WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Mountain America Credit Union Human Resources Business Partner Joyce Short is proof that it is never too late to run a marathon.
At the age of 57 Short crossed the finish line of her first marathon and has been hooked ever since.
"When it comes to running a marathon, age isn't the issue--if you have the desire you can do it," said Short.
She initially trained for her first marathon in 1999, but an injury three weeks before the race that required emergency surgery broke her spirit and she didn't run again until last year.
"I just started running again as a stress reducer and a way to get back in shape," said Short. "Then I saw something about the Salt Lake City Marathon and noticed that Huntsman Cancer Hospital was the race's charity of choice and thought this would be a good way to give back."
After losing her first husband to brain cancer, when her second husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer Short says the team at Huntsman was "just awesome."
"That was my motivation to try again," said Short. "I wanted to thank Huntsman for all they've done for my husband, whose treatment was so successful, and do something to help raise money to find a cure for cancer."
While signing up for the marathon she noticed there was a mentoring program and thought it would be nice to help other runners know that they are never too old to participate.
"I must've misunderstood the program because the next thing I knew I'd been selected out of 200 people to be mentored by this incredible coach who is himself a cancer survivor," said Short.
Ever since, every morning at 4:30 regardless of rain or snow you can find Short running, alternating between six and 22 miles every week as part of her training. During the week of the marathon she says is hardest because she can only run a few days for three miles as a way of resting her legs for the big event.
"It's part of the training you do a short distance then a longer distance slowly building to the race," said Short. "My first marathon I got a cramp in my hip on mile three and never once did I have even have a thought of quitting. The mind is an amazing thing and I was just so focused on getting to the finish line before it closed in six hours."
She made it in five hours and 48 minutes. Since then her time has improved with last December's Las Vegas marathon finish of five hours. Short is currently training for the Salt Lake City Marathon on April 21 and she has another three marathons slated before yearend--including an opportunity to finish the marathon she trained for back in 1999. In addition, she's mentoring seven other runners the oldest of which is 67 years old.
"It is all about the giving and running for people who can't," said Short. "My husband is convinced that at 70 I'll still be running. I have to be really sick or on death row to not get out there--I'm that dedicated although some may call me crazy." --firstname.lastname@example.org