2 good legs–Lorie Hutchison

Our guest blogger today is Lorie Hutchison. She has found a way to turn what she loves into a way to serve others. Her mission is to raise money for the Challenged Athlete Foundation(CAF) through running. Thanks Lorie for reminding us to be grateful and giving of the strengths, health and talents we have.

How do I condense 25 years of running down to a page?Especially when the only part of the last 25 years that I really care about has not happened yet, and is only days away from beginning.
I began running in college when I decided that triathletes looked so cool. They had hard bodies with numbers written in black ink on their arms and legs and lots of specialty equipment. I kept at it until I just could not stand jumping into a cold swimming pool one more time. I still remember sitting on the edge of the pool at the University of Utah hating the fact that the water was so cold and the only way to swim was to submerge myself in it. I sat there for about 5 min and finally decided that I should not force myself to do something that I hated that much. So I left. I went to the dressing room, put on my biking clothes and decided to become a biker. Biking was and is fun, however the cars and the pavement hurt, and then I just got scared. That is when I became a “runner.” I love running because it is relatively inexpensive, I can do it anywhere and so far I have been able to avoid cars and most of the pavement.

I ran my first marathon in St. George in 1988 or 89. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. I swore I would never run another one. I was sick at the finish line and it took me most of the day to recover and I was sore for a week. But just like everyone else who has ever run more than one marathon the pain and nausea eventually passes and so does your memory of just how horrible it was. Now I run marathons as my training runs for my “big” races.

I went to the dark side and started running Ultra Marathons in 1999. There are very few things in life that bring me as much joy as running in the mountains on trails. I have been chased by moose, rattled at by snakes, stared down on a trail by a baby skunk, scared up many deer and elk, attacked by hawks and still waiting to see a cougar. I love being in the mountains. That is why I am still running ultras. My running resume is at www.2goodlegs.org if you are interested in dates, times and finishes.

What I really care about now is combining my love of challenging myself and my desire to open doors for people to do the same thing for themselves. I have teamed up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to raise money for physically disabled people. I want to help those who want to be active, push themselves, or just get back to the activities they did before they lost a limb or use of their legs.

A few years ago, good friend contracted an infection that nearly took her life. She lived but she lost her right arm and both legs. She may have lost a lot of parts but she kept her character, sense of humor, and determination. She received a grant from CAF for a bike, which allowed her to return to an active life. I want everyone to be experience that. I want people with physical disabilities to be able to have the tools they need to pursue what helps to bring joy into their lives. Money should not be a barrier for someone to be able to run, hike, bike, fish, canoe… Go to www.2goodlegs.org and watch the short video. You can see the determination in the athletes’ eyes and hear it in their voices.

Beginning Sept. 17th I am going to run from the Idaho/Utah border to the Utah/Arizona border, one marathon at a day, for 17 days. My 17th marathon will begin with the St. George Marathon and my 18th day will be a 9 mile “recovery run” to the Arizona border! I invite you to come and run with me or visit me and my “Bionic Team” at one of the events along the way. The “join the run” link has an events calendar that identifies the route, events, locations, and times. During the run I will be wearing a SPOT tracker so you can track me at any time. Most importantly, please go to the website and donate! Prosthetics are very expensive. One running leg costs $36,000! Money should not be a barrier for people to do something that we do for free! Come run with me, donate, and meet amazing, determined athletes.

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