This year has brought many challenges: my mother fought breast cancer for the second time, and my sister-in-law is presently undergoing chemotherapy to fight this same disease. In many ways, running is a parallel to life. There are challenges all along the way. We have a choice every time we meet one. They have chosen to rise up and conquer. I would like to run in honor of their courage and strength.

My running career started about 7 years ago. I have been a member of RunGR since 2012. Since then I have run 4 marathons and I am about to run my 5th in Indianapolis on November 4. I recently ran 22 miles of the Grand Rapids marathon to pace a friend of mine. We ran an average pace of 10:15-10:30 and she made her goal! It was her first marathon; I was privileged to be a part of that experience with her.

In addition, I have run numerous half-marathons including the Gazelle girl. Last year I placed 4th in my age group at the Rivertown Half. My pace was 8:55. I am a strong believer of setting goals and working hard to meet them. I also believe that running should be fun.

I would feel honored to be a pacer at the Gazelle Girl 2018. My wish would be to pace the 10:00 group with a couple friends of mine. I know that it carries a great responsibility to encourage and inspire the runners in that group. I would be excited to be a part of their day and welcome the challenge with excitement!