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Courtesy of Josephine Anderson
Avery Anderson, 7, will be among the participants in the YMCA Kids Marathon today. Avery has been training to raise money for her therapies for hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, and also for charities associated with the conditions.
MARK TAYLOR | The Roanoke Times
Roanoke’s Sarah Glenn, 37, won the Blue Ridge Half Marathon in 2011 and 2012. She is pictured here with her son Sam.
Courtesy of Kristin Hunt
Kristin Hunt started running marathons six years ago, after her father’s sudden death.
KYLE GREEN | The Roanoke Times Laura Hufschmidt, 32, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has trained mostly on flat terrain
Friday, April 19, 2013
Avery Anderson, 7, Charlottesville
While other participants in today's Blue Ridge Marathon have been taking it easy this week to rest their legs, Avery Anderson has been training harder than ever.
"I did 12 laps!" she said with joy Wednesday evening.
Participants of the kids marathon cover 25 miles (or more) in training. This morning they will run the final 1.2 miles of the course.
When Avery started training for the YMCA Kids Marathon early this winter, she could barely make it a quarter-mile.
Born with hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, Avery has been mobility impaired since birth.
"It's going to be fun," said Avery, who hopes to complete the course in about an hour.
Avery, whose family moved from Roanoke to Charlottesville in February, has a Facebook page - Avery's marathon - and is raising money to help pay for her own therapies that aren't covered by insurance and for the CURE Hydrocephalus and United Cerebral Palsy charities.
Avery has done some of her miles on a special tricycle, and also with her walker on a track.
"Going uphill is hard," Avery said.
Her progress, tracked in a log posted to her Facebook page, has been remarkable. Those 12 laps Wednesday covered 1.2 miles.
And she wasn't done. That afternoon Avery wanted to go back to the track.
She did another lap.
And not with her walker or on her tricycle.
On her own two legs.
Laura Hufschmidt, 32, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Plenty of runners put in the miles in part so they can enjoy food like pizza.
Laura Hufschmidt puts in lots of miles.
"I eat a lot of pizza," said Hufschmidt, who's running the full Blue Ridge Marathon today.
And she does it in the name of work.
Hufschmidt works in the new product development department for Domino's.
She was involved with Domino's new artisan pizzas, as well as the company's gluten-free crust.
"I'm trying to make the world better one slice at a time," she said, laughing.
Forced to train on relatively flat terrain, she admits being nervous about the mountains she'll face today. But, with the Leadville 100-mile race in Colorado on her calendar later this year, she knew she needed to see how her training is translating to hill running.
"This is going to be mostly a test," she said.
A test is right.
Kristin Hunt, 33, Roanoke
Six years ago, Kristin Hunt persuaded her father to join her for a 5K race.
Shortly after returning from the race, her father collapsed and died.
Racked by grief and confused two days later, Hunt finally couldn't bear the questions about what happened.
So she went running.
She hasn't stopped since.
Hunt, who teaches third grade, has run 35 marathons and two ultra marathons.
Last year Hunt was part of a small group of runners who covered the Blue Ridge Marathon course twice. She's among the 20 runners signed up to do the double this year.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," Hunt, who admits she has blocked out the painful memories from last year, said of her decision to run the double again. "A year removed from it, I remember it being really nice and really fun."
Running 52.4 miles with more than 7,000 feet of climbing can be fun?
If you say so.
Sarah Glenn, 37, Roanoke
Sarah Glenn is a relative latecomer to distance running. A good high school hurdler, she ran the 400 and 800 on the track team for Virginia Tech for half a semester .
Glenn decided to leave the track team to focus on her studies, but kept running. As the miles added up she got better at longer distances.
"It took 25 years of slowly building up miles to get to this point," said Glenn, an engineer and a dominant winner of the women's division of the Blue Ridge Half Marathon in 2011 and 2012.
Having entered the full marathon this year, Glenn was progressing well in her training. So well that she decided to enter a marathon in North Carolina last month.
"I wanted to run a marathon and I didn't want to wait another month," she said. "I felt like I had a fast marathon in me."
She did, winning the Quintiles Marathon in Wrightsville Beach in 3:00:45.
The effort took so much out of her, however, that she decided to pull the plug on the Blue Ridge race.
Until this week.
Like many other runners, Glenn was inspired by the running community's response to the Boston Marathon bombings. "I'm doing something," she said.
With 50 miles on her legs already this week, Glenn is leaning toward the half again.
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