I need your help!
As you likely know, I ran Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded to honor my little sister, Taylor; my next challenge is to compete for her in all 50 states, beginning with an epic race later this summer.
Our story has a chance to be on the cover of Runner’s World magazine. This kind of exposure would be amazing for our fight to save millions suffering from rare diseases. That’s where you come in.
Click here to vote for our story. It takes five seconds, and no app download is required. Vote EVERY DAY between now and Aug. 15. We’re in the top 10 right now, but we won’t win without your support. So, share this with everyone you know, and vote often. Thanks so much!
Here is a copy of my entry:
HOW DID YOU START RUNNING?
I’ve been running for most of my life and played competitive soccer through college, but I didn’t start entering races regularly until watching my little sister, Taylor, battling a fatal brain disease that causes blindness, run her first 5K at age 10 in 2008. Running gave Taylor a chance to be a “normal” kid, and I love it for that. At the finish line that day, I made a silent promise to run for Taylor as long as possible, both to honor her incredible courage and to raise awareness of Batten disease, the illness that will take her life.
WHAT IS THE PERSONAL RUNNING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
In November 2013, I returned to the event where Taylor ran her first 5K. To honor the fifth anniversary of her brave 3.1-mile run, I wore a blindfold bearing the phrase “4Taylor,” which I’ve inked on my arm for all of my races. With a guide, I ran the half marathon blindfolded in under two hours. I ran portions of the race “untethered,” and my team and I raised money and gained national exposure for Taylor’s Tale, the non-profit organization I co-founded in Taylor’s honor. My next challenge is to run a race in all 50 states for Taylor.
WHY IS RUNNING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Aside from the fitness benefit, running is a great way to relieve stress, and I do some of my best thinking on the run. Most of all, it helps me feel close to my little sister, who can no longer run because of her disease. During my blindfolded half marathon, I ran untethered several times, and I never felt closer to Taylor than during those stretches. I imagined her next to me, healthy, her legs in sync with mine, her voice dancing on the wind, her eyes drinking in the earth.