NTC Board Member hits the pavement to support St. Jude
On Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, nearly 23,000 participants and 40,000 spectators from across the country gathered in Memphis to celebrate the 15th annual St. Jude Marathon Weekend in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Among those 23,000 participants was Northeast Technology Center Board Member, Rosalie Griffith. Griffith has been participating in the St. Jude Marathon Weekend since 2004.
“In 12 years, I have only missed two races,” said Griffith. “Once because I broke my foot in the Tulsa Run and once because they canceled it due to a snow storm.”
Having competed in this race ten times, Griffith is very aware of the value of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
“I exercise every day,” said Griffith. “I walk or run when weather permits. If I can't get outside
I have a treadmill I will use, but find it's just not the same as getting out. I also use a Fit Board which you can do anytime, anywhere and it is great for balance. It reminds me of a skateboard but it doesn't have rollers on it and you just twist – it’s great for the waist and abs. Since I live out in the country, I even like to ride my mountain bike occasionally. I truly believe in exercise and eating healthy - at least
most of the time!”
This year Griffith ran the half marathon at the St. Jude event as one of St. Jude’s Heroes. She also participates in several local races each year.
“I wasn't sure if I would be able to participate in the run this year because of a fall I had during a run I participated in at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa in September,” said Griffith. “I got tripped and fell
hard hurting my leg and hip and ended up in the hospital for treatment. Thankfully, I recovered quite well and did get to participate.”
As a St. Jude Hero, Griffith believes the distance she goes in the marathon is not as important as the goal she reaches each year in raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
“I have had the opportunity to visit the hospital many times and have seen firsthand the work being done to find a cure for the catastrophic diseases that so many children suffer every day,” said Griffith. “I know that the doctors and researchers face new challenges every day in finding cures.”
And just as the patients at St. Jude pace themselves for treatment, Griffith has learned the value of pacing herself during the 13.1 miles she runs to support them.
“I usually don't run it the entire way,” said Griffith. “I pace myself and will run a bit and walk a bit and then pick up the pace again. My goal is not to try and break any records, but just finish.”
Even without a goal of breaking records, Griffith’s best finish was 2 hours and 45 minutes. She has come in second and third place in her age group several times.
“I'm not that competitive when it comes to this race,” said Griffith. “But I would like to place first in my age group before I decide to give up running.”
The biggest winners of the marathon are, of course, the patients and families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Over the last 15 years, participants running as St. Jude Heroes have joined the fight against childhood cancer and raised more than $60 million to support the St. Jude mission of “Finding cures. Saving children.”
“I have seen how resilient these children and families are because St. Jude has given them hope for a great future,” said Griffith. “I also know families in my own community that have had or currently have children being treated at St. Jude. Knowing I have participated in some small way to help these families makes it all worth it.”
This year, St. Jude Heroes raised $10 million.