What made you start running?
I had a weight problem and got tired of dieting all the time so started running. I was very lucky because I found that I loved running. It helped me lose weight and get in shape, and has become my way of managing stress and seeing the world.
When and why did you decide you were going to run a half-marathon or marathon on all seven continents?
I was on the Safaricom Marathon trip with Marathon Tours with a large group of Canadian runners. Kenya was their 7th continent and their enthusiasm for completing their goal and running in so many different places was infectious. I went home and signed up for Antarctica and made it my goal to run all 7 continents.
How do you stay motivated through all those miles?
Running always makes me feel good so it’s not hard to stay motivated. I work long hours in an office so always look forward to running outdoors and tuning out the noise.
How many marathons and/or half-marathons have you run?
I just ran my 38th marathon in Jerusalem. I didn’t run my first marathon until age 40 when I found out Oprah was running the Marine Corp Marathon for her 40th birthday. I thought if she can do it, I can do it since I had been running a lot longer than she had. I got hooked after the first one.
What is your favorite race and why?
Antarctica. It is the most amazing place – so pristine and beautiful. It was a real sense of adventure traveling and running there.
What race did you learn the most about yourself?
The Paris Marathon. I was recently divorced and wanted to challenge myself to travel internationally on my own. Although I didn’t speak French (and still don’t), I decided on Paris and spent 10 days there seeing the sights. It was my first trip w/Marathon Tours & Travel and had such a good experience that I’ve done 17 more trips with the company and still have more to do.
What is your favorite part about running and traveling?
Running is the best foot tour you can take in a new place. I’ve seen things that I would not have seen if I didn’t run. I have met the best people traveling w/Marathon Tours & Travel and love the enthusiasm we all share for running and visiting new places.
It doesn’t have to be a race, but what is your favorite place/city to run?
San Francisco where I currently live. I can go out my door and run 3 miles or 26 miles. It’s the perfect running weather all year-round and there are so many different places to run – the waterfront, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin. I see something every day running in this city that makes me smile – it is one of the wackiest places!
What word would your friends use to describe you?
Inspirational. I have friends who started running because they saw how it transformed my life.
What words of advice would you give to someone who is training for their first marathon or half-marathon?
It will be one of the best things you ever do. While training takes a lot of discipline, it is a great sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. You don’t have to be a fast runner – it’s about being strong and steady. Push yourself out the door when you don’t feel you have the energy or motivation because you may end up having one of your best runs.
I read the following in an article in the NYT’s by Allan Ripp who told this to Jim Fixx in 1976, which says it all for me:
‘Running is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It’s the focus of my daily routine, the source of everything. It gives my life a sense of rhythm.’