Missing Taylor

By Laura King Edwards

I have a four-month-old baby, and his daddy has the flu. Between my housemates, a full-time job, Taylor’s Tale work and promotion for my new book, “Run to the Light,” I didn’t get much sleep this week.

That’s why, when I crawled across the timing mats with 1,000 other runners at this morning’s Charlotte 10 Miler, I didn’t expect much. After John tested positive for the flu (yes, he had a flu shot) last night, I took our son, stuffed items I thought we’d need into a haphazard collection of bags, and escaped to my parents’ house 11 miles to the northeast. I was pumping after midnight and pumping at 5 a.m. I left half my race gear at home. I had a million things on my mind and exactly zero quality runs in the two weeks leading up to race day.

But though the course changed some for 2019, this race feels like an old friend. I ran its very first edition, in 2012, and I used to win age group awards when the field was smaller. I’ve run other 10-mile races but set my PR (1:17) here. I appreciate how the quiet course, winding mostly over still water and through stands of trees on a greenway, blocks out the chronic injuries and pain that make healthy weeks feel like a blessing, not a given.

My mind wandered as I ran today, mostly toward thoughts of my sister. Some days I’m still surprised to realize that Taylor is really gone, gone to a place I can’t follow, a place where I can’t hold her hand or tell her I love her and know for sure that she heard me.

Taylor died on September 26, and in some ways, the 128 days since her death have felt as if they happened in a different dimension. Jack was born just six days before we lost my sister — I like to think they passed each other on the road to heaven. Meanwhile, I published a book and ran a half marathon blindfolded and went back to my agency job, and somewhere in the midst of all of those things and more, I learned how to be a mom (I’m still learning).

I haven’t had time to miss my sister. But I miss her still. Oh, how I miss that sweet girl.

Last week, I ran with Jack for the first time. Outside, cloaked in the January sunshine, I couldn’t help but wonder whether, if she’d been healthy, his Aunt Taylor would have been beside me, hankering for a turn pushing the stroller. I often try to imagine what kind of person my son will grow to become and whether he’ll love the same things his mother loves. Then I’ll remember I used to do that with my sister before Batten disease, even though I favored shorts and floppy shirts over frilly dresses, while she loved pink and purple and wore lots of jewelry and had more spunk in her little finger than I had in my whole body.

My husband and I will teach our son that life is a blessing. That the best gifts are the gifts we earn, and that we can always find a reason to be happy. I’m sad Taylor didn’t have the opportunities I covet for Jack. I’m sad life on Earth with the people who loved her was such a brief stop on her journey. But Taylor’s loss, and her ultimate sacrifice, are exactly why I recognize the value of each day. I’d give anything to have my sister here with me.

The Charlotte 10 Miler featured a new course this year, with a late climb that made me question racing on battered legs and ankles and feet with four hours of sleep. Instead of walking, I pumped my arms. I pushed to the top. And as I crested the hill, I felt filled with a new sense of purpose to carry me through 2019, the first full year without our sweet T.

It’s good to be back.

Laura and Jack

Running Toward Everything

By Laura King Edwards

I’m traveling for races so much these days, it isn’t often that I have a chance to run in my North Carolina hometown. So I looked forward to running in today’s Charlotte 10 Miler, where I figured to see familiar faces and log a fast time on a familiar course.

But life happened, as it tends to do. I lost my father-in-law on Election Day and moved into a new house on New Year’s Eve. I dove into Taylor’s Tale with a sort of conviction I struggled to muster in the past several years. I stayed busy at the office. Needless to say, my feet haven’t seen much action on these fleeting winter days.

But I had a lot of things to fuel me along the 10-mile course on sleepy neighborhood streets and wooden walkways and tree-lined trails winding through urban wetlands. The Batten disease community lost six children in the past few weeks. My own sister’s stubborn star is fading. And as the morning sun lit up the sky in shades of coral and salmon and goldenrod, I inked not one, but two names, on my arm.

Charlotte sunrise

The first was Taylor’s. I’ve been running races for a purpose since I took my first steps at Chapel Hill’s Tar Heel 10 Miler on a spring day in 2009, four months after my blind sister crossed the finish line of her first 5K with her face turned toward heaven.

