Sunday, November 19, 2023
During the Philadelphia Marathon weekend, a Virginia woman, Summer Willis, is pursuing an extraordinary mission: completing 29 races in one year to raise awareness about overcoming trauma and supporting women's aspirations.
Turning 29 and facing personal challenges, including the loss of six relatives and managing two young children, Willis decided to embark on this journey to transform herself and inspire others.
She launched the nonprofit "Strength Through Strides" to emphasise the resilience found in running.
Willis commenced her marathon quest on October 13, conquering the Tahoe Triple in California and Nevada, involving three marathons in three days.
Subsequently, she participated in events like the Marine 50K in Washington DC, the New York City Marathon, and the Anthem Marathon in Richmond, Virginia. The Philadelphia Marathon on November 19 marks her seventh marathon in the series.
Surviving a sexual assault, Willis recognises the enduring impact of trauma and advocates for active recovery. Her goal is to raise $250,000 for Strength Through Strides, aiding women in their healing journeys and pursuit of dreams.
Willis, a testament to resilience, views each marathon as a personal victory, defying expectations set by post-partum challenges and fatigue.
Following the Philadelphia Marathon, Willis plans to engage in strength training for a few months before taking on the World Marathon Challenge in February. This challenge entails completing seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
Willis, moved by the emotional significance of each finish line, remains dedicated to defying physical and mental barriers.