Cadet: Cynthia Vissers
Age: 34 | City: Fredericksburg, Va.
Cynthia is a 10-year cancer survivor who is currently living with thyroid cancer while raising 3 boys (ages 8, 6, and 2) with her husband, who is a Marine. “I have done four half marathons, with 2 more this month and next. This fall I am planning to take on the Marine Corps Marathon, because what could be more fitting for a first full for this Marine wife?”
Cynthia was a hurdler in high school and college, but stopped running due to injury. She started running again in 2009 when her husband was deployed and I needed a way to keep herself busy—“apparently two young boys wasn’t enough!”
“I know I can do a marathon, because I have battled cancer twice before and won,” she says. “I know I can do a marathon because raising three boys is an endurance event. I know I can do a marathon while living with cancer because I want to!”
Vet: Amy Shioji
Age: 32 | City: Reston, Va.
Amy went from running no more than 2 miles to her proudest achievement—running the JFK 50 miler last fall—all within a span of five years. “I know firsthand that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” she says.
Amy started running to get into better shape, but she had never run with any real regularity. She signed up for the Army Ten Miler in Washington, DC, as a way to motivate herself to keep up with her running. “Crossing that finish line as my first race was amazing,” she says. “Not only was I proud that I had stuck with it and finished, I was proud that running had now become a part of who I was.”
Her first marathon was Marine Corps. “My goal was just to show up to the start line healthy, to finish, and enjoy the run,” she says. “It was such a fun, incredible and humbling experience. I was hooked.”
“I love giving back and helping new marathon runners achieve their goals and fully realize their running, and life, potential,” she says. “It’s the least I can do for the countless runners and dear friends who keep me inspired, laced up and moving every day.”