After finding running at age 40, today’s spotlight guest shares her love of running with her daughters through the Girls on the Run program.

Hi, I’m Stephanie Custer. My husband Dan and I have four children— Jamie, Mandy, Abby, and Josh.

Why did you start running? I started running after I had our fourth child at age 40. I wanted a way to get back in shape, but I wanted it to work with my family’s schedule. My friend suggested I get up and run early in the morning. She said that If she could do it, that I could …and I believed her. That is all that it takes sometimes. Just one person to believe in you! So I signed up for the Dublin Emerald Quarter Marathon and I started running and training.

Favorite thing about running? First, I love running with my friends. They motivate me, hold me accountable and we all get to run and pray for one another on a weekly basis. Second, I have been able to be a Girls on the Run coach for sixth-grade girls at Worthington Christian School. I wanted to be a volunteer coach so that I could share my love of running with our three daughters and their friends.

Favorite race(s) in Central Ohio? I have enjoyed running big races in Ohio, but I really do tend to love the smaller races. The Big Bad Wolfe Run in September is my favorite training run race. The Girls on the Run 5K in November is the most rewarding. To coach and watch 15 girls cross the finish line is truly amazing.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started? Find a good 5K running plan, and set running goals for yourself. Write down your goals so you can see them, then you can see YOUR progress. Volunteer at a race and give back. The first race I volunteered for was the Cap City Half Marathon and it was my most memorable. I learned so much about racing from that one experience.

Lastly, when the going gets tough in running and life I try and lean on my running Bible verse which is Isaiah 41:10. Remember each day to be thankful for what your body CAN do in running, and it will truly make a positive difference in your life.

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