Monday, May 5, 2014

Why I Run Broad Street: Solace, Community and Sisterly Competition

Why I Run Broad Street: Solace, Community and Sisterly Competition
Originally Posted on WHYY Newsworks

Over the past two years, my identical twin, Leah, and I have shared our experiences on our blog, "Twins Run in Our Family," Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Much to our surprise, we've gained quite a following of runners, twins and/or parents of twins. We're often recognized at races when we wear our shirt that has our logo on the front and our tagline on the back: "If you're passing me, I'm Malinda. If I'm passing you, I'm Leah."

I started running in 1993 for fun, and I finished my first marathon in 1995. Since then, I have completed 12 more marathons and a few dozen races, including three Broad Street Runs. Over the past couple of years, I've become known for tweeting during races while wearing a sparkle skirt or costume. Sometimes I get called out by spectators for tweeting while running, but most of the time people are amazed that I can do both at the same time.

Leah started running in 2007 to lose weight. Since then, she has become a self-professed race addict, finishing more than 100 races, including 24 marathons. She races nearly every weekend and often wins her age group in local races in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has qualified for the Boston Marathon three times by completing a marathon in less than 3 hours and 45 minutes. She finished her first Boston Marathon last year and returned for her second time this year.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a condition that causes severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. There is no cure for gastroparesis and only a few treatments available with varying success rates. In 2011, I had a gastric neurostimulator (stomach pacemaker) implanted, which has provided some relief. My symptoms can be debilitating at times, but I continue to run whenever possible.

In 2012, our grandmother, affectionately known as "GG," died suddenly of lung cancer. Her unexpected death affected me profoundly. While the grief was intense, I found moments of solace while running.

Because of my experience with chronic illness and grief, I'm truly grateful for every step, and I'm determined to make my miles matter. I'd rather run in a charity race to raise awareness for a worthy cause than run a fast time. Sometimes, much to my surprise, I'm able to do both.

On March 17, 2012, 9 years to the day after Leah's brother-in-law, Michael, died from childhood leukemia, we decided to run together to make a difference. We joined Team Lemon to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of GG and Michael. Over the past two years we have raised awareness and over $2,000 for childhood cancer research.

I ran the Broad Street Run for the first time in 1999 when there were just over 7,000 runners. I ran for the second time in 2012 with over 35,000 runners, and I was happy to finish in 1:29:02.

It's been amazing to see running increase in popularity while people in the running community continue to be supportive of each other. Whether you run fast or slow, we all run together.

Last year, after being present during the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I decided it was important for me to cheer on my fellow runners on Broad Street. My eyes were full of tears as I saw so many runners wearing red socks in support of Boston.

Yesterday, I was grateful for the opportunity to run Broad Street once again. It's an honor to participate in a race that means so much to so many people while benefiting so many worthy causes. Not only was I able to run to support Alex's Lemonade, I also ran my fastest 10 miler and finished in 1:16:23. Sometimes, it is possible to run for a good cause and a good time.

Why did you run Broad Street? Did you write a race recap? Share your link in the comments section and I'll add your link to the list below.

Adam Furlong's Photos - BSR Cheering

BK's Blog - Broad Street Run Recap

Cocktails and Quinoa - IBXrun10 and My Running Journey

Do It for Youself - 2014 Blue Cross Broad Street Run Race

Jessica Lawor - A Philadelphia Love Story: Broad Street Run Race Recap

Knead to Cook - Philadelphia - The Broad Street Ten Miler

The Midpack - Bandits, Broad Street and The Batman

Miss Adventures Running - Broad Street Run

Monster and Me - Broad Street Run Recap

Navel Gazing - Let the Slower Runners Run Repost

On the In Side - 2014 Broad Street Run Race Recap Part 1

Philadelphia Inquirer - Let the slower runners run by Jen A. Miller

Philly Mag - 10 Lessons from First Broad Street Run Newbie

Philly Mag - 10 Hilarious Signs from Broad Street Run

Philly Mag - Broad Street Run Guide

Philly Nerd Girl - Broad Street Run 2014

The R5 - Running Workout Recap April 28th - May 4th

Rob C Nagel - Success at the Broad Street Run

Runderella - Broad Street Run 2014 - My Favorite Race

RUNFM - Race Recap Broad Street 10 Miler

Running Around My Kitchen - Broad Street Run Recap

Running for the Average Joe - Broad Street Run Recap

Runaway Wonk - Race Review: Broad Street 10-Miler

Sisters Running The Kitchen - 2014 Race Recap

Tania Gail - Broad Street 10 Miler

Tomato Face Runs Again - Broad Street Run 2014 Recap Part 1

Tomato Face Runs Again - Broad Street Run 2014 Recap Part 2

The Triangle Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University - In Reverence to the Runners

Ups and - Ugly Races - Broad Street Run

Women's Running - Girl Talk: Facing Disappointment

ICYMI - 2013 Recaps

And Her Little Dog Too - Broad Street Run 10-miler Race Recap - 2013

The bFIT Studio - Broad Street Run 10 Miler Recap

Victoria Friele - Broad Street Run in Philly


Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) said...

awesome blog! (and thanks for commenting on my fb page!).

Congrats on a broad street PR for you! We literally were within seconds of each other...I bet we saw each other on the course! but then again maybe not...there were 40K runners there haha

Lindy said...

I'm so happy for you, Malinda on your accomplishments! 2014 is the year to PR :)

Here's the link to my favorite race: the Broad Street Run. While I didn't meet my goal, and also struggled, I had an amazing time.

Krissie J @ Philly Nerd Girl said...

Thanks for linking to my recap and congrats on such an awesome PR!!!