A Love/Hate Relationship that Wouldn’t Go Away

Chattanooga Ambassador Bonnie Peterson’s Story

Growing up I played almost every sport there was, but each just for a season. Unfortunately, I was never blessed with a strong athletic ability and never found a sport I was willing to stick with.

In high school, however, my dad and I started running together. I would not say I loved running, but I loved the time I got to spend training and racing with my dad and the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of each race. Lucky for us, the Memphis Runners Track Club had several wonderful race series that started small and worked their way up to running a half marathon.

Each week, I would look forward to completing the next distance and training to complete my first half marathon in 2009 with my dad by my side. I thought I might stop running races after coming to college in Chattanooga since my dad and I could no longer train and run together, but I was wrong.

Throughout college I realized my love/hate relationship with running was not going away. I continued to run, and instead of searching for my dad across the finish line to tell him how I did, I would send texts or share my Garmin workout statistics with him. Last year when it was time to sign up for the Chattanooga marathon, I jumped on the opportunity because I realized I have run half marathons in Memphis and Knoxville, but not in the Tennessee city I am blessed to call my home.

I talked my dad into signing up with me and was looking forward to completing another race together. Training was going well for both of us, but just a few weeks before the race my dad got sick with the flu. He was unable to make the drive up and run the race with me, but that did not stop me. Running through a city I enjoy so much was a blast. I ended up with a new personal record by several minutes and instantly knew I would come back next year and bring others to run with me.

One of the things I love most about running is the ability to complete goals and track progress. This next March, my goal is to beat last year’s time and come home with a new personal record for myself. I hope I can also convince other friends and family to run the Chattanooga Marathon with me.

Join Bonnie and sign up today!


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