Neely Spence Gracey is not only a superstar runner, she's a superstar person. I met Neely many years ago at the Skirt Sports Half Marathon. She was a young, aspiring runner who was fortunately unsponsored at the time and looking for a training race. I gave her a skirt and a free entry and she won the race handily!
Nell Rojas is a late-start marathon runner - and it suits her. At 32, she qualified handily for the Olympic Marathon Trials in her first marathon ever. Then she followed it up with a 2:28 win at her second marathon and a top 15 ranking in the US. We all have interesting and often winding paths to the things we were meant to pursue. Nell is no different, but the really intriguing part of her story is that her success and ability to tap into her greatness seem to be happening almost by mistake - or maybe by default! Like there's a grand master plan that she is just stepping into at the exact time she's supposed to.
Meet Brittany Charboneau and Jenni Nettik - runners, coaches, dreamers, fun-creators. Brittany is one of the country's newest distance stars, fresh off a win at the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon and gunning for the 2020 Marathon Trials. Jenni is the founder of Mercuria Running, a coaching business that focuses on more than just running - it's about nurturing a passion for the sport without the "at all costs" philosophy of most hard core programs.
Beatie Deutsch is a champion distance runner. Her story is truly amazing. After getting married at 19, and having 4 children, she realized she had lost the natural fitness of her youth and decided to set her sights on a marathon because it would be a big enough goal to keep her motivated. She ran her first marathon surprisingly fast in 3:27. Two years (and her 5th child) later, she won her first marathon in 3:09. Just a year later, in 2019, she surprised everyone by winning the Israel National Marathon Championships in 2:42 the 5th best result of all time for Israeli women. She did all this while complying with the requirements of her faith - Orthodox Judaism.
Liz Warner is running 30 Marathons in 30 Countries before she turns 30. If she was 20, this would be a cool and epic endeavor. What makes it way more cool and epic is that she decided to start this effort when she was 28, with just a year and a half to make it happen.