Trimble grad runs to benefit Leukemia Lymphoma Society

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By Lorrie Kinkade

While a student at Trimble County High School, Sara Spurr was not a member of the cross-country team. Nor was she a participant in Raider track and field competitions.

Maybe that’s why it came as such a surprise to her family and friends when the 2005 TCHS grad announced recently that she was training for a marathon.

“At first, they all thought I was really crazy, Spurr said of her family’s reaction. “But then I explained to them why I was doing this and they started to understand and became very supportive. But honestly, I’m scared out of my mind.”

Spurr is preparing to take part in as 26.2-mile run to benefit programs of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. The Eastern Kentucky University student joined the organization just this year and said immediate participation in the marathon was important as it is possibly the largest annual fundraiser for the group.

“The marathon is Jan. 11 at Walt Disney World in Florida. People come from everywhere to be part of this – to raise money and show their support for families living with these diseases,” she said.

Spurr said her training schedule consists of three days of short runs at a “casual” pace; two days of weight training coupled with time on a stationary bike; and one “long run.”

Last week, she achieved the seven-mile mark on her long run and said she has few doubts as to her ability to run almost four times that by January.

“Of the people who sign up to do this, 97-percent complete their race. Hearing that helps motivate me,” she said.

Fellow trainees, mentors and coaches she has been introduced to through the society also keep her inspired, as does Ann Davis.

Davis is a mother of two who works full time and has completed four marathons in recent years. And, since 1999, she has been living with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“Each person who signs up for this is given the name of a person who has leukemia or some kind of lymphoma. It helps inspire you to do this for them. That’s how I met Ann. She’s has run the Disney marathon and is running … in California next month. She is amazing,” Spurr said. “When training gets hard, I think, ‘I have a really good friend who would like to be out here running everyday, but can’t always because of chemotherapy treatments.’ And I keep going.”

Additionally, Spurr is running to honor a member of her EKU family who is privately battling chronic leukemia.

“I will run to honor both of these women who are so strong and inspiring,” she said.

To help support Spurr’s mission of raising funds to benefit the programs of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, donations may be made via the web at http://pages.teamintraining.org/soh/wdw09/s.

Spurr hopes to raise at least $4,000 for the organization before the marathon.

Spurr’s mother and stepfather, Denise and Carl Luellen, live in Milton.