Charlotte 10 Miler for Taylor

The second was Bridget’s. Twelve-year-old Bridget Kennicott gained her angel wings on February 15 after a brave battle against late infantile Batten disease. I’ll never forget the first time I met Bridget and her family at a Batten Disease Support and Research Association conference in Chicago. Bridget’s dad, Dave, sat behind me at a research session in one of the hotel’s chilly conference rooms. Bridget looked like a sleeping angel in the stroller beside him. When I twisted in my chair to say hello, she took hold of my finger and didn’t let go.

Something my sister used to do.


Charlotte 10 Miler for Bridget

A lot happened in the months leading up to the Charlotte 10 Miler. But in this, my first race of 2017, I didn’t think much about the past. Instead, as I weaved through colorful flashes of wicking shirts and race bibs and compression socks on the course this morning, I mostly thought about what I was running toward. 

7:51/mile splits. The finish line. The 35-39 age group (my birthday is in 10 days). My next race, in state 16 of 50. Exciting next steps as an author. A trip to D.C. for rare disease meetings on Capitol Hill. A gene therapy clinical trial for children with Batten disease. My sister’s tempered laugh. An evanescent smile. A radiant soul. One brilliant future realized; another extinguished.

Running toward everything.

Confessions from Laurel Hill

By Laura Edwards

Tar Heel 10 Miler pre-raceToday, I joined 6,200 other runners for the seventh annual Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill.

John and I jogged from the Carolina Inn to the bell tower on the campus of my alma mater, the University of North Carolina (UNC); we met Steve Gray, our friend and a UNC gene therapy expert whose work makes me believe, just as the morning light touched the towering pines and the dew-kissed pink and white azaleas.

I’ve battled various injuries since early March, including a mysterious ankle problem for the past week, that have limited my training; I ran just 25 miles in April prior to today’s race, less than an average week for me in 2013. I didn’t know what to expect from this race, my fifth consecutive entry in the Tar Heel 10 Miler. Butterflies wrecked my insides as we waited to begin. But no matter what, I start every race with the intent to run faster than I’ve ever run before. One month ago, I ran the Charlotte 10 Miler in 1:17:49, a 7:46/mile pace. So after Steve and I saw John off for the four-mile run, I wished Steve good luck and found my way to the 7:30/mile pace group.

I got off to a quick start and stayed with my pace group for most of the race. But around mile six, I began to feel winded. I wondered whether I’d started too quickly.

As I hit a long downhill stretch close to mile seven and eased up to save my quads, I thought about my family at home in Charlotte. My parents and Taylor started the 150-mile trek to Chapel Hill on Friday evening, because they wanted to be there for me today. But when you’re fighting Batten disease, a lot can happen in 150 miles.

My family never made it to Chapel Hill last night; Taylor got sick around Greensboro, and they had to turn around and go home.

I hate Batten disease.

I know the Tar Heel 10 Miler course almost as well as my own neighborhood, but Laurel Hill always sneaks up on me. Laurel Hill, the 200-foot vertical gain that spans just under one mile near the end of the race, is a personal record (PR) killer. A lot of people walk it. Though I’ve come close to speed-walking the tough stretch, I always find a way to power through the hill (actually a series of consecutive hills). Last year, I ran Laurel Hill in 7:18.

But as I began the first steep climb, I felt a deep burn in my legs and my chest. I fought through the urge to slow to a crawl.

When I crested the first hill, I came upon a small crowd of supporters clustered at the top. Keep going, they said; keep pushing; you’re almost done. In the middle stood a woman clutching a poster that read, “Don’t stop believing.”

At that moment, it hit me: I’m going to lose my little sister, no matter how fast I run.

I’ll never know what quit on me – my legs or my heart. But there, under a canopy of trees and the bright, blue sky beyond, I walked for the first time ever in a race. And as I took long, deliberate strides toward the finish line, I cried behind my sunglasses.

I didn’t run my best race today, but I finished. The ghost of Laurel Hill behind me, I recovered to run the last mile in 7:18 with wet eyes. I floated through the stadium tunnel before sprinting onto the track for the final stretch, pummeling Batten disease every time my shoes pounded the rubber.

Though she proved too ill to travel to Chapel Hill, I felt my sister’s presence when I crossed that finish line at 1:24:11.

And I still believed.

