I wasn't much of a runner growing up. I only started running in 2008 after a friend dared me to run a 5K with him. I barely made it through that first race, I was hooked on the rush of crossing the finish line and immediately signed up for another 5K the following weekend. Within eight months, I had run my first half marathon. The following year, I started a fitness column at the Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times, where I worked as a reporter at the time. I wanted to share the joy that running had brought me, along with better health, stress relief and an addiction to finishers' medals.
Races keep me going, getting out of bed day after day to put in the training miles. I have now finished seven marathons and hope to someday join the 50 States Marathon Club. Over the years, I compiled a list of the most unusual or interesting races I heard of — anything from running an underground 10K to eating a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in five miles — a list that would eventually become "The Runner's Bucket List."
I'm still working my way through the list — with 200 races, it might take me awhile. But I'm enjoying every step of the way. My hope is that "The Runner's Bucket List" will inspire runners of all abilities to take on new challenges and to remember that running should be fun!
Finish line of the 2012 Kansas City Marathon.