Grandma’s Marathon: A Family Affair
Three Generations of Women Set to Run Grandma's Half Marathon
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“It’s a legacy,” said Jean Sumner.
Long before she was born, running was in Emily Hanna’s blood.
“Either people love running or they hate running,” she laughed.
The 25th annual Grandma’s half-marathon will be the 15–year–old’s first.
“I’m a little nervous because I’ve trained, but I haven’t gone the whole 13 miles,” Emily admitted.
But she won’t be running solo.
For her mom, Leslie, the race will be number 19.
“There’s always some point in the race you go why do I do this again? I need a different hobby,” laughed Leslie.
For her grandmother, Jean, her last.
“Your hips are old at my age, the rest of me is not, but my hips are,” Jean joked.
Jean ran in the first–ever Garry Bjorkland half back in 1995.
“And I ran 19 in a row,” Jean said. “This will be my 20th finally, it’s about eight years later but we’re going to do 20.”
It was important to her to get her family involved at a young age.
“As a kid I was volunteering at the marathon,” Leslie told FOX 21. “Actually I kind of thought they were crazy,” she laughed.
But Leslie, too, caught the bug.
“We kind of feed off the energy of the crowd, it gives us something to kick in that last couple of miles,” admitted Leslie.
And now, it’s Emily’s turn to carry on the tradition.
“I don’t think we’ll actually run together,” Leslie said. “Emily’s a little speedster so she’s going to be ahead of us.”
“She’s going to make us both look like slackers when she gets going,” laughed Jean.
The three say each other’s support is what will get them each across the finish line.
“Knowing that they’re going to be there would inspire me to push a little harder than I would otherwise,” Jean said.
Whether it’s the first…
“You don’t really comprehend 13 miles or 26 miles, that’s kind of a lot,” Emily said.
“I’m hoping to get out there in under three hours,” Jean laughed.
Or just another 13.1 in the books.
“I’ll have one more medal to put on my rack at home,” Leslie said.
These three ladies are keeping it a family affair.
Emily, Leslie, and Jean will all be wearing matching purple t–shirts that say, ‘This seems like a lot of work for a free banana.’ If you see them during the race make sure to cheer extra loud.