How to Fly

By Laura Edwards

I’ve been an athlete for 20-plus years and still have blue ribbons won for the 50-yard dash at my elementary school’s field day (my house may look spotless at first glance, but behind the closet doors, I’m really a packrat). But I didn’t enter my first road race until the year I turned 24, a few months after Taylor’s Batten disease diagnosis.

As has been my track record of late, I did (almost) everything wrong leading up to this morning’s Charlotte 10 Miler. I strained my calf on a long run on the first Sunday in March, and the injury put me out of commission for almost two weeks. I eased back into running (the only thing I did right), and my longest run leading up to the race was a whopping three miles at a 10:00/mile pace. I got a nasty head cold this week and popped Mucinex D like candy all weekend. I went to bed after 1 a.m. the night before the race and grabbed a solid four hours of sleep before my alarm sounded this morning.

But when I got to the race parking lot, I felt good. The weather couldn’t have been better. The forecast called for rain by mid-morning, but at that early hour, the sky was streaked with fire as the sun stretched and yawned low in the sky. I followed my friend Andrew’s advice to take a few warmup laps in an attempt to break my string of slow starts.

I shot out of the starting area, and for the first mile, I kept up with the race leaders. I felt bad when Théoden Janes, the Charlotte Observer’s pop culture reporter who also writes about running and has a popular Facebook page called Run with Théoden, passed me, but then I reminded myself that he qualified for Boston and has a personal running coach. I kept a steady pace; after three miles, I realized I’d just broken my PR for the 5K distance – and I still had a lot of gas left in the tank.

Andrew, who guided me to the finish line when I ran Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded for Taylor in November, was waiting with a cup of water and a dose of encouragement at the mile four water stop. I coasted through and kept going, my pace still holding steady.

It wasn’t until mile eight that I lost time. I entered a neighborhood with two consecutive hills that, today at least, made the Tar Heel 10 Miler’s famous Laurel Hill feel like a molehill. My legs and my lungs burned. As I rounded the first corner and came to the second hill, I said aloud, “You. Will. Not. Walk.” I envisioned my sister, at home, fighting with every bone in her body. And I didn’t walk.

Charlotte 10 Miler finish

Andrew found me on the last mile. He reminded me how close I was to breaking my PR, but I already knew. I smiled at my friend and guide, and I kept running.

That’s when my little sister jogged up beside me on legs that, once upon a time, ran two 5Ks. She turned to me and said, in a voice lost to Batten disease, “You remember how to fly.”

Less than half a mile later, I sprinted into the final stretch and across the finish line for my best-ever 10-miler time by two full minutes: 1:17:49 (7:46/mile pace), good for 60th overall and second in my age group. Robbed of my regular aerobic capacity by all of the junk in my system from the head cold, I gasped for air as I bent to my knees just past the finish line. My husband and my dad, there to watch me finish, asked if I was okay.

“I’m okay,” I said. “I’ve just never run that fast before.”

As I limped out of the finish area with my first race medal of 2014 around my neck, I thought for a second, maybe that’s as fast as I can go.

end of Charlotte 10 Miler

But I know it’s not. And I know that when I lace up my shoes for the next race in less than a month, I’ll try to beat myself again.

Some days, when our fight against Batten disease gets really tough, I think that maybe we’ll get to a point where we’ve done all we can do.

But deep in my soul, I know that point doesn’t exist.

Because regardless of how our story ends, there will ALWAYS be another Taylor. There will always be another family like ours. So no matter how many hills I have to climb, no matter how much my muscles ache and my lungs burn, and even if I have to finish this race alone, I’ll be damned if I’m going to come this far only to stop short of the finish line.

Time Machine

By Laura Edwards


Tomorrow morning, I’ll run the Charlotte 10 Miler in Taylor’s honor. Always afraid I’ll forget something important, I took a few minutes to lay everything out on my bed this afternoon.

Tomorrow is March 23, the fourth day of spring. But the date printed on my race bib is 2/22/2014.  That’s because a good bit of the 10-mile course is on a greenway, and the greenway flooded in February, forcing organizers to postpone Charlotte’s only 10-mile race.

In any case, I’m around for the redo, and at 7:45 a.m., I’ll set out to improve my time for the third straight year (in 2013, I finished 27th overall with a time of 1:22, two minutes off my PR). I’ll try to do it in the shirt and compression sleeve I wore when I ran 13.1 miles in the dark for my sister at Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon in November. If it’s raining, I may lace up the shoes that carried me to that memorable finish, though the soles have reached “retired” status.

One funny side effect of the postponement is that I celebrated a birthday in the month that transpired since the original race date, meaning my actual age doesn’t match the age listed in official race records. I smiled when I noticed that small detail today; if anything, it just adds to the whole time machine feel of my first race of 2014.

Taylor's talent showI know a lot of people who’d give their right arm for a time machine. I have a lot of things to love about the present, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t give just about anything if Taylor and I could just be sisters for a single day. She’ll be 16 in August. I should be giving her advice about boys, helping her with homework, cheering for her at games, etc. and inviting her to spend the night with me. When John and I bought our house, I decorated the upstairs guest room for my little sister. She was diagnosed with Batten disease less than five months later, and though we had a few sleepovers in the early days, she developed a fear of sleeping alone because of her declining vision. Taylor’s never spent a single night in that room.

I envy the women who have “good” relationships with their sisters. I know Taylor loves me, and I’d walk through fire for her. But suffice it to say that our sisterhood hasn’t materialized in quite the way I imagined. And these days, I don’t even pine for the “big” things so much anymore – all of the things Taylor deserves that Batten disease stole from her. These days, I’d give anything to have a conversation with my little sister. We’ll never have that again.

Tomorrow morning, it’ll be chilly and possibly wet when I put on my purple duds, lace up my shoes and run a 10-mile race for Taylor. I wish she could be at the finish line when I cross, but I know she can’t. And that’s exactly why I’ll never, ever stop running for her.

Ten Miles for One in 10

By Laura Edwards

This Saturday, I’ll run the Charlotte 10 Miler in Taylor’s honor for the third consecutive year.

My little sister’s brave fight against Batten disease inspires me to lace up my running shoes day after day, but this race is special because it kicks off the week leading up to World Rare Disease Day. Rare Disease Day is an international event founded by EURORDIS (Rare Diseases Europe) and sponsored stateside by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). It highlights the need for improved support for rare disease victims, their caregivers and the health care providers and scientists who dedicate their careers and lives to treating rare disease patients.

You may believe rare disease is a problem that affects an unfortunate few, but it’s not. Together, rare diseases affect about 30 million Americans, or one in 10 people. And worldwide, rare diseases impact more people than AIDS and cancer combined. Plus, most rare diseases are serious, chronic illnesses; that means they lead to not only incredible emotional and physical suffering, but also staggering costs when it comes to ongoing care. Rare disease is a serious public health issue, and while even a single life is precious, one in 10 is just too common to ignore.

“Rare diseases affect about 30 million Americans, or one in 10 people.”

Taylor portrait

I went for a 5K run tonight, my first in several days after having minor surgery Monday morning. The night was unseasonably warm, and as I picked up speed on a long, open stretch of pavement in my neighborhood and felt the fresh air fill my lungs, I thanked God for giving me two legs and feet. As I ran beneath a red caution light at an intersection, I had a memory of a night early in my training to become a blind runner last year, before I began wearing a blindfold. On that night, I ran with my eyes closed, but the light was bright enough in the dark sky that I could see it even through my closed lids. As I ran beneath the light tonight, my blindfolded half marathon behind me, I thanked God for giving me two eyes that can see. And as I wound down at the end of my run, finishing with a mile at race pace despite having just had surgery two days earlier, I thought about how simple my problems are compared to those of my sister and so many others battling a rare disease.

That’s why, on Saturday, I’ll lace up my shoes for all of them at the Charlotte 10 Miler: 10 miles for one in 10.

That’s why, on World Rare Disease Day next Friday, Feb. 28, I’ll join others from Taylor’s Tale in leading the Charlotte community in a candlelight vigil to honor and remember all those affected by rare disease.

That’s why I’ll never stop fighting for a better tomorrow for people like Taylor – the one in 10 who, just like you and I, deserve a chance to run this race we call life.

