Sue Kessler didn’t start running until she was in her mid-20s. Daily runs soon inspired her to sign up for a half marathon and then a full. She eventually worked up to eight marathons a year.
By the time she celebrated her 40th birthday, she’d run a marathon in all 50 states. She would run another 50 more before she turned 50-years old.
“With running, you don’t need a lot,’’ Sue said. “You just need a road and shoes. I love that minimalism of it.”
She signed up to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2016 when she had already run 80 marathons. When she first checked off that box committing to run for St. Jude, she had no immediate connection to the research hospital but was hoping for some good karma on her journey to 100 marathons.
“But what I found was the task of fundraising and connecting my own running efforts with this organization — I found it mindboggling how gratifying it was,” said Sue. “I had run 80-something marathons and I’d never felt more proud of what I was able to do.”
Sue raised more than $9,000 during her 103rd race in December at the 2021 St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Sue's efforts have led her to raise more than $100,000 for St. Jude since 2016.