SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - A 13.1 mile journey amid the breathtaking Spearfish Canyon was conquered by women with lights of different colors at the end of the tunnel.
The Leading Ladies' Half Marathon marks marathon number 14 for 55-year-old Michele Rector of Houston who is running for a rare childhood disease her son was diagnosed with years ago at the age of eight, Legg-Calve-Perthes.
"It was a little bit of a long road, but at that time I thought if more attention could come to this disease maybe they could find a cure. So now that he's grown, my kids are grown I thought that it was the perfect time to start running for Perthes so I am that person hopefully bringing attention to the research group," Rector said.
Rector said she dashed for other kids and much more.
"When I run, I mean It's hard as a runner to not run for goal times and things like that but I kind of learned if you're running often, you can't always shoot for PR sometimes, you just have to run to finish and finish without injury and just meet cool people along the way," Rector continued.
This time, Rector met distinguished runner Helene Neville, the first person to run across every single state in the continental U.S. and the first women to do it on her own.
What is her motivation?
"To inspire other people to rethink impossible, i'm a multiple cancer survivor and a nurse, a grandma, because I can," Neville answered.
Whether running to reach a goal or for a special cause, Neville said it is beyond achievable.
"People said that I couldn't do this, I couldn't do that and I just gave it a go and everything they said I couldn't do, I tried and here I am," she added.
As for Rector, she plans to run 36 more marathons by the time she is 60.
If you would like to learn more about Rector's purpose or donate to the special cause visit www.perthes-disease.org