A Great Race

Thousands participate in the 26.2 with Donna, a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research

Mar 01, 2013 | By TFK Kid Reporter Alaa Osman
COURTESY ALAA OSMAN

TFK Kid Reporter Alaa Osman interviews Donna Deegan at the 26.2 with Donna marathon.

On Sunday, February 17, thousands of people descended upon Jacksonville, Florida, for a big race. The 26.2 with Donna, a marathon to raise money for the fight against breast cancer, was founded in 2003 by breast-cancer survivor Donna Deegan.

This year, the race drew people from across the country and around the world. Stephanie Burke, 28, came all the way from Arizona, to participate in honor of her aunt, who lost her life to breast cancer. “I now strive to seize everyday,” Burke told TFK.

Running to Make a Difference

Like all marathons, the Jacksonville race is 26.2 miles long. The course is known as a particularly fast-paced one. Several of the fastest marathon times ever recorded in Florida were clocked at the February 17 event. "I think our crowds have something to do with it,” Deegan said in a press release. “When you are running for an incredible cause with thousands thanking you as you go, it certainly stokes the spirit and energizes the body.”

Deegan plans to continue her work to help find a cure. She recently left her job as a TV news reporter, to focus on fundraising full-time. “It's a blessing to change so many lives and help others,” she told TFK. “It makes me feel like a friend and leader to these people.”

A race, she says, is an ideal way to bring people together for such an important cause. “I chose running because it makes people believe that they can do whatever they can set their hearts to, that they can accomplish the impossible,” she said.  Through her efforts to help others, Deegan is proving just how much one person can achieve.