Santa Barbara International Marathon - TEAM GSF!

Whoa, it's been quite a while again! I shouldn't have excuses, but if I'm going to put one out there I'm going to say it's because how intense the past two weeks have been for me with my Half Marathon training. 

The Santa Barbara Veteran's Day International Marathon was this past weekend, and I was definitely focused, determined and motivated the past couple weeks. I had never been so ready and excited to run. For this run, I was honored to be a part of Team GSF (The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation) which is a non-profit organization based in Santa Barbara dedicated to funding research, increasing awareness, and finding a cure for the genetic disease, SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). The organization is named after a beautiful little girl with SMA (Gwendolyn). I was so excited to meet her on Saturday during the race and run for this amazing cause.

Bill and his daughter Gwendolyn have been running the SB Half Marathon ever since 2012. That's right, Bill pushes his physical limits and gives Gwendolyn the thrill of a run by pushing her pram for 13.1 miles. Up hills, down hills, around corners, busy streets, along the coast, you name it... they run it!

I attended the pre-marathon dinner the night before the race, and became so motivated, pumped, and thrilled to be running for this cause and the Strong family. I ran so that one day, kids with SMA can. During my race, there were times that I struggled, but I remembered the GSF's motto: NEVER GIVE UP. I didn't give up. I pushed my tired legs up that tough, steep hill during the 10th mile, and broke my own records finishing JUST under two hours (1:59:58) at a 9:09 pace! I don't think I could have done that without Team GSF's positive energy and motivation.

I was so happy to have reached my fundraising goal as well. If you want to learn more about The GSF or to donate, click here.

And remember, no matter what race you're running, project you're working on, struggle you're going through, never give up! 

photos courtesy of Portraits For Causes