Running the racePublished 8:54pm Saturday, March 30, 2013
Cornerstone group hits the bricks
The local running group known as the Cornerstone Striders yielded a series of inspiring performances during the recent 2013 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, Anthem Half Marathon & TowneBank 8K in Virginia Beach.
Andrea McHugh formed the running group through the website Meetup.com in October 2011 when she first moved to the area and did not know anyone. Since that time, the group has grown to more than 100 people.
“What we do is, every week, we plan between five and seven different meet-ups a week, several of them running, and some of them are spinning or for cycling outside,” McHugh said.
Whenever the Striders participate in a formal race, those who can make it will run together.
“There’s a lot of camaraderie involved, and we’ve made a lot of new friends and kind of created a sense of family,” McHugh said.
At the Shamrock on March 15, 31 group members ran, most in the half marathon. This group included Amy Hardy, who was running with her husband John, and had a special purpose.
“Originally, my decision to run it was just a goal I had set because of Andrea’s motivation and the group’s motivation,” Hardy said. “My sister, Charlene, she had colon cancer, she had been fighting for a long time, and her health had started to decline, and I decided that I would dedicate my race in honor of her.”
“It just hit me,” she said. “’What better way to run than running with a purpose, running for someone who can’t?’”
She taped a sign to her back that stated the dedication with a picture of her sister. Hardy, running her first half-marathon, finished the race hand-in-hand with her husband.
Charlene Raven died Thursday at the age of 48.
Two other team members, Antoinette Croly and David Pace, provided an unexpected assist to Team Hoyt, a group that pushes carriages holding disabled individuals who cannot run themselves. Croly and Pace alternated pushing the carriage for about a mile when the regular Team Hoyt member needed a break
“Antoinette was really struggling,” McHugh said. “She’s been dealing with several different injuries, and rather than sitting the run out, like she probably should have, she didn’t and she ran it anyway. Running with that carriage reminded her, ‘I may be in pain, but I can still do this, but this person that we’re pushing, he can’t do this. So, we’ll help them get through.’”
The Shamrock event was the first half-marathon Strider member Arleen Tisdale had really trained for, though she had run several in the past. Family obligations arose the day of the event and prevented her from going, but she proceeded to turn her neighborhood into the Shamrock and ran the 13.1 miles there at the same time.
“It was really just the perseverance that I was going to go out there and do it,” Tisdale said.
McHugh and the group made a point to present her with all the rewards given to those who ran at the actual event.
“I got a lot of good support from that group,” Tisdale said. “It’s a wonderful group to run with.”