Kechia Brustmeyer-Brown

MSM: What made you want to tackle the marathon?

Kechia: In 2010, when I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis of the lungs, it felt like the ground had been pulled from beneath my feet. Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that can affect multiple organs in the body, particularly the lungs, presented a significant challenge to my health and well-being. Suddenly, simple tasks became daunting as I struggled with the reality of managing a chronic condition. The uncertainty of my prognosis and the impact on my daily life weighed heavily on my mind.

During this time, I turned to running as a lifeline. It wasn’t just about physical exercise; it became a lifeline, a way to reclaim control over my body and my destiny. Running allowed me to defy the constraints of my illness, proving to myself that I was more than my diagnosis. It became a sanctuary where I could channel my frustrations, fears, and hopes into each step, transforming adversity into strength.

The decision to tackle a marathon wasn’t made lightly. I knew it would test my limits, both physically and mentally, but I welcomed the challenge with open arms. It wasn’t merely about crossing a finish line; it was about transcending the boundaries imposed by my illness and emerging victorious on the other side. With each training session and every mile conquered, I felt myself growing stronger, not just in body, but in spirit.

Running a marathon became a symbol of resilience, a testament to the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity. It was a journey of self-discovery, a reminder that despite the obstacles we face, we have the strength within us to persevere and thrive. And as I crossed that finish line, I knew that I had not only conquered the race but also reclaimed a piece of myself that I thought I had lost to Sarcoidosis.

MSM: There are marathons and then there are majors which have a different vibe all together. Take us through the feelings of running that first world major and crossing the finish on the last one. Also, when did you know that you wanted to capture all 6 marathon majors?

Kechia: Completing the six World Major Marathons, with London as my final destination, was deeply personal for me, stemming from a chance conversation during a Raleigh Galloway training run. I vividly recall overhearing our mentors discussing the Abbott World Major Marathons and their prestigious 6th Star achievement. Intrigued by their words, I embarked on a journey of research to learn more. Despite being a slower runner, I was determined to see if I could secure an opportunity to participate in one of these renowned races. Crossing that last finish line in London was not just the realization of a dream; it was a testament to the power of determination and the willingness to chase after something greater than myself.

MSM: We’ve spoken about the races and running the majors but what has this experience felt like to you, the journey, struggles and training. Give our readers some insight into what those feelings were like going from marathon to marathon, I’m sure each one has a different story and perspective.

Kechia: The journey of running the World Major Marathons has been an emotional rollercoaster, filled with highs, lows, and unforgettable moments. Each marathon brought its own story and perspective, from the exhilaration of crossing the starting line to the fatigue of pushing through the final miles. However, the toll on my body was undeniable. After each long training run or post-race finish, I would often run a low grade fever or end up with a respiratory infection, swollen lymph nodes or extreme exhaustion a clear reminder of how I was pushing my body to its extreme limits. Despite the inevitable struggles and setbacks, the support of my husband, my run coach and fellow BGR, BMR and Raleigh Galloway runners carried me through, reminding me of the power of our run community and perseverance.

Crossing the finish line of each World Major Marathon was a testament to years of hard work and unwavering passion. It served as a powerful reminder that anything is possible with determination and resilience, and that the journey itself is just as meaningful as the destination. Each race was a chapter in my marathon journey and an inspiration for me to continue chasing after my dreams with unwavering dedication.

MSM: We are all runners but one of the things we seldom talk about is our full-time responsibilities outside of running. It’s amazing how most of us can find the time to train and run anywhere from 30–60-mile weeks all while balancing our day-to-day responsibilities. Crossing the finish line, finishing all the six-star world majors is an accomplishment, but what’s next? 

Kechia: For me, completing the six-star world majors was an incredible achievement, but it also made me reflect on how I balance running with my full-time responsibilities. Juggling training with work, family, and other commitments is no small feat, but it’s amazing what we can accomplish with dedication. As I crossed those finish lines, I couldn’t help but wonder, what’s next for me? My next challenge is to seek the next phase of the Abbott World Major Marathons once Sydney Australia and Cape Town are added to the list of stars.

MSM: For those that are on this journey what words of encouragement, inspiration or advice would you share with other fellow runners?

Kechia: Absolutely, remember: “The race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to the one who endures to the end.” Your pace doesn’t define your worth. In the end, we all receive the same medals. So, be kind to yourself, surround yourself with supportive people, and keep stepping towards your goals. You’ve got this!

1 Comment

  • Gerry Griffin
    3 hours ago Reply

    Awesome story- Enough to motivate anyone to get up and drive towards their goals no matter what the contraints are.

Leave a Reply

Start typing and press Enter to search

%d bloggers like this: