This one’s from Santa Cruz Sentinel sports editor, Julie Jag:
NVM entrant Leslie Haverstock (38, Santa Cruz, Calif.) is a veteran Special Education teacher of 16 years for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Her students are six to eight years old.
“I run because I can,” Haverstock said. “My students have severe physical and cognitive disabilities. They would love to know how it feels to walk let alone run.”
Haverstock says she ran in high school, and a bit in college, but didn’t start running faithfully until 2004 when she set her sights on the Chicago Marathon. She dedicated that first marathon to Alex, one of her students who diligently checked in with her about her progress every Monday after her long weekend training runs. “Someday, I’m going to run a marathon, too,” Alex told his teacher. He subsequently participated in several 5K races in a motorized wheelchair before passing away.
Haverstock has now participated in numerous marathons, at least one per year. She continued: “When I think the training gets hard, or something hurts, I look at my students. They were not given strong limbs and the abilities to move about freely. Why would I take it for granted or complain that I had to go run? For these reasons, I run because I can. I’m very blessed.”
SOURCE: Press release from Mark Winitz