May 1, 2018

A Marathon Milestone

After May 6 Marcia Storm will be a Squealer, joining the elite club of people who completed 10 full Flying Pig Marathons. These 26.2 miles mark her 15th year participating in the Flying Pig, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

“Every once in a while life happens, so I’ve missed five,” said Storm, a pediatric occupational therapist for Hamilton County DD Services Early Intervention program. “I love the Pig because it’s local and it’s awesome. My sister comes down from Wisconsin and does it with me every year.”

Storm, 60, didn’t initially set out to become an endurance athlete. Her first marathon was in North Dakota in 1981 – and she finished dead last. “It was so embarrassing. They were taking the finish line down as I got there,” she said.

Marcia Storm, an HCDDS employee, smiles at Mile 25 during the 2017 Flying Pig Marathon. She's wearing athletic gearNot long after that, she blew out her knee on a ski trip. The doctor told her she had to give up long-distance running – no more than three miles at a time. “I thought, ‘I hate the first three miles,’ so I stopped until the Flying Pig started in 1998. I just decided they could give me new knees.”

She ran the Flying Pig’s full and half marathons until 2013, when she was in a car accident that later resulted in spinal fusion surgery. “After my surgeries, I could barely walk to the mailbox, and my doctor told me I couldn’t run at all,” she said. “I was pretty upset about not being able to run. I joined Queen City Walkers so I would stop saying ‘I’m just walking’ and embrace it.”

The walking group encouraged her, but a trip to Norway to visit her son made her reconsider her marathon career. Together, they hiked 13 miles through fjords and mountain passes. That trip also inspired a new hobby—backpacking—and gave her the courage to try another marathon.

“I’m not fast, but I don’t give up. I don’t think it’s hard—it’s humbling to walk and not run at all—but I embrace it and keep moving forward,” Storm said.

To date, she’s completed 21 full marathons and 46 half marathons, traveling around the country to feed her passion. Her marathons have taken her to Chicago, Tucson, Memphis, Washington DC and many other cities. Her favorite marathon was in Anchorage, when two of her children and their fiancées signed up for the relay so they could run with her. Storm’s new goal is to complete all the marathons in Ohio. Two weeks after the Flying Pig, she’ll head up to Cleveland to compete.

“I love being out there with people of all abilities, all ages and all sizes. Everyone has the same goal of having fun and being fit,” she said. “It’s just really fun and a fun way to have different adventures. And I’m not going to lie, I love the bling of the medal.”
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