My guest today is an incredibly inspiring woman. BethAnn Telford was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005, and since then she continues to do everything she can to raise money for a cure.
One of the very unique things that BethAnn does for every race she participates in is to have a child with cancer decorate her running shoes for that particular race.
She doesn’t wear the shoes before the race, and never wears then again after her race, but it’s her way of running with and for those that simply can not do something like that on their own.
And if you ask me, that’s pretty fricking cool…
Becoming an Endurance Athlete by Osmosis
Growing up, BethAnn was anything but an endurance athlete.
She played a variety of team sports, but didn’t really get into running until moving to Washington D.C. after September 11th.
Upon getting to Washington, BethAnn found that the community as a whole was very physically active, and it didn’t take long for her to find herself in with the running crowd.
In fact, she has run every Marine Corps Marathon (15 straight, and counting!) since she moved to D.C.
And, somewhat ironically, it was during a running of the Marine Corps Marathon that her life changed forever…
Mile 19 on Hains Point
While running the race in 2005, everything changed for BethAnn Telford.
She knows the exact location where she felt a pop in her head, similar to equalizing the pressure in your ears during an airplane flight, and immediately her gait changed and it almost looked as if she was running while drunk.
Those symptoms continued for a couple of hundred yards, but she managed to finish the race without incident and assumed that perhaps she had an inner ear infection.
She went to the hospital, everything seemed right, and she went on about her business. But things were clearly not right, and her performance at work was negatively impacted, so she went back.
After an MRI on the return trip, she found out that she had a brain tumor.
An Epic Adventure is in Store
BethAnn continues to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and an eventual cure by flexing her endurance muscles by running marathons and triathlons.
But in January of 2017, she is taking things to the next level.
She will be participating in the World Marathon Challenge, which consists of running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
This is certainly an epic adventure, though to be honest “epic” might not even be doing it justice.
This year, the World Marathon Challenge is scheduled to end in America for the first time, so hopefully having the finish in the US will really help to bring more publicity to the event and, more specifically, to BethAnn’s cause.
When BethAnn finishes the challenge, and I have no doubt she will make it, she will become the first person to do this challenge with active cancer in her body.
And her hope is that this challenge will remind everyone, whether you have cancer or not, that you can do anything that you put your mind to.
What BethAnn Telford has Learned from Running
Running has taught BethAnn to be humble.
In running, there are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days. And the sooner you can accept that some days are going to be harder than others, the better off you’ll be.
And whether the day is a good day or a bad day, you keep pushing forward.
You keep putting one step in front of the other until you get to the finish line.
And for BethAnn, the finish line has nothing to do with a race and everything to do with finding a cure for cancer.
So she keeps digging, in hopes that the finish line will be here sooner rather than later.
If you’d like to connect further with BethAnn and stay up to date with what she is doing, check out TeamBT.org and her page specifically set up for the World Marathon Challenge. You can also connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.
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