Excitement is brewing as we count down to an historic run - The Ledesma Sports Medicine Savannah Rails to Trails 50k on Saturday. In case you were wondering, a 50k is just over 31 miles and many runners are signing up from as far away as Puerto Rico and California.
The most exciting part is you can run whatever you would like - either the 50K, which is just over 31 miles or the 25K, which equals 15 miles or a 5k which is 3 miles long. WTOC-TV is a proud sponsor of the race to raise money to restore the historic McQueen's Island Rails to Trails off Highway 80 East at Fort Pulaski.
Among the hundreds of runners, April Groves, a lady who says she was too clumsy for sports as a child, but something happened in the last year that turned her into quite the athlete. She will tell you running gave her a whole new life. "It was great to get out of the house the time outside by myself. Using my body getting the energy up, gave me the opportunity to just be by myself for a little while. It was very meditative, very prayerful, very energizing, so it just kind of went on that way. I just decided if I can do this now, maybe I could do it a little bit longer. What happened in 30 minutes became an hour and two hours and what started out as 3 miles became 26.2 miles," Groves explained.
After just 15 months of running, she rocked the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last November - crossing that finish line in just under four hours. "I came in 3:59. 'That's awesome!' I was really excited. It was actually 3:59:43 and those 17 seconds under 4 hours were probably the best 17 seconds of my life ! I was so excited! Yeah, you couldn't tell me anything. You still can't tell me anything!" exclaims April.
So now this working mother of four and wife is training for her first 50K - 31 miles! "I am just excited and I am looking forward I just put my shoes on every day and log some big miles and look for folks who want to run with me. I am ready to see how that 50 K adds up. Maybe we'll be able and ready for that 50 miler by the summer," adds April.
She's a rock star in the running community. "October of last year, I did a 5K and then in November I did a 10k and then February was my first half marathon out at Tybee and then the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll was my first full."
Running is just the beginning. She has also completely changed her diet and that lead to a 30-pound weight loss! She made radical changes in her life. Anyone who has ever battled their weight knows it's tough. How does she stay on track day after day? "People stopped being surprised that I had four children!"
Well, they are surprised now! April looks amazing! Unfortunately, she tore her calf muscle while we were videotaping her run. She's recovering and plans to be a part of the run in some way on Saturday. She doesn't quite know how yet.
It isn't too late for you to be a part of history. Check out http://www.fleetfeetsavannah.com/ultra to find out how you can volunteer or run on race day.
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