Meaningful milestones reached at 8th annual Marquette Marathon
Hundreds took part in what might be one of the most picturesque races in the country today.
The 8th annual 26.2 mile Marquette Marathon started in Ishpeming and joined with the half marathon course in Negaunee.
Runners enjoyed a steady decline along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and eventually made their way along the superior shoreline, through Presque Isle Park and finished on Third Street in Marquette.
While finishing a race like this is an achievement of a lifetime, some racers have their sights set on much more lofty goals.
Sue Girard-Jackson finished her 100th half marathon today.
She says her running career began with the inaugural Marquette Marathon in 2010 as a means to help raise funds for a close friend that suffers from ALS.
"Having the goal of something bigger and something better, raising funds for ALS, watching this young man as he deteriorates and knowing that there's little that can be done, that's where I really find my initiative to keep going,” Girard-Jackson recalled.
Girard-Jackson like anyone else has good days and bad days. But never given up when things become difficult is crucial for success in any venture.
“If I’m having a bad race, if I’m starting to hurt, I’m thinking I can't do this any longer and I think, I can run. They can't. They can't walk. Some of these patients can't breathe on their own. So I say suck it up and run and finish it," announced the sage Marquette resident.
By the way, if you think you could never attain such monumental goals, think again. Ms. Girard-Jackson was not always in such fit physical condition.
"In school and all throughout, I was that last kid picked in gym class. Everybody didn't want me because I was uncoordinated and not an athlete. And here I am almost 60 years old and in the last eight years, I've run a hundred half marathons. So whether it's just getting out there and walking a couple miles or whatever it is, I always feel better once I finish," she recounted.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease with no known cure. However with the help from people like Sue Girard-Jackson and from the supportive community, researchers hope to find a cure.
to learn more about ALS and to donate to Sue Girard-Jackson’s latest effort.
to learn more about Sue Girard-Jackson’s inspiration.