Runners Spotlight Let Me Introduce Bethany

Every runner has a story, which pushes and drives them to do what they do. Because it's fascinating learning about others.  In return it also inspires and motivates us, so each Thursday I run a Runners Spotlight.

This week I'd like to introduce BethanyI asked Bethany several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Bethany Blogs at

What distances you like to run? 
The Half Marathon is my favorite distance. It is enough of a challenge, but not as difficult as marathon training. 

How long have you been running? 
I started running about 4 years ago. 

What made you want to become a runner? 
I started running to lose weight and get healthy. I keep running because I love it and it allows me to eat many of the foods I enjoy. 

What is the furthest distance or race you have ever run? 
I have run 2 marathons 26.2 miles. I’m training for the Portland OR and NYC marathons. 

What has been your favorite race and distance you have run? 
One of my favorite races was the Marine Corps Marathon in DC. I had moved to Seattle 2 months before and it was the first time to see my family, since moving and being diagnosed with breast cancer. The race was my last hurrah before starting chemo and radiation. I enjoyed the whole weekend, even being stuck in DC for 2 extra days because of hurricane Sandy.  
This race has crowd support the entire course and many people running in memory of fallen service men. You run by all the major monuments, it is amazing.  

If you could run any race in the entire world, where would it be and why? 
The Boston Marathon, no question. It is home. 

Do you run for fun? Or run to compete? Both? 
I run for fun and to compete. I always have a race on the calendar. 

Have you ever won a race or placed in your age group? 
I won a third place in my age group at the Vitality 10k in February 2013, it was a very small race. 

Tell us how you battled through cancer, and won. Was running a part of this? Or was it something that you decided you wanted to do to overcome the cancer?  

I moved to Seattle last August from Boston, where I have lived all of my 47 years. I was training for my second marathon, Marine Corps. One week after arriving in Seattle, even before my moving truck had arrived from Boston, I was diagnosed with stage 1B breast cancer. My mother had died of breast cancer 13 years earlier so telling my 2 girls, father and siblings was very difficult. They all wanted me to pull out of the marathon; it may be too much on my body. I didn't.  I continued training and due to 2 surgeries missed a few runs, but on October 28 I was at the start line and finished with a 6 minute PR.  Three days later I started 3 months chemotherapy, then 6 weeks of radiation. Through it all I ran, slower and less but I ran.  I was not going to let cancer beat me. 

Running was time to think and figure out how I was going to get through all of this. I gave me peace and strength. 

If cancer taught me anything it was to take chances in life. Life is too short to second guess yourself or be afraid. We all have had challenges in our lives. It is how we handle them that can made us better people. 

What does crossing the finish line feel like to you? 
There is no better feeling than knowing you gave it your all on the course. It is a huge sense of accomplishment. 

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of? Tell us about it. 
I just recently had a PR at the Tacoma Narrows Half, by almost 2 minutes. I’m very proud that post cancer I’m running so well. 

Have you ever ran a race in costume? 
Yes, I ran a Santa run were your registration fee included a Santa suit, complete with beard. 

When someone asks you why you run, what do you tell them?
I run to eat. I also run for the sense of accomplishment it gives me. 

Do you hope to be a lifelong runner? 
Yes, I’m in it for the long haul. 

What states have you run races in? Tell us the state and the race distance(s).
WA Ragnar Relay, Half, 15k, 10k, 5k, VT Half, NH Half, RI Half, DC Marathon, MA Marathon, Half, 10k, 10, 5 & 4 milers, 5k 

Have you run races in any other countries? 
No, but I would love to run the London Marathon. 

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group? 
Short runs by myself, but I love company on long runs. 

Do you listen to music while you run? Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist. 
Yes I listen to music. My top two songs currently are Fall Out Boy Young Volcanos and Fun All the Pretty Girls. 

Do you cross train? 
I use bike trainer about once a week, and walk my dog about 2 miles every day. 

What other hobbies/sports do you do besides running? 
I love to bake. My daughter and I bake something weekly. 

What type of things motivate you and push you towards success
I love the high I getting a PR. Trying to do better that you have in the past is a big motivator for me. 

Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running? 
Get fitted for running shoes at a running store. Start slow, maybe with a run/walk plan or Couch to 5k. 

What is your must have running accessory? 
My Garmin 210. I love analyzing the data. 

What is the best thing you have learned from being a runner? 
Patience. It takes years to become a good runner. 

Favorite pre and post run food? 
Pre toast with PB. Post pancakes. 

Water or Sports drink? 

What do you do with your race t-shirts and medals?  Do you wear them proud or display them for all your guests to see? 
When we moved I did not hang my medals. I do have a few new ones hanging in my closet. 
Some shirts I wear, if they fit. Most of them I give to my daughter. 

You Can Visit Bethany's Blog At: 

You can also Follow Bethany via Twitter

Bethany thank you so much for letting me spotlight you!  I love your spirit, and your will!  I loved that you looked cancer in the eye and told it, it wasn't going to get you and you ran a Marathon despite the odds!  They say attitude is everything with cancer and getting through it, and you proved that correct!  Not only that but you got a PR on your Marathon time.. Incredible!!  Congrats on your 3rd place finish earlier this year!  I can see you are a determined woman, and will accomplish many great things!  Look forward to following your running journey!!


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