Our first spotlight of 2021 is on Mary Shakour. Mary started running to challenge herself in 2008. Her first half marathon was in Belgium and the half distance has become her 2nd favorite distance. Typically, she competes in about 30-40 events a year (having just reached her 75th event with us in October). Her biggest accomplishment was finishing her 2nd marathon after waiting six years since her 1st marathon due to how difficult of an experience she had. Her most embarrassing running experience came when her and a few other runners got lost on a 10k course and ended up adding an additional 1.2 miles. With all of the events she competes in, her dream race to run is Big Sur, and she hopes to accomplish that in 2022. Mary enjoys our events because as a veteran, she feels she can give back to her “family” through our charity partners. Running has taught her that if she can will it, then she can do anything. It has taught her that even when she doesn’t have an ounce of energy left, then she still has the fortitude to get to the end. With Covid-19 impacting every day life, Mary found it difficult to stay motivated, but she did enjoy the forced slow down. When things return back to normal, she’s looking forward to traveling again, especially for races. While you may only see her competing in virtual events for the next few months, make sure to say hi when Mary returns from serving our country.