What was that first race like for you?
I’ll never forget the feeling of inspiration that overwhelmed me. All of these people wake up at the crack of dawn to come and run 13 miles. Why? Because it’s what they do.
Throughout the run, I saw people in the crowd holding up signs that said “you can do it!” or humorous quotes like “All toenails go to heaven!” These were complete strangers cheering me on, looking me in my eyes, just to remind me and everyone else in the race that we were doing something special. I was hooked. I told myself that in 2020 I would sign up for EVERY running event I could.
And then COVID-19 shut down the nation. Things got canceled and I was devastated. But then I came across a virtual race company (Medal Dash). And through them, I have been continuing to race.
So, what compelled you to run a marathon? Why go so far?
I have a YouTube channel called Stowers Does It All that’s dedicated to running culture and fitness. When I was challenged on social media to do the marathon, I thought to myself ‘OK, but how do I make a 26-mile journey entertaining? How could I make a video of this?’
Stockton doesn’t have very many beautiful trees, giant landmarks or skyscrapers… But what we do have are small businesses. So I combined my talent, Medal Dash’s marathon, the challenge of running a marathon and Stockton’s small-business struggle into a Small Business Marathon to highlight 26-plus local businesses in 26 miles.
The response from the community was overwhelming. So many businesses wanted to be a part of it! It was supposed to be just a few businesses at first… But by the day of the marathon, I had 41 businesses on board.