Cadet: Susan Leigh Baker
Age: 36 | City: Peachtree City, Ga.
“I am trying to accomplish the hardest thing on earth,” Susan says. “It’s not losing weight, running a marathon, or bringing about world peace—it’s proving a point to a group of teenagers.”
Suasn works with teens and hears “I can’t” daily. “They say they can’t because they don’t have the time, it’s too hard, their minds or bodies won’t let them, or many other excuses,” she says. “I want to show them that if you make up your mind, you find that you can.”
To help teach them this lesson, Susan is dedicated to lose weight and run her first marathon. “I want to be an example that you can find the time, get your mind and body to do what you want, and achieve your goals no matter what obstacles are in your path,” she says.
Vet: Christi Paine
Age: 45| City: Alpharetta, Ga.
Christi has run nine marathons, including three Boston Marathons. She was introduced to the sport at a young age. “I’ve always ‘jogged’ with my family,” she says. “Mom and Dad have each done one bucket-list marathon. My brother has run several, including Boston, but I never really enjoyed running or wanted to do more than a few miles until I had my second child. I think I wanted the quiet time to be alone…”
She decided to do her first marathon after cheering on her brother at the Boston Marathon. “We stood at the top of heart break hill, watching and cheering and I thought everyone was crazy,” she says. “Who would put themselves through this? I really felt that way. Then one day in 2006 I woke up and signed up for a marathon while drinking morning coffee and poking around on the Internet. I’d never even done a half. It just hit me. I have no idea other than I just decided all of a sudden it was something I should try. And I’m glad I did!”
Running Retail Sponsor: Big Peach Running Co.
Goal Race: Atlanta Marathon, Oct. 27