out there about how to become a better runner, and arriving at fundamentals that she helps you master, all the while making it so much fun that you wish you could have a daily session! Kim and Kathrine helped lead me to dream, and now Jenni is helping me to live it.