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Leading Ladies' Marathon
& Half Marathon

"Moments That Moved Me"

I watched Frank Shorter win the marathon in the 1972 Olympics and was inspired to start running. Being a swimmer, diver, and gymnast in college running was not an event I gave much thought. I got married shortly after I graduated from college and my brother in law in Colorado was running quite a few marathons and trained a few time with Frank. I knew I could run. It wasn't easy at first, but I ran as a means to keep fit with no desire to run more than recreationally. I ran through my pregnancy into my ninth month in 1976 when it was considered tabu and not good for the baby. Luckily I had a doctor who encouraged me becuase I had been running before I got pregnant and he told me how protected the baby was. I never felt healthier and I feel it certainly helped with my lengthy 28 hrs of labor. I got the bug to run more and trained and finished several half marathons.

Running played an even bigger role as part of my recovery from a hysterectomy at the age of 28. For a year prior to that I had been diagnosed with cervical dysplasia which had progessively worsened and cerical carcinoma was imminent. I had set a goal to train for my first marathon prior to my surgery but tht was to be put on hold to after my recovery. My doctor was so impressed with how quickly I recovered because of my physical conditioning, that he also trained and ran our first marathons together in 1979. We both finished.

Running not only keeps me physically but mentally fit, as I am a Surgical First Assistant in the operating room with surgeons performing anything from brain aneurysm, total joint replacement, appendectomy to delivering babies through cesarean section. I also own my own medical billing company. Running gives me the stamina I need to accomplish all my daily tasks no matter what degree of difficulty that may include. It also gives me some personal time for just me, and that is also important.

I continued to run but did not run my second marathon until 1996. I have had a few set backs physically over the years , but I have perservered , never giving up my love for running. Since then I have completed 30 marathons, 5 countries and 4 continents which included a journey to Antarctica and Argentina eight days apart this past February and March.

I say to anyone who may start to dream about running or any sport and wondering if they can accomplish that goal...Go For It! Never stop dreaming and setting goals for yourself no matter what obstacles you may think are in your way. 55 and still going strong and with the Good Lord's help for a long time to come.
Mieka Tomko-Gerard


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