Author Archive | Henry Howard

From Former Smoker to Boston Qualifier

767953-1011-0010sPittsburgh resident dropped the cigarette habit for greater rewards, including a BQ and dozens of finishes in half and full marathons.

By Henry Howard

Kristy Brown’s running journey has come a long way.

The Pittsburgh resident has reformed herself from a pack-a-day smoker to a Boston qualifier. She has run 16 full marathons and 27 halfs. And she’s not stopping there.

But to know Brown’s full story one must go back to the first days when she laced up the running shoes, back in late 2007. She had been a gymnast while growing up, but running was something she took up in adulthood. And not just running but setting and achieving goal after goal. Up first: Brown knew she wanted to finish a marathon by the time she was 30 so she started training.

She accomplished that feat on May 18, 2008, as a smoker. In fact, she did another half-dozen marathons as a smoker. But she wasn’t satisfied with her performances. Eventually she quit smoking on June 8, 2010, “because I wanted to be able to run faster, so I could qualify for Boston.” She took Chantix for two weeks. “It made me feel weird, so I quit taking it, but never smoked again.” Continue Reading →

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14-Time Marathon Finisher Won’t Let Cancer Win

the_alexLos Angeles runner serves as inspiration to others as he undergoes chemo, trains and completes marathons.

By Henry Howard

Alex Magdaleno learned he had cancer on Dec. 22, 2008. As the diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia continued to sink in on New Year’s Day 2009, Magdaleno set a goal for himself.

His goal? Run and finish the Los Angeles Marathon that May “to prove to myself that I could finish a marathon despite undergoing chemotherapy.”

Not only did he finish the Los Angeles Marathon six months after the initial diagnosis, Magdaleno has completed 14 overall marathons including the Ventura County Marathon on Sept. 7, the day before this interview. For him, it’s the marathon or bust. No 5Ks, half-marathons or theme races. Continue Reading →

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