Why Will You #runsiouxfalls?
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Hometown: Grand Island, Nebraska (Currently lives in Sioux Falls)
I have always enjoyed sports and athletic activities, but I was never a fan of running longer distances. I was a sprinter/hurdler in high school and college, so the longest I liked to run was 200 meters. Longer distances used to seem like torture to me! In 2008, I was 22 years old and heading into my first year of graduate school for my clinical doctorate. I had just finished my bachelor’s degree and I was moving to a new city. My father passed away at a time in my life where I was going through so many transitions and needed an outlet. I started running shortly after my father passed away, as a way to clear my mind and reflect. I used running as my therapy and as my time to grieve. Running helped me feel like myself in a time when everything around me was changing. Soon, I started setting goals for myself and began entering 5k races. I started to enjoy running with a crowd of people and loved having another purpose to run. In 2010, I ran my first half marathon and 3 more after that. In 2013, I registered for the Sioux Falls Half Marathon; however my husband and I found out we were expecting our first daughter and decided it would be better if I didn’t run. Here I am, 4 years and 2 daughters later, and I am excited to be running again. I am registered for the 2017 Sioux Falls Half Marathon and it will be my 5th half marathon, which I think is a huge accomplishment for someone who used to hate running more than 200 meters!
Name: Sheila Beerman
Hometown: Elk Point, South Dakota
I love running. I love the running community, I love to challenge myself. I love to travel and I absolutely love meeting other runners. The running community is like a family! I have completed a marathon in each of the 50 states. I have completed all the marathons in South Dakota except for Crazy Horse, which is on my radar. I have completed all 6 of the major marathons and have completed 6 of the continents and will complete Africa in July 2017. I have run 116 marathons and 55 half marathons. It has been a journey and an adventure, a blessing beyond words! I have done the [Sioux Falls Half Marathon] in 2010 and 2011, and I’ve done the full in 2012 and 2015. Since it is close to home, I often know others running. I know the area and it is just a pretty run. My husband and I especially love when we can run with one or more of our seven children who are all grown. The first picture is from 9-11-2011, which was a bit of an emotional day but it showed how strong we are as a country. The second picture is from the Sioux Falls Marathon in 2012 as I approach the bridge fairly close to the finish on the old route. The last is the 2015 Sioux Falls Marathon with a girl scout who put the medal around my neck. Every run has its special moments!
Name: Devon Bruna
Hometown: Madison, South Dakota
My first ever marathon was done in Sioux Falls. It was the greatest day of my life. The moment I saw the finish line, my emotions took over and I could not hold back the tears. All the hours of training and all the miles logged were finally rewarded with the completion of the marathon. The support and venue of the experience were second to none.There have been many times where giving up would have been the easier option. Giving up on a training run, giving up on a race, giving up on training. As I get older, I am giving up on excuses. There is not enough time to live with regrets. Running has giving me a purpose and helped keep my focus. The mental training that has to happen while training for, and competing in events has helped me in all aspects of life. I will be participating in the marathon for 2017. This will be marathon number three and part of something bigger as it will be part of Ironman training. To think that 3 years ago, I had not run farther than 4 miles. Now, the event that started it all, is part of something even bigger.
Name: Paige Wright
College: University of South Dakota
My name is Paige Wright. I am twenty-one years old and an incoming History Education Senior at the University of South Dakota. My father was diagnosed with PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) when I was no more than four years old. For seventeen years he monitored his health, managed his diet, and waited for the perfect kidney match. In honor of my father's fight against PKD, I decided last year to run seventeen half-marathons for him, as well as other organizations and causes that I want to raise awareness and funds for. Three days before my race last year on May 11, 2016 my father received a call notifying him that he had a kidney match and that he must get the transplant immediately. Essentially, it was an act of God's perfect timing that on the morning of May 14, 2016 at 7am I was preparing to run for the man who I looked up to the most was also recovering from a lifesaving transplant surgery. This year, my father will be able to cheer me on from the sidelines and watch me finish the race.The Sioux Falls half-marathon will be my second consecutive race. (Paige is pictured far right. Photo by Sean Walsh)
Name: Tania Blanco
Hometown: Dell Rapids, South Dakota
I have known Michelle for almost 8 years now. She is a great mom and she is very active with her kids. She is very competitive and loves to run. Regardless, she has never criticized my weight or ever made me feel less of a person because I am not in shape. She is part of a running group in Dell Rapids that meets every Saturday morning to run about 3 miles. She introduced me to this group, and together we ran the Hobo Days race last year. It was a 5k. Prior to that race she encouraged me to give it a try and she promised me she was going to stay with me thought the entire race no matter if I walked or ran. So I practiced, but not as much as I should have, and I ran the race. I could not run the entire time, I walked and jogged and regardless of it she was right by my side cheering me on. I have really bad allergies so I had to use my inhaler and I thought I was not going to make it but she coached me all the way to the end and she was by my side and we did it! It felt great and it gave me the motivation to do another race in the future were I will do the whole 5k without walking! A couple of weeks ago Michelle and I were talking and she told me about this race. She told me if I start training now, by then I should be able to run it all the way, so she encouraged me to sign up right away as motivation and I am in my second week of training. I know it may not be much but at 44 years old and having never been a runner, I managed to run or jog for 20 minutes straight last week. That is huge for me. Michelle checks on me every week and as always, gives me encouragement and never lets me think that I can't do it. She inspires me to be a better runner and someday do a 1/2 marathon with her.