Taylor’s Tale will host a candlelight vigil at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. to commemorate Rare Disease Day. The vigil is free and open to the public. Learn More

The Greatest Race

By Laura Edwards

Thanks to my friends at Run For Your Life, who hooked me up with a free pair of purple Saucony Triumphs and some other swag for putting together one of the biggest – and most awesome – teams at Charlotte’s Thunder Road Marathon. I also snagged a pair of limited edition, stereo-Bluetooth earphones from yurbuds.

running gear

I don’t think anyone’s ever made a shoe quite like the Brooks Glycerin (the only shoe I’ve worn in a race for three-plus years), but I’m willing to branch out in the name of purple and variety. And the earphones are just cool.

I’m already filling my race calendar for the coming year, and though I’ll never be able to match the epic journey of my blindfolded run for my sister at last month’s Thunder Road Half Marathon, I couldn’t be more excited about running for Taylor and the fight against rare diseases in 2014. 

Less than a week after I kick off my sixth year of running for Taylor with the Charlotte 10 Miler, Taylor’s Tale and other organizations from more than 70 countries will recognize Rare Disease Day. On Feb. 28, 2014, the seventh annual Rare Disease Day will provide a platform for patients, patient representatives and others to raise awareness about rare diseases and the huge impact they have on patients’ lives. Since its founding in 2008, Rare Disease Day has contributed to the development of national plans and policies in many countries, including the United States. Last year, Taylor’s Tale sent two board members, including my mom, Sharon King, to Washington to attend sessions, visit with legislators and advocate on behalf of the 30 million Americans who suffer from a rare disease.

Capitol building

As my mom and her travel buddy, Debbie Carney, forged relationships with key decision makers and gained valuable knowledge, the rest of the Taylor’s Tale team joined with Dr. Steve Gray of the UNC Gene Therapy Center to announce co-funding for a two-year research project that, if successful, could lead to a clinical trial for children with two forms of Batten disease. Ten months later, Dr. Gray’s work is on track, and our team is focused on securing additional funding to help move the project past the first two years and toward our goal of a treatment.

group at Rare Disease Day event

My husband and I are hosting Christmas this week. This weekend, we did some December “spring cleaning” to get our house in shape for the holidays. I pulled all of my race medals down from the plastic hook on the office closet door, where I’d thrown them up in a haphazard fashion. I counted seven from 2013:

race medals

As I spread them out on the carpet, I relived each race, from a rain-soaked Charlotte 10 Miler in February to a rain-soaked Huntersville Half Marathon last weekend. I realized I set a new personal record (PR) in every race except the one I ran blindfolded. And I felt Taylor’s absence at every single one. As I sat alone on the floor and ran my fingertips over those medals, feeling the raised details of each one as a blind person would, I thought about how much my sister has declined this year.

I got faster in 2013 – a lot faster. I owe it to a good friend who ran my first race with me and helped me – a born sprinter broken by soccer – believe I could be a distance runner; to the shoes that were made for my balky ankles and feet; and to the doctor who convinced me that lower mileage and cross training might actually make me better on race day. But more than anything, I owe it to my sister, who gives me wings when my lungs burn and my body wants to quit. More than anyone else, my sister, who can no longer walk without assistance, taught me how to fly.

I have big plans for 2014, both on and off the race course. I intend to keep setting PRs. But at the end of the day, my medals are just worthless chunks of metal.

Dr. Gray and others are racing to save kids like Taylor and the millions of people fighting a rare disease.

Theirs is the greatest race of all.

The Ghost of Laurel Hill

By Laura Edwards

photo (7)Yesterday morning, I woke with the sun to run the Tar Heel 10 Miler in my little sister’s honor for the fourth consecutive year.

I’ve already collected four race medals for Taylor in 2013, but this one is special. The Tar Heel 10 Miler was just the second competitive race I ever entered; I paid the entry fee for the April 2010 edition not long after watching my sister – blind and suffering from a rare, fatal brain disease – jog across the finish line of Charlotte’s Jingle Jog and Girls on the Run 5Ks on one end of a running buddy’s guiding rope and the wings of her own courage.

The Girls on the Run 5K, staged on a sun-drenched, happy day in May 2009, was Taylor’s second race. It was also her last.

Batten disease has stolen so much from Taylor since it crept into her life that the word “unfair” doesn’t begin to do the job. The ability to run is a precious gift that too many of us take for granted, but my sister has lost many more valuable things.

I wish I could make Batten disease go away. I wish I could work magic – go back in time and give Taylor two good copies of the gene that causes Batten disease or even one good copy (which would make her a healthy carrier, like me). But I can’t.

So I share her story in my own words – both spoken and written. I help support the people who have the knowledge to find answers for children like her – people like Steven Gray, PhD of UNC’s Gene Therapy Center, to which Taylor’s Tale awarded a two-year grant earlier this year.

And I run.

On Saturday morning, I followed the brick sidewalks to the football stadium nestled in the trees on the same campus where Dr. Gray works his magic for children like my sister and where I earned my undergraduate degree. I lined up on the track at field level with 3,253 other runners. When the gun sounded at 7:30, I found an opening in the crowd and sprinted through the stadium tunnel and into my 10-mile mind game.

The Tar Heel 10 Miler, set mostly on the gorgeous UNC campus, has some tough sections, but none come close to Laurel Hill, the 200-foot vertical gain over the course of about one mile at the 8.5-mile mark. It’s so difficult that the race organizers place separate timing mats at the bottom and top and hand out special awards just for the hill, and many self-respecting athletes speed-walk it. I’ve never walked, but I’ve come close.

end of tar heel 2013 I went into Saturday’s race riding a streak of four straight personal records (PRs) for the half marathon, 10 miler, 5K and 10K that started at the Thunder Road Half Marathon in Charlotte last November. Even though I’d beaten my previous 10 miler record by two minutes just two months earlier at a race in Charlotte, I was determined to beat it again.

But when I reached the first Laurel Hill timing mat, things didn’t look good. My quadriceps burned, and worse – I felt winded. I never get winded. I was riding a 7:45/mile pace through the first 8.5 miles, and it’d taken a lot out of me.

As I started the climb, a voice in my head told me it wasn’t my day. I shouldn’t have eaten the sweet potato fries at Top of the Hill the previous night. I shouldn’t have stayed up till midnight watching the Boston Marathon bombing coverage. As I wheezed my way up those 200 vertical feet, I told myself that WHEN I cross the finish line isn’t important to Taylor (which is true). As my Garmin watch beeped its “Behind Pace” beep, again and again…I began to write my post-Tar Heel 10 Miler blog post in my head. I called it, “I Lost My PR and Found My Truth on Laurel Hill.” I talked to myself over my wheezing. “You can do this,” I breathed. “Forget the stupid PR. Just RUN.”

But then, something happened. My quads loosened. The tightness in my chest melted away. The houses perched at the top of Laurel Hill came into view.

For most of the race, I used my Garmin as my guide. I ran for Taylor, but I ran more for myself.

The moment I understood that is when I left the Ghost of Laurel Hill behind.

It seemed like just moments later that the stadium reappeared. I sprinted into the tunnel, down the track and across the finish line.

When I did, the clock read 1:20:48.

I beat my PR for 10 miles by almost two full minutes and ran the Tar Heel 10 Miler four minutes faster than ever before. I finished in the top 16 percent of 3,253 runners. And when I crossed that finish line, I felt as if I could fly.

Almost like I had wings.


By Laura Edwards

end of raceBefore Batten disease robbed my little sister of her ability to run, she joined the Girls on the Run team at her school. With the help of a sighted running buddy, she jogged across the finish line of two local 5Ks.

Taylor ran her last race almost four years ago. Around that same time, I ran my first race in her honor.

My sister can’t run anymore, but I’ve logged thousands of miles for her.

In the past five months, I’ve run four races for Taylor – all different distances – and set four new personal records (PRs). Even after making the first page of results and placing second in my division at Charlotte RaceFest on Saturday, I already had my next race on my mind.

I get stuck on my times, because I’m a perfectionist. I like to challenge myself, both mentally and physically. Whereas some runners hate hills, I say, bring them on. They help me keep things in perspective; my sister’s battle against Batten disease is tougher than any hill I’ll ever face, even if I had two broken legs.

But the senseless acts of hatred that took place at the Boston Marathon this afternoon reminded me that it’s not all about when you cross the finish line.

It’s also about the people you love who staked out a spot along the course to wave handmade signs – the people who will give you a hug at the end, no matter how sweaty you are.

It’s about being healthy enough to finish a race – first or last.

It’s about having this day to stage a race, any race – because each day we receive is a gift from God.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston today.

And for as long as my legs will carry me, I’ll keep on running for Taylor.