It’s Never Too Late to Begin Running With a Cause

  • Mike McCurry
  • 03/17/16
In 2013, Joy had decided that her 25th New York City Marathon would be her last. At 86 years old, she was the oldest competitor in the race. Her body was not what it used to be, her finish times had gone up over the years and her family was urging her to slow down and hang up the shoes. Deep down inside there was a drive to push on and run until she couldn’t run anymore. A passionate woman, she always ran for what she believed in and always loved to talk — to meet people. Joy would often tell them that she would run until she dropped and that she wanted to die one day in her tennis shoes.
 
Where do runners get their motivation? Around our town, a lot of people sure are motivated to run! As soon as the warmer weather turned it seemed as though our whole town was training for something. We see them running by our homes early in the morning and I often see them running by my office in downtown Clarendon Hills in the afternoon. There must be several nearby running clubs because I’ve noticed there are many packs of people running together. Why are all of these people running, and why would you ever want to run a 26.2-mile marathon?!
 
For me, I cycle because I love the friendship of my fellow cyclist buddies … but my deep-down motivation is that I can enjoy more food! Sure, I like to be healthy, but without the exercise, I would be back at my football-playing weight in no time!
 
My wife, Amy, was recently motivated to sign up for the Chicago Marathon after learning about a charity you can help by running. She’s really not a long-distance runner, but when she heard of the impact that her running (and raising support) would make on others, she decided she could do it.
 
Running alongside Amy will be over 1,500 other marathon contestants, all serving a charitable organization called World Vision. Team World Vision has the largest number of people running in the Chicago marathon for charitable purposes. They provide clean water to communities in Kenya, Africa, where children need to walk an average of six miles to get water for their families. When wells and pipes are brought in, it helps to keep these children safe and close to home — and also keeps them in school.
 
You will most likely see Amy running by your home and around town, training to raise money to bring water to a child. So cheer her on! Maybe some of those packs of runners are running for a cause, too. If you would like to support Amy, go to her website @ Teamworldvision.com
 
Joy Johnson did finish her 25th New York City Marathon. On mile 20, however, she slipped and tumbled, and the rough pavement did some damage to her face. She got up, received some treatment from the medics, and continued on to finish the race. The next day, after talking to Today Show host Al Roker, she went back to her hotel and laid down and never woke again. It’s been said that she still had her running shoes on. Her story is fascinating; after all, she only picked up running after she turned 59 years old, and she ran until the day she died.
 
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian prince; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlights a new business or announces school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.
 
 

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