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Runners World Cover- Vote for my Friends!

I’m sitting here at the red picnic table on our back porch, enjoying a beautiful day outside. Marshall is napping and I hear the distant sounds of airplanes coming in, along with the kids outside playing at the school across the street. It feels peaceful out here.

I think we’ll go for a little run when Marshall wakes up- the three of us, Marshall, Cadence and I. I can’t not take advantage of the weather. It should be illegal to not be outside all day today really, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Well, now that my Women’s Running contest is over- there is another one happening! I know a handful of people who have applied for the Runners World Cover Contest– there are so many people worthy of your vote- but I’ve listed some great ones who I have been personally voting for every day.

Indianapolis People:

Scott Spitz

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If you live in Indy you probably have heard of Scott. Glenn and I just knew him as the really fast guy with longish brown hair that we would see on the monon and at some local trail runs. Then my Dad directed me to his blog once he was diagnosed with cancer. Scott says- “Since my cancer diagnosis and debilitating surgery, each run I have taken holds more importance than I ever could have imagined. Sometimes I am running to inspire and sometimes I’m running to save my own life, but the greatest accomplishment is that I’m not only still here, but also still running….and still getting faster.” This guy is inspiring to say the least and I believe he deserves your vote.

WHY IS RUNNING IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Cancer is trying to kill me, but it’s going to have to catch me first. One year ago I was kept alive by machines for days after undergoing what is called the “Mother Of All Surgeries”, but each day I recovered and each day I got stronger. Then I started my chemotherapy regimen (19 infusions and over 1000 chemo pills), but continued regaining back my old life through running. No other accomplishment since diagnosis has held more importance than the act of running, which both keeps me hopeful and, quite possibly, alive.

 

 Andrew Peterson

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I don’t personally know Andrew but my friend Marty Posch works for Finish Line and they do a lot of work with the Special Olympics. Marty says – “If you ever have the chance to meet my friend Andrew through Special Olympics you will see how much running has changed him. It has made him more outgoing, more confident and given him a passion to continue to move forward in life. He is an amazing guy who also happens to be an amazing runner. At the Special Olympics national games he ran a 3K in a little over 10 minutes!! Blazing fast! Vote for Andrew, it would do wonders for him and all he has accomplished as well as continuing to spread the word about what Special Olympics means to athletes.”

WHY IS RUNNING IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Running is important to me because I can succeed. Although I like to have a partner, I can always run on my own – either in my neighborhood or on a nearby trail. I am able to push my body and feel good about myself. I like that feeling. For several years I have motivated many Special Olympics athletes to believe in themselves, train harder and improve their times. Running has also allowed me to inspire hundreds of people on and off the track. Last year I started speaking to high school students about including others and accepting them.

 

My FRIENDS:

Michele Gonzalez

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I met Michele through twitter- and she is so sweet, genuine and caring. When I had my surgery back in October, I was in tears when I received flowers from someone I’d never even met in real life. I did get to meet Michele at the Boston Marathon this year- just for a quick hug at mile 25, but we talk on a regular basis and she is one of the most supportive people I know. She is inspiring to say the least- she trained for Boston while deployed in Iraq, coming back to run her marathon PR. After her second baby she trained for her first Ironman- girlfriend was pumping in transition… that is commitment…. to both baby and sport! 🙂

WHY IS RUNNING IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Running is important to me because it is a mental and physical challenge that changes on a daily basis. Some days, it’s a challenge to run a pace or distance. Other days, it’s a challenge to even get out the door at 5am after a bad night’s sleep due to wakeups from the boys. At other times, it’s been a challenge to juggle running and being a mom – whether running during pregnancy, running while breastfeeding (I finished my first IM while exclusively breastfeeding my 10 m/o) or running with stroller. Running lets me challenge myself each and every day.

 

Katie Edwards

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Katie- another twitter, blog friend is someone who is always inspiring. She works hard, believes in the work she puts in and delivers. I got to spend time with Katie at Boston this year when we roomed together. While she has an insane marathon PR of 2:45… which she ran in Boston this year (not the easiest course to slam a PR if you ask me), she is so humble- but she’s feisty too and wants to win and kill her times – which is one thing I really love about her. Katie found out she had Melanoma when she was 8 months pregnant with her second child- and ever since has used running to push her to achieve goals she never thought imaginable. While I certainly don’t have times like a 2:45 in me- she has made me believe that I can in fact run much faster than I give myself credit for- it’s important to have people like that in your lives- you push you to believe you can do more.

WHY IS RUNNING IMPORTANT TO YOU?

I was 25, 8 months pregnant, a 13 month old at home and a melanoma diagnoses. After an induced premature delivery and surgery one week later, I learned life waits for no one. Now I have big goals and am determined to make them happen. I know that the seemingly impossible IS possible. My life flows when I am running and working hard. Running gives back what I put in – strength, determination, belief in myself – and allows me to share that with those around me. I LOVE seeing people discover themselves in running.

 

There are so many others I know of who have joined this competition and I wish I could promote them all! For now, I hope you enjoy these inspiring stories and give them a shot at being on the cover of Runners World!

You can vote daily through August 15th- then it’s up to the Runner’s World judges! – David Willey, Tish Hamilton and Bart Yasso. 

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