Today’s spotlight athlete has developed some of her closest friendships through running.

Hi, I’m Marion!  I live in Delaware County, Ohio with my husband of almost 16 years, Kevin, and my twin girls Kendall and Kylie. (Believe it or not, they are not named after the Jenners.  LOL.)  We also have a crazy 2-year-old mutt named Chesney.

How did you get into running? I actually started running a long time ago.  I did track in middle school (hurdles and high jump), but wasn’t super committed.  My best friend and I often detoured to her house when doing our warm-up miles.  After that, I would just run a few times a week to stay in shape throughout high school, college, and after.  When the girls were 2 years old, I felt I needed to do something that was just for me, so I signed up for the Cap City Half.  It was actually the first official race I ever did.  Afterward, I was so sore, but loved it and was super excited I exceeded my expected finishing time by almost 30 minutes!  Needless to say, I was hooked.

Favorite thing about running? My favorite thing about running is definitely the people.  I have met most of my closest friends in the area through various running groups.  I am not someone who minds running solo at all, but I feel so many of the people I have met have improved my running more than I could have on my own.  When I was in the depths of heavy marathon training it was awesome to always have someone to meet to pull me through a hard workout or long run.

Favorite race(s) in Central Ohio? My favorite races are probably the Cap City and Emerald City Half Marathons.  I also am always so impressed with the Nationwide Children’s Columbus Marathon.  It is a beautiful and well-organized event.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started? You have to start somewhere.  Don’t get into the comparison game with anyone else. Follow your plan, listen to your body, hydrate and sleep well.  I ran my first half on averaging about 20 miles per week.  Believe in yourself and you can do it!

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