Growing up, I was always enchanted by the photos I saw of my dad conquering road races, triathlons, and the one marathon he ever ran: the Marine Corp Marathon. Last year, in October 2018, I decided to join my dad on the endorphin-junkie train and ran as a St. Jude Hero in the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon. It was a wonderful weekend for me and my dad- he got to see his daughter cross the finish line of the very same race he ran exactly 25 years before, and I got to put the twinkle of pride in his eyes for running 26.2 miles and fundraising $5,000 for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
My father has since passed away, about 6 months after our marathon weekend together and 6 months ago from this very moment that I am writing this. To say I miss him is an understatement, but I take comfort in the fact that he is well alive in my heart and in Heaven. I feel him in every moment in this whirlwind called life, but especially when I am doing the thing that we bonded on most: running.
That is why I have chosen to race in the inaugural St. Jude Ironman 70.3 in Memphis, TN on October 3, 2020- to honor my father and his life in the very city he was born. This time around, I will continue on the path of fundraising for the children and families at St. Jude that my dad and I paved that weekend together by swimming, biking and running for a reason much bigger than myself. It is my goal to raise $7,500 while training for this Ironman as my US Marine/PA State Trooper father raised me to always go big or go home.
As I cross the finish line on race day, my daddy will be in my heart, just as he always is. Also in my heart will be the hope that your donation will help find a cure to childhood cancer, so little girls and boys can hug their daddies whenever they want.
Donate today to help me reach my goal. Truly, no gift is too small.