The winner of our Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon raffle was Elina from the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center, and her #HumansoftheY story will inspire us all, but especially those of you who have been wanting to do a marathon but didn't know where to start! Elina is training while doing chemotherapy and participating in LiveSTRONG, and we wish her lots of luck this weekend!

"The first time I ever did a half marathon was when I was in my early 60s. Some friends of mine at work wanted to do it, so I joined them thinking this would be the fulfillment of a dream I’d had for a long time. Running and walking is just something I love to do. We signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon. We trained, but I was the only one who ended up participating! It took me 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete the course. I decided to do the Hartford Half Marathon in 2012 and signed up for that event. I trained diligently, and once again completed the course in 3 hours and 10 minutes! The attached photo is from that race.

"In the beginning of 2016, I signed up for the Hartford Half Marathon once again, but that year I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer with no cure. I had to drop out of the race because of extensive chemotherapy and a stem cell collection. I was very disappointed. I felt as though my body had let me down.

"I was so happy that the Hale YMCA opened in 2016. I joined the LiveSTRONG program that same year and have been doing cardio, weight training, and water fitness ever since. Now I feel more empowered. My body is stronger. I feel so much better mentally and more in control. Right now I’m participating in the Great Hartford Slimdown, and in the spring I plan to begin training for the 2019 Hartford Marathon by joining the Couch Potato to 5K program and swimming laps.

"Even though I am continually on chemotherapy, I want to run (for me, actually, it’s run/walk :)) another half marathon. I know that the training I have been doing at the Y is perfect cross training and 2019 will be my year—my year to finally better my time!"

Locations: Hale YMCA
Category: Hale