I have lived in the greater Chattanooga area for eight years. I started running in my 20s, but at that time it was purely for exercise, and I would occasionally sign up for 5Ks. I liked it well enough, but wasn't finding a lot of joy in it.
In November 2011, I ran in my first half marathon in Savannah. Shortly after that, I became pregnant and took a significant break from running. When my baby was six months old, I started to run again – still 5Ks at the time – but this time, I was finding a whole new joy in it.
As a mom, running became my chance to clear my mind, enjoy the outdoors and take care of myself. It was a huge part of coming through my postpartum blues. And from that point, I continued to progress as a runner. One thing that really keeps me motivated is the community of other runners around me. My very best friend started running those 5Ks with me years ago, and now she runs multiple full marathons per year! Running is just one of the many things that has brought my friendship closer with fellow “Chambassador” Melissa. She remains to this day the only person who I will do a long run with!
My runs through Chattanooga are my happy place. I absolutely love this city. Running over the bridges, going from Northshore to Southside and everywhere in between gives me a full snapshot of everything going on in the city. We are blessed with so much gorgeous weather and amazing outdoor scenery, making Chattanooga the perfect place to cultivate a love of running.
This is why this race means so much to me. I get to run a race that challenges me in my favorite city, share that experience with friends and cherish those memories for a lifetime.