As if running a marathon wasn't enough pressure, one Roxborough resident also took on the task of charitable fundraising.
Abby Davis will attempt the complete the Philadelphia Marathon Sunday, and the Roxborough resident will also raise money for Team In Training, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s sports endurance charity program
“I love to run, so I thought Team In Training was a good opportunity for me to train for my first marathon, while also having a chance to make a difference in the lives of other people by raising funds for cancer research and patient services,” Davis said.
The 19th annual Philadelphia Marathon brings 27,000 runners to compete Nov. 18. Davis intended on running the race with her boyfriend, Ryan Flynn. When she heard about Team In Training, it struck as chord, as her cousin, Jack Truitt, died at 40 of leukemia in 2005.
“My cousin Jack was always known for his sense of humor, and the caring and warmth that he showed towards his friends and family,” Davis said. “He was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many caring friends and loved ones when he passed away.”
A high school field hockey player, Davis took up running about two years ago.
"I got really out of shape in college. So I thought, OK I need to change. So I started running, did a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. Now, I'm up to a full marathon she said.
Davis joined City Year and works at Beeber Middle School in Wynnefield. Since moving to Roxborough, she began running at the Manayunk Canal Towpath and Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon.
"Unlike the rest of Philadelphia, there are hills here. This is supposed to be the flatest marathon. So running the Manayunk hills should give me an advantage," she said.
She's trained independently since March and also does weekly runs with Team In Training. Those sessions feature the guidance of a certified coach, and Team in Training also offers clinics on nutrition, equipment, injury prevention and safety.
Still, a marathon is quite an undertaken.
"I'm honestly really nervous, because I got injured during half marathon. At this point, I'm ready for it to be done," she said.
Davis already met her $1,000 fundraising goal, but people still donate to the cause by visiting her page here.
People may join Team In Training groups for many upcoming spring/summer races, including Philadelphia Triathlon and New Jersey Marathon at the Shore. For more information, call the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter at 800-482-2873 or visit its website www.teamintraining.org/epa.