“I run because it keeps me healthy, it teaches me about myself, it keeps me centered, and I love challenging myself in races,” says Amanda, a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in New Smyrna Beach. Amanda has completed numerous marathons and races. As a record holder for multiple running events at Bishop Fenwick High School, and once part of the 4 x 800 record-breaking team at the University of New Hampshire, this girl’s all about running. She considers her faith an important part of her sport. “I am so grateful that God has gifted me with the ability to run when so many aren’t able to,” she says.
Amanda has used this talent to raise funds for the Ace Bailey Children’s Foundation in 2015 and 2017 by running the Boston Marathon (26.2 miles). In total, she has raised over $13,000 for this charity by running.
She also participated in “Run to Home Base,” a 9K (5.4 miles) race that raises money for veterans with Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury. “It was very emotional, and it was the first time they had ever done it,” she recalls. “The race finished by crossing home plate at Fenway Park (located in Boston, Massachusetts). I got to shake hands with General George Casey (a retired four-star general who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army). It was also the first time I had ever fundraised for a race. I ran in memory and in honor of friends and family of the military. I felt really nervous at the beginning of the race because it was the first race where I was running for someone other than myself,” she remembers.
As a runner, Amanda says that before every race, she prays to God. She prays that He will keep her safe, healthy, protected, and return safely to her family at the end. She says that she enjoys fundraising for all these charities through running. Amanda says that she feels so happy to be able to help all of these people with her talent, and will continue to run and do just that. So, if you ask her why she runs, she’ll tell you, “Because I can.” By the way, Amanda is my mom and a proud Sacred Heart mother of three!
Article written by Kaileigh, a seventh grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School in New Smyrna Beach. Photos courtesy of Amanda M.