Running for Taylor: Finishing 2014 Strong

By Laura Edwards

Great Smokies raceWhen I crossed the finish line of Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded last fall, I knew the race would be a tough act to follow. But I didn’t intend to stop running for my sister, Taylor, and our fight against Batten disease and other rare diseases.

On National Running Day, I shared my plan to run a race in all 50 states – a feat not as rare as running 13.1 miles blind but one that I hope will help me spread our story far and wide.

With Oregon and Tennessee crossed off the list, I’m looking ahead to the remainder of 2014 and beyond. Here’s what I have in the works:

Great Pumpkin 5K Race – Saturday, Oct. 25 in Rock Hill, South Carolina

I don’t run many 5Ks, but I signed up for the Great Pumpkin 5K Race, a small event hosted by the Rock Hill Striders just inside the South Carolina border, because I want, almost more than anything where running is concerned, to see my sister at the finish line of a race. Taylor hasn’t been able to come to one of my runs since I logged 13.1 miles on a quarter-mile loop around the town green in Davidson, North Carolina for a Batten Disease Support & Research Association fundraiser in June 2012. But Rock Hill is 20 minutes from my parents’ house, and the race starts later than most, so we’ve got a shot. I’ll wear a purple Halloween costume that captures the spirit of Taylor for the Great Pumpkin 5K. Have ideas? Let me know in the comments! Want to run with me? Sign up here!

Playing for OthersCharlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon – Saturday, Nov. 15 in Charlotte, North Carolina

I’m not running Thunder Road blindfolded this year, but I’ve been signed up for the half marathon since registration opened in January. Playing for Others, the wonderful teen organization that made our cheer station come alive at the 2013 race, is supporting us again this fall. They have something new up their sleeves; I’ll be sharing their plan in a future post, but for now, you’re invited to join us by registering to run the 5K, half marathon or full marathon for the Taylor’s Tale team. Sign up here!

Huntersville 5K Guinness World Record Attempt

On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Charlotte Running Club will attempt to break the world record for most runners tied together while completing a 5K race. The current record stands at 116 runners, and the club hopes to have at least 200 runners. After running Thunder Road blindfolded and tethered to my good friend Andrew Swistak last year, I couldn’t resist signing up to be part of this cool event. You can still join us! You don’t have to be a Charlotte Running Club member, and there’s no cost to participate on the team, though you have to register for the race. For the $20 registration fee, you’ll get two t-shirts (race t-shirt and Guinness World Record attempt t-shirt) if you register by Nov. 8. Send an email to if you’re interested in being on the team. Do this before you register!

To 2015…

I’ve already registered for five races in 2015 including events in four states outside my home state of North Carolina. Taylor’s courage inspires me to run farther and work harder in all that I do. I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you! Want to stay up to date on my quest to run in all 50 states for the fight against Batten and other rare diseases? If you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog to get updates. Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *