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DULUTH-The day of Grandma’s Marathon, of course, is also special for the non-elite athletes who have trained for months just to cross the finish line. But when one racer lost the ability to walk because of a mystery illness, she set a goal to regain her strength in only a matter of weeks just so she would not have to scratch her first ever Garry Bjorklund Half–Marathon. The thought of running 13.1 miles is a lot more realistic for Cory Dack now even though she’s never hit the leader board. She does, however, keep souvenirs from every race she’s done since she started running last July. "I mean now [my bed] is covered with running victories but it was for two months just covered with me being really sick,” Dack said.A sickness, she said, that no one could diagnose. "I woke up and I had gone numb in my hands and feet,” Dack said. "I lost my ability to walk up and down stairs so it was really, really scary."But even with her health shaken and despite the fact she is so new to running, her biggest blow came from doctor's concerns about the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon. "I was trying to be like strong and brave but that was kind of the thing that got me and I was like 'what if I walk it? What if I promise not to run and I just walk it?',” Dack said.“And I think the doctor just kind of felt bad for me and he said 'well, maybe you can walk it by then'. So I just kind of hung on to that,” Dack said."I slowly was able to walk and I did physical therapy and I kind of had to relearn to walk and go up and down stairs again,” Dack said. “I had a cane for a long time which was super awesome. I liked it."And come race–day, her coaches and supporters at the Duluth Running Company say her recovery grew from within. "The fact that Cory came out and did the half marathon is an absolute tribute to her spirit,” Tony Stensland, one of Cory’s coaches, said. “It was her spirit, I think, that got her well and healed to do a half marathon.""I had no idea what to expect and I kept telling myself 'one step at a time',” Dack said. “And then seven miles later I was like 'oh my gosh, I just ran seven miles."Continuing her stride for pretty much the rest of the race, Cory says her time on the track (about three hours) is just another step in beating her mystery illness. "This is my comeback and I’m here to stay. I'm going to keep running,” Dack said.If you would like to get involved in one of the Duluth Running Company training groups that Cory used, visit www.duluthrunning.com or call 218-728-1148 to find out how to join in their upcoming summer sessions.