Page 9 - Scene Magazine 41-03 March 2016
P. 9

everything, the young know everything.” – Oscar Wilde
memorable run would be
qualifying for Boston at
the Sunburst Marathon in
2014. I did it on a whim,
challenged by a non- running friend from high school. I did not think I
would ever run another marathon let alone go to
Boston and yet I found Sunburst three weeks out from
it. I went and did it shocking myself with a finishing time of
3:19 and qualified for Boston. I took second place overall
women, was the first Masters runner and I won $250 to boot which went towards my Boston registration.”
Michelle was not the only one shocked by her accomplishment. I
had known Michelle for a few years and run with her on occasion with
a local running group a few years prior. When I saw her at the YMCA
a few months later and she told me how well she had done at Sunburst I was amazed at not only her time but the fact that she decided to try the marathon distance again. Although not as fast as her experience in South Bend, Michelle has gone on to run to
more amazing marathon times with a 3:39 in Boston last April and a 3:32 in Charlevoix last June.
Although Michelle’s story is one
of hope for those of us in the mid-life season of our existence, the ability to not prepare for a race of the distance of a marathon and come out with
flying colors is not common. I would not advise this strategy and I’m sure Michelle wouldn’t either but her story does show what you can do in your forties with prior years of staying fit and employing an active lifestyle.
Michelle loves the challenge that running provides and the simplicity required from this sport. “I love the physical and mental challenge of running. You get out of it what you put into it and I feel that in a way it’s like a health insurance policy mentally and physically. I like the physical and mental challenge. You can do it anywhere anytime and you just need a pair of running shoes. The hardest part is sometimes initially getting yourself out the door.”
I have run with Michelle weekly
this past summer with a local
Sunday morning run group as well
as completing a few long runs with
her last winter in my training for the Kalamazoo Marathon and her training for the Boston Marathon. I am honored that she considers me to be her running mentor.
Michelle finds inspiration from
one of the USA’s best marathon runners. “Meb Keflezighi is my running inspiration. First of all his life story inspires me and secondly he’s the 2014 Boston Marathon winner. He’s also a Christian.”
As a life-long runner and mom and wife in her forties, Michelle’s words of advice could apply to running or most anything in life. “Do not ever compare yourself to anyone else. You push yourself to your own limits and achieve your goals. And just stay consistent and keep on working at it.”
Michelle and her husband John have been married for twenty-six years. When Michelle is not running she
and John spend weekends traveling
to watch their two sons compete as college athletes. “We have two boys, Nic 22 who plays college football at Sienna Heights College and Chris 19 who plays college lacrosse at Adrian College.”
Michelle draws on her two boys for inspiration in life and as a runner.
Michelle’s running story is becoming more and more common in terms of what individuals are capable of as athletes in their forties. If you stay active and work hard you can be very competitive as a runner well into your forties and even into your fifties.
Everyone has a story. Stay tuned next month for another runner’s story.

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