Tanya Boyer is an avid runner and founder of "The Pink Series," Utah's first and ladies-only running series. She shares stories of other women who have found, not only health, but happiness through running.
To help answer the question "why should I run?" I turn to our "Pink Ambassadors." These are real-life women who have found health and happiness through the sport of running. Their stories are all unique, but all inspiring. And they serve as motivation for the rest of us to get moving!
Alicia KoosAlicia Koos
Family: Husband, 3 sons, 1 daughter
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
Biggest Benefit From Running: "Running had made my life better in so many ways over the past two years and I often wonder how I ever functioned without it. Gratitude, simply put, has certainly been one of the biggest reasons why. I am healthy enough to be active. While going through chemotherapy and surgeries, it was extremely difficult to stay physically fit, so when all of my treatments came to an end, I felt so grateful that I could actually run and participate in physical activity."
About Alicia: Three years ago as a young mother and only age 35, Alicia was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2010 a friend approached her and asked if she wanted to participate in the very first Pink Half Marathon. Alicia replied that she could barely even walk a mile, let alone run 13 miles. However, something deep inside told her to take on the challenge. Slowly, Alicia walked and jogged, increasing her mileage little by little. Long story short, Alicia finished that half marathon is now an avid runner. Staying physically fit and healthy is extremely important to her for many different reasons, especially the fact that studies have shown that 3-4 hours of exercise a week can reduce the reoccurrence of breast cancer by 40%. "I will do everything in my power to prevent it from ever coming back, and that includes regular exercise and eating healthy," she says. This past June Alicia celebrated her two-year "cancer-free" anniversary by running in her first Ragnar Relay race. As she was running the first leg of the race, her heart became so full of gratitude and emotion as she thought back on the long road of fighting breast cancer. Running helped her win that battle and complete that journey. She was now strong and healthy! A celebration, indeed!
Amy WorthingtonAmy Worthington
Residence: South Jordan
Family: Single, the 3rd of 6 children
Occupation: Project Manager at Infuse Medical
During Amy's last semester of college she decided that she wanted to try things she'd never done before and really push herself out of her comfort zone. Amy had watched marathon and running races while cheering for her brother, and remembered seeing people of all sizes and shapes push themselves across the finish line. Although the furthest she had run to that point was maybe 1.5 miles, she signed up for the Teton Dam Half marathon and began training daily for 3 ½ months. Once she crossed the finish line for the first time, Amy knew she'd never be the same. She had done it. She had pushed herself to a new level and wasn't going back. For Amy running is now a stress relief; it's not a competition with other people, rather a personal challenge to be better and give her all. Amy likes to dedicate each race to someone she knows, whether that person is suffering from a health ailment or just an associate who has helped her become a greater person. Knowing she's doing a race or training for someone besides herself keeps the motivation alive, even on the hardest of days.
Diane PetersonDiane Peterson
Family: Husband and 3 grown children
Occupation: Swim coach and Violin Teacher
Diane says that as she has gotten older and watched family members deal with health issues, she has become more committed to maintaining fitness for herself, loosing 35 pounds and staying injury-free. She is enthusiastic about sharing a healthy lifestyle with her family, friends, and others around her. Although a swimmer at heart, a friend once told Diane, while she was coping with some difficult issues, to "just keep running" and it would help her get through. Realizing that running saved her life, this statement had much truth in it for Diane. She now gives others the same advice. A few months ago Diane was able to run The Pink Half Marathon with a friend of her daughter. This friend's mother was a nationally ranked triathlete, and had unexpectedly passed away the prior year. Diane's own mother is currently in the final stages of cancer, and running the half marathon together was a way to honor and share memories of great women. As Diane says, "It was a truly beautiful experience."
Kathy JohnsonKathy Johnson
Family: Husband Todd, and 4 children ages 10, 8, 6, 4
Occupation: Director of Web Marketing and Social Media for the Americas Region at NuSkin
Personal Blog: justanotherrunningmom.blogspot.com
Biggest Benefit From Running: "Running keeps me focused and gives me the energy to keep up with a busy schedule which includes work, kids, and life in general."
Kathy's older sister ran cross country in high school, so Kathy decided to follow in her footsteps and try out for the team her freshman year. While Kathy ran in high school, it wasn't until the year 2000 that she really took up running as a hobby, and has kept running through the birth of four children. Kathy usually wakes up around 5:00 am to fit in 1-2 hours of training time before she needs to get her kids off to school. Working out in the wee morning hours also doesn't make her feel like she is missing time with the kids. Kathy says that running is very important to her sanity and she finds that the day goes smoother if it has begun with a workout. The half marathon distance is her favorite because it is challenging and requires dedicated training, however, it isn't as grueling as marathon training. And grueling or not, Kathy is prepping for the 2013 Boston Marathon!
Melody JensonMelody Jenson
Family: Husband, 3 sons ages 6, 4, 1
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, Dental Hygienist
Personal Blog: jensonjournal.blogspot.com, melodyj.fastrunningblog.com
Biggest Benefit From Running: "Some of life's greatest lessons have come through running including: learning how to set and achieve goals, learning the importance of self discipline and hard work, finding a positive outlet for stress and frustration, learning to deal with disappointment and failure, and being happy for the success of others."
About Melody: Melody has been running competitively since she was 10 years old. In elementary school her PE teacher recognized her affinity for running and encouraged Melody to try out for the middle school track team. She went on to run in high school, then competed for Ricks College (received All American honors in the 1500 and 3000M), BYU Hawaii and BYU. After graduating from BYU she became more of a "hobby jogger" which was still smokin' fast to the rest of us. In 2011, after the birth of her 3rd son, Melody started training more seriously. Since then she has run 5 marathons, a handful of half marathons, and hundreds of 5 and 10K races. She is training to run the Phoenix Marathon on March 2, 2013. Melody schedules her training time early in the morning before her husband goes to work, which means 5:00 am wakeup calls, but she never regrets it once the workout is complete. To stay motivated, Melody has a list of long and short term goals that she looks at daily, as well as detailed training plans laid out several weeks in advance. Melody's current 5K PR: 17:40, Marathon PR: 3:07