In advance of his 50th birthday, Tim Peterson vowed to make 2015 his “best year yet” by trying to laugh, smile, and give back to others more often. Satisfied with his progress, he decided to challenge himself further in 2016 — by running four marathons.
He’s completed two already, but his last two will have special meaning: He will run as a St. Jude Hero in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and, just eight weeks later, in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
“You start thinking about challenging yourself, and doing something bigger than what you are,” said Peterson of Bennington, Nebraska.
He has raised funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a St. Jude Hero in previous marathons, and has set a goal to raise $5,200 for St. Jude between the Chicago and Memphis events.
“The thing I get out of it is knowing that I am doing at least a little part in helping families concentrate on their children and getting them well,” Peterson said.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. St. Jude’s commitment to patient families hits home for Peterson, who was encouraged to become a St. Jude Hero by a friend whose child was a St. Jude patient.
“I’m inspired by the fight and the tenacity that these kids have,” Peterson said. “When I’m out on a 20-mile run, I know it is going to hurt, but I realize it is nothing in comparison to what these families are going through. I use that to remind me of why I am doing what I am doing.”
When deciding on which marathons he was going to run in 2016, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend was at the top of Peterson’s list.
“The thought of seeing the St. Jude campus and running through it, for me, was something to bring clarity and perspective to solidify my ‘why’ for being a St. Jude Hero.”
Join Peterson and register for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.