Runners racing to save an historic treasure - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Racing to save an historic treasure

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Ultramarathoner Kelly Luckett Ultramarathoner Kelly Luckett
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

In less than a month, Savannah's running community will make history again with the Ledesma Sports Medicine Savannah Rails to Trails 50k. It's drawing a lot of interest as they people sign up to save the historic trail that runs along US 80 at Fort Pulaski. The trail needs to be restored. It has been neglected and has eroded to the point that it is dangerous in some places, but we cannot afford to lose this treasure.  

The race is unique in that you can pretty much get in where you fit in. You can run 3, 15 or 31 miles. I found a very special lady who knows what it's like to run 31 miles in one day. She's an ultra-marathon runner who's inspiring people from all walks of life. She may look like just the girl next door out for a leisurely run, but Kelly Luckett is a machine! In the last 10 years, she has run more than 30 marathons and ultramarathons - including the Boston Marathon - eight times!

"I've even done as much as 56 1/2 miles in a two day race!" Kelly Luckett said.  Without even thinking, I blurted out - "That's crazy!" She fired right back at me. "It is and I am full of crazy!"

I just love this lady.

Her personal best was 46 miles in just one day. Oh, and did I tell you this superwoman lost her right leg when she was 2 years old? A little boy ran over her right foot with a lawnmower.

"I have always said if it was going to happen, it was best that it happened then as a young child. So I grew up that way and I didn't know any different other than learning to walk with prosthetic leg. Fortunately, I had parents who were very good about not making me feel any different and making me do the same things my brothers and sisters did," Luckett explained.

She kept up too, but it was her husband who inspired her to run. "He did the Peachtree Road race many years ago several times, which is 50,000 people. So I would go there and support him standing on the sidelines cheering him on in the other 50,000 runners," She said. "I thought, ‘I think I can do that.' So I started training and I did it and finished and loved it. I just loved everything about running and then I realized I was not going to be able to run very fast, so I wanted to know how long I could run."  

Luckett ran like Forest Gump! Now she's training for a 31-mile race in next month. "I think because I am unique and different anyway in the physical challenges that I might have. I kind of want to do something that is unique. There are a lot of people who do marathons. I like having that little uniqueness and doing something beyond the marathon that most people don't get a chance to," she said.

What an inspiration and she takes that very seriously too. "If there's someone out there who wants to do something better with their lives maybe get a better job or go back to school and do something else with their life,  they will say if that girl with one leg can run a marathon, I can overcome the challenges that I have," she said. 

To learn more about how Kelly is running and her sponsors, check out the following websites- http://www.atlantapo.com, http://www.challengedathletes.org and http://www.getting2tri.org.

You can also get more information about you can volunteer or run in the Ledesma Sports Medicine Savannah Rails to Trails 50K by going to their website http://www.lowcountryultras.com/Rails_to_Trails_50K.php